What Bond reference book are you reading?

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  • MrBondMrBond Station S
    Posts: 2,044
    DarthDimi wrote:
    Seriously, @MrBond? That's too bad. I think he certainly has the talent. Well, okay then.
    *leaves the room a broken man*

    Well after he had finished his book about OHMSS he said the same thing, so who knows what Mr Helfenstein has in his sleeve? ;)
  • 007InVT007InVT Classified
    Posts: 893
    Roald Dahl wrote an article for Playboy called '007s' Oriental Eyefuls'. Nigh on impossible to track down though.

    On the wishlist for sure.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 16,344
    I'd like to write a book on the much-maligned QoS myself...
  • 007InVT007InVT Classified
    Posts: 893
    Opinions on this?

    511hQGEBYBL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    edited May 2014 Posts: 28,651
    While running some errands with my mother today I saw this book amongst a pile of books in a store:
    james-bond-faq-tom-demichael.jpg

    James Bond FAQ by Tom DeMichael

    As I am always intrigued to find new ways to pick up even more knowledge of Bond, I picked it up and give it a look. Having liked what I saw, I gave it a purchase. I haven't delved that much into it beyond a few minor page readings, but it's a book written by a Bond fan for Bond fans. It's very much a pick up and read kind of reference on 007, compiling information on everything from Fleming's life and what sparked his creation of Bond to biographies on each of the acting talents playing 007, his Bond girls and villains alongside great information on the various gadgets seen in the franchise and much more. The author also often interjects with his own opinions on the Bond actors and their supporting casts, which is cool as well. It's a great book for fans like us who are always looking to learn even more about Bond, covering everything from the franchise's inception and endurance as well as examinations of all those that made the films possible, on screen and off. Check it out if you ever seen it. I'll give more detail on it once I've actually began reading some of it.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 16,344
    ^ Yes, I've been meaning to buy that one off Amazon for some time now.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    Posts: 28,651
    Dragonpol wrote:
    ^ Yes, I've been meaning to buy that one off Amazon for some time now.

    It'd be a good source for someone like you who writes articles on a lot of Bond related topics. It's got some interesting background on important figures instrumental in making the series what it is today from Fleming himself to Cubby, Harry and more. It's just a book full of Bond knowledge to make us even more like historians on this character. ;)
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 16,344
    Dragonpol wrote:
    ^ Yes, I've been meaning to buy that one off Amazon for some time now.

    It'd be a good source for someone like you who writes articles on a lot of Bond related topics. It's got some interesting background on important figures instrumental in making the series what it is today from Fleming himself to Cubby, Harry and more. It's just a book full of Bond knowledge to make us even more like historians on this character. ;)

    Yes, it sounds like a wonderful resource that I will certainly pick up after your recommendation.
  • Posts: 1,008
    Sorry for flogging a dead thread, but I bought a second hand copy of the first edition of Licence to Thrill (strange since I'm from Barcelona and didn't even know about this book: just found it by chance) and what can I say: Chapman gives a huge insight on Bond and his times, and it's bringing me a new POV on the film series, completely fitting it in its contemporary society. I always thought Bond movies are a mirror of their time, but analysing it in such detail and seriousness brings a better understanding on not only the films, but culture and society in the second half of 20th century.
    I'll have to check for the updated version when I finish this one. A real bargain for 2 €.
  • DariusDarius UK
    Posts: 354
    I've recently had good reason to blow the dust off my yellowed and much thumbed copy of The Book of Bond (or Every Man His Own Bond) by Kingsley Amis, writing as Lt. Col William (Bill) Tanner.

    I believe this book was the published notes Amis prepared for writing Colonel Sun, which was published a year after this book. I would recommend this as an invaluable resource for fans of the literary Bond.
  • JohnHammond73JohnHammond73 Lancashire, UK
    Posts: 4,151
    Just finished reading Bond On Bond from Sir Rog. Highly enjoyable and great to read his thoughts on all things Bond. His love for 007 shines through. Enjoyed it.
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy My Secret Lair
    Posts: 13,384
    I'm reading that at the moment. :)
  • w2bondw2bond is indeed a very rare breed
    Posts: 2,243
    I've read SOME KIND OF HERO, THE REMARKABLE STORY OF THE JAMES BOND FILMS.. Good book but many spelling and editorial errors. Kamal Kahn??
  • w2bondw2bond is indeed a very rare breed
    Posts: 2,243
    Also bought The Music of James Bond by John Burlingame
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy My Secret Lair
    Posts: 13,384
    I'm finding it a fascinating read. :)
  • MayDayDiVicenzoMayDayDiVicenzo Here and there
    Posts: 5,080
    I do recommend THE JAMES BOND ENCYCLOPEDIA: SKYFALL EDITION (soon to be SPECTRE, I assume), if only for its detailed catalogue of all characters, major and minor.
  • Posts: 4,325
    saunders wrote: »
    No surprisingly considering the exhaustive detail the book gives to other areas of the film it doesn't dwell on George Lazenby's reasons for leaving as much as I would of expected. Though I get the feeling that Charles Helfenstein is trying to be fair to all involved and not tread on any toes as the reasons given from various sources tend to differ greatly, we may never get the definitive account of why and how he left.<br />
    <br />
    Got to agree with Ytterbium, The "Licence To Thrill" book by James Chapman is one of my favourite books, I got the first edition in 1999 and even updated it with the 2007 second edition. When it first came out the only books available were either glossy picture based EON authorized or tended to just be general reviews of the films, this book looked at the cultural phenomenon of the James Bond legacy and opened up the floodgates for a whole new academic approach to discussing the world of 007. James Chapman is clearly very authoritative on this subject and I find his writing fascinating and it opened my eyes to a whole new way to interpret the films. You only have to look at how many authors in Bond reference books have quoted him in the last 10 years to realise how important his book was to pathfinding the way that the James Bond series is now interpreted. I would definatley suggest that this is one of the books that should be in every Bond fans collection.

    I referenced him in my undergraduate dissertation where I looked at Casino Royale.
  • edited March 2016 Posts: 4,325
    There's a book called Revisioning 007 which is great - it's a collection of essays by academics on DC's Casino Royale.
  • Posts: 2,680
    I will soon be reading James Bond: The Secret History and will review it afterward. It has a foreword from Jeremy Duns, which is a good sign, and has been positively reviewed by the Bond memes blog.
  • Posts: 1,386
    I just started reading "The Making of On Her Majesty's Secret Service" by Charles Helfenstein and there seems to be a wealth of information here. :)
  • Posts: 2,680
    josiah wrote: »
    I just started reading "The Making of On Her Majesty's Secret Service" by Charles Helfenstein and there seems to be a wealth of information here. :)

    Yes, the information on the genesis of the script is worth the purchase price alone. Helfenstein provides definitive evidence of what OHMSS would have been like if filmed in 1965, along with Maibaum's tantalizing original plans for Diamonds Are Forever. Unlike Spectre, OHMSS is a clear example of a script being steadily improved and perfected so that the final draft is clearly best. What also comes through is that OHMSS was a rare example of an auteurist Bond film--the entire production was molded by Peter Hunt's decisions. I doubt anyone will ever again exert such comprehensive power over a Bond film.
  • Posts: 1,386
    Revelator wrote: »
    josiah wrote: »
    I just started reading "The Making of On Her Majesty's Secret Service" by Charles Helfenstein and there seems to be a wealth of information here. :)

    Yes, the information on the genesis of the script is worth the purchase price alone. Helfenstein provides definitive evidence of what OHMSS would have been like if filmed in 1965, along with Maibaum's tantalizing original plans for Diamonds Are Forever. Unlike Spectre, OHMSS is a clear example of a script being steadily improved and perfected so that the final draft is clearly best. What also comes through is that OHMSS was a rare example of an auteurist Bond film--the entire production was molded by Peter Hunt's decisions. I doubt anyone will ever again exert such comprehensive power over a Bond film.

    I am particularly enjoying the degree of research he put into this. There's a very long page with his sources listed in the back and he thanks several members of cast and crew or the wives of writers for giving him access to their husband's correspondence. I am very impressed. It will probably take me a year to get through all the information here. Today I learned that Fleming's original title for his novel "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" was "The Belles of Hell".
  • Posts: 2,680
    josiah wrote: »
    Today I learned that Fleming's original title for his novel "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" was "The Belles of Hell".

    That would be a good title for a future Bond film as well, provided it has some female villains. It would also supply the title song, since there's an old WWI marching song called "The Bells of Hell." The lyrics are appropriately pungent:

    The Bells of Hell go ting-a-ling-a-ling
    For you but not for me:
    For me the angels sing-a-ling-a-ling,
    They've got the goods for me.

    Oh! Death, where is thy sting-a-ling-a-ling?
    Oh! Grave, thy victory?
    The Bells of Hell go ting-a-ling-a-ling
    For you but not for me.

    Plus the song is in public domain, so all the Bond producers have to do is tart it up with a new, copyrightable arrangement, hand it over to a brassy-voiced singer, and presto!
    Here's a clip:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-UHaCZSBeM
  • Posts: 1,386
    Revelator wrote: »
    josiah wrote: »
    Today I learned that Fleming's original title for his novel "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" was "The Belles of Hell".

    That would be a good title for a future Bond film as well, provided it has some female villains. It would also supply the title song, since there's an old WWI marching song called "The Bells of Hell." The lyrics are appropriately pungent:

    The Bells of Hell go ting-a-ling-a-ling
    For you but not for me:
    For me the angels sing-a-ling-a-ling,
    They've got the goods for me.

    Oh! Death, where is thy sting-a-ling-a-ling?
    Oh! Grave, thy victory?
    The Bells of Hell go ting-a-ling-a-ling
    For you but not for me.

    Plus the song is in public domain, so all the Bond producers have to do is tart it up with a new, copyrightable arrangement, hand it over to a brassy-voiced singer, and presto!
    Here's a clip:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-UHaCZSBeM

    @Revelator
    Thanks for posting that! I hadn't heard the actual song yet so that was a treat. :)
    It's also apparently the name of a movie that Fleming's friend Roald Dahl wrote a screenplay for that was filming in Switzerland with Gregory Peck for 5 weeks that was never finished. The book mentions this and the WWII song as well :) without saying that one or the other was definitely the author's inspiration. So far Helfenstein has remained pretty objective in his reporting of the facts, which I find refreshing since a lot of reference books involve the author inserting their opinions, which can be a bit alienating if you don't share the same opinions as the author.
  • Posts: 4,009
    There are so many Bond reference books coming out this year. Has anyone read "The Many Facets Of Diamonds Are Forever" by Oliver Buckton?
  • Posts: 2,680
    vzok wrote: »
    There are so many Bond reference books coming out this year. Has anyone read "The Many Facets Of Diamonds Are Forever" by Oliver Buckton?

    I have! I received a free copy in return for writing one of the essays in it. Obviously I can't offer an entirely objective opinion, but I think it's a pretty good collection of essays on the book and film. All are academic essays and not always easy reading, but they're free of excessive jargon. Since the book was published by an academic press it's priced too high, but if you can find a copy in your local library, or at a discount, you might find it elucidating.
  • Posts: 4,009
    Revelator wrote: »
    vzok wrote: »
    There are so many Bond reference books coming out this year. Has anyone read "The Many Facets Of Diamonds Are Forever" by Oliver Buckton?

    I have! I received a free copy in return for writing one of the essays in it. Obviously I can't offer an entirely objective opinion, but I think it's a pretty good collection of essays on the book and film. All are academic essays and not always easy reading, but they're free of excessive jargon. Since the book was published by an academic press it's priced too high, but if you can find a copy in your local library, or at a discount, you might find it elucidating.

    Interesting. I feel all the more like I should check it out now I know you have contributed.
  • japanauthorjapanauthor Japan
    Posts: 9
    josiah wrote: »
    Revelator wrote: »
    josiah wrote: »
    Today I learned that Fleming's original title for his novel "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" was "The Belles of Hell".

    That would be a good title for a future Bond film as well, provided it has some female villains. It would also supply the title song, since there's an old WWI marching song called "The Bells of Hell." The lyrics are appropriately pungent:

    The Bells of Hell go ting-a-ling-a-ling
    For you but not for me:
    For me the angels sing-a-ling-a-ling,
    They've got the goods for me.

    Oh! Death, where is thy sting-a-ling-a-ling?
    Oh! Grave, thy victory?
    The Bells of Hell go ting-a-ling-a-ling
    For you but not for me.

    Plus the song is in public domain, so all the Bond producers have to do is tart it up with a new, copyrightable arrangement, hand it over to a brassy-voiced singer, and presto!
    Here's a clip:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-UHaCZSBeM

    @Revelator
    Thanks for posting that! I hadn't heard the actual song yet so that was a treat. :)
    It's also apparently the name of a movie that Fleming's friend Roald Dahl wrote a screenplay for that was filming in Switzerland with Gregory Peck for 5 weeks that was never finished. The book mentions this and the WWII song as well :) without saying that one or the other was definitely the author's inspiration. So far Helfenstein has remained pretty objective in his reporting of the facts, which I find refreshing since a lot of reference books involve the author inserting their opinions, which can be a bit alienating if you don't share the same opinions as the author.
    Revelator wrote: »
    vzok wrote: »
    There are so many Bond reference books coming out this year. Has anyone read "The Many Facets Of Diamonds Are Forever" by Oliver Buckton?

    I have! I received a free copy in return for writing one of the essays in it. Obviously I can't offer an entirely objective opinion, but I think it's a pretty good collection of essays on the book and film. All are academic essays and not always easy reading, but they're free of excessive jargon. Since the book was published by an academic press it's priced too high, but if you can find a copy in your local library, or at a discount, you might find it elucidating.

    I can confirm that yes this was the working title of an ill-fated movie that was being shot as You Only Live Twice was in early production. Various opinions about why it wrapped early but in part the decision by Dahl to go to Japan rather than Switzerland played a role.

  • japanauthorjapanauthor Japan
    Posts: 9
    Another recent single subject book is The Definitive Story of You Only Live Twice. This covers both book and to a lesser extent the film but much is devoted to the time that Fleming, Bond and Connery (plus film crew) spent in Japan. As I'm the author, I can't say how good it is but some people like it! (Though one reviewer hated it! They'd bought the non-illustrated version and then complained there were no pictures.)

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Definitive-Story-Only-Live-Twice/dp/191148995X/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=the+definitive+story+of+you+only+live+twice&qid=1558103315&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull

    Otherwise I think all the books mentioned in the thread have their role. I didn't though see any mention of the Tacschen book The James Bond Archives, which I would also recommend. https://www.taschen.com/pages/en/catalogue/film/all/03416/facts.the_james_bond_archives.htm
  • 007InVT wrote: »
    Just picked up a rare copy of 007 James Bond: a Report by O. F. Snelling.

    Highly recommended. The updated online version can be found here: http://spywise.net/wbf/microscope.pdf

    I remember buying and reading this one in the mid 60s. Still got it somewhere. A great and readable analysis of the Bond phenomenom. I always had my nose in it. Reread it several times

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