What Bond reference book are you reading?

13

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  • Posts: 3,832
    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

  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    edited June 2019 Posts: 13,343
    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

    Yes, that's certainly one of the early literary Bond analysis classics all right, along with Kingsley Amis' The James Bond Dossier (1965). In fact, Snelling's book was the first off the press about the literary James Bond in particular and probably about James Bond in general.

    It certainly gives a very vivid sense of what it was like to be a Bond fan in the early 1960s as Bondmania was unfolding and for that I love it! I first found it in 1997 in a secondhand bookshop and it still remains one of my favourite books on Bond.
  • Dragonpol wrote: »

    It certainly gives a very vivid sense of what it was like to be a Bond fan in the early 1960s as Bondmania was unfolding and for that I love it! I first found it in 1997 in a secondhand bookshop and it still remains one of my favourite books on Bond.

    Absolutely!!. Includes a wonderful section about the opening of From Russia With Love in October 1963 which was spot on in terms of the excitement and expectation generated.

  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    edited July 2019 Posts: 1,174
    Reading Currently: The Making of On Her Majesty's Secret Service by Charles Helfenstein.

    I have a huge pile of James Bond books in general, I have read Some Kind of Hero by Ajay Chowdhury and Matthew Field. Great read, but it's funny how they talk about Danny Boyle doing Bond 25 before his leaving. Bond 25 will have a interesting reference book of it's own one day.
  • Posts: 11,354
    Slowly working my way through Some Kind of Hero on my Kindle, though I have six or seven books on going at the moment.
  • Posts: 2,538
    MaxCasino wrote: »
    Reading Currently: The Making of On Her Majesty's Secret Service by Charles Helfenstein.

    I have a huge pile of James Bond books in general, I have read Some Kind of Hero by Ajay Chowdhury and Matthew Field. Great read, but it's funny how they talk about Danny Boyle doing Bond 25 before his leaving. Bond 25 will have a interesting reference book of it's own one day.

    That book about OHMSS is superb. The one on TLD by the same author is also excellent reading!
  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    edited July 2019 Posts: 1,174
    Mathis1 wrote: »
    MaxCasino wrote: »
    Reading Currently: The Making of On Her Majesty's Secret Service by Charles Helfenstein.

    I have a huge pile of James Bond books in general, I have read Some Kind of Hero by Ajay Chowdhury and Matthew Field. Great read, but it's funny how they talk about Danny Boyle doing Bond 25 before his leaving. Bond 25 will have a interesting reference book of it's own one day.

    That book about OHMSS is superb. The one on TLD by the same author is also excellent reading!

    It's arguably next on my list! I have also read James Bond in Our Sights: A Close Look at A View to a Kill by Andrew McNess. Highly Recommended! It goes in depth about things and characters that make the film a bit underrated.
  • edited July 2019 Posts: 2,538
    MaxCasino wrote: »
    Mathis1 wrote: »
    MaxCasino wrote: »
    Reading Currently: The Making of On Her Majesty's Secret Service by Charles Helfenstein.

    I have a huge pile of James Bond books in general, I have read Some Kind of Hero by Ajay Chowdhury and Matthew Field. Great read, but it's funny how they talk about Danny Boyle doing Bond 25 before his leaving. Bond 25 will have a interesting reference book of it's own one day.

    That book about OHMSS is superb. The one on TLD by the same author is also excellent reading!

    It's arguably next on my list! I have also read James Bond in Our Sights: A Close Look at A View to a Kill by Andrew McNess. Highly Recommended! It goes in depth about things and characters that make the film a bit underrated.

    I've just purchased the book.
    And "He disagreed with something that ate him" by Cary Edwards, looking at both of Daltons movies! Plan to read both over the Summer.
  • Agent_99Agent_99 enjoys a spirited ride as much as the next girl
    Posts: 2,268
    Mathis1 wrote: »
    And "He disagreed with something that ate him" by Cary Edwards, looking at both of Daltons movies! Plan to read both over the Summer.

    I've just read this one - a quick read, but I enjoyed it a great deal.
  • Posts: 2,538
    Agent_99 wrote: »
    Mathis1 wrote: »
    And "He disagreed with something that ate him" by Cary Edwards, looking at both of Daltons movies! Plan to read both over the Summer.

    I've just read this one - a quick read, but I enjoyed it a great deal.

    Thanks for that! Anything to do with Dalton should be good!
  • Posts: 2,538
    Well, Agent99 Is correct. A quick read indeed, but I did enjoy reading 'He disagreed with something that ate him!"
    Its funny, one of the truest things author Cary Edwards says, has nothing to do with Daltons films, but his opinion of SF, which and I quote "I found myself out of step with nearly the entire cinema going world. ....I found it non-sensical, the action poorly co-ordinated and the films treatment of women nauseating!"
  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    edited July 2019 Posts: 1,174
    Mathis1 wrote: »
    MaxCasino wrote: »
    Mathis1 wrote: »
    MaxCasino wrote: »
    Reading Currently: The Making of On Her Majesty's Secret Service by Charles Helfenstein.

    I have a huge pile of James Bond books in general, I have read Some Kind of Hero by Ajay Chowdhury and Matthew Field. Great read, but it's funny how they talk about Danny Boyle doing Bond 25 before his leaving. Bond 25 will have a interesting reference book of it's own one day.

    That book about OHMSS is superb. The one on TLD by the same author is also excellent reading!

    It's arguably next on my list! I have also read James Bond in Our Sights: A Close Look at A View to a Kill by Andrew McNess. Highly Recommended! It goes in depth about things and characters that make the film a bit underrated.

    I've just purchased the book.
    And "He disagreed with something that ate him" by Cary Edwards, looking at both of Dalton's movies! Plan to read both over the Summer.

    I just finished The Making of OHMSS. I enjoyed it both for it's story and history. A must keep for me, and a must have for both Bond fans and movie fans! I plan to read either The Making of TLD or He Disagreed With Something That Ate Him next!
  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    Posts: 1,174
    He Disagreed With Something That Ate Him is the winner! It's short (and sweet), based on what I've heard!
  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    Posts: 1,174
    MaxCasino wrote: »
    He Disagreed With Something That Ate Him is the winner! It's short (and sweet), based on what I've heard!

    I read it and I enjoyed it! It gives some love where it's needed. It also made me think about TD's films and how much similar and different they are too James Bond as a whole culture.
  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    Posts: 1,174
    Now The Making of The Living Daylights by Charles Helfenstein.
  • Agent_99Agent_99 enjoys a spirited ride as much as the next girl
    Posts: 2,268
    Finally starting Licence to Thrill: A Cultural History of the James Bond Films, which has been on the To Read pile for a couple of years since I picked it up in a charity shop. Published in 1999, so I won't get to find out what the author made of DAD (I think there's an updated version that includes Craig).

    jamesbond.jpg
  • Posts: 13,030
    Are there any "must-have" Bond reference books available as ebooks? I Just got myself a Kindle Paperwhite, and thought it might be a good idea to supplement my book collection with a few Bond reference books.
  • Max_The_ParrotMax_The_Parrot ATAC to St Cyril’s
    Posts: 1,668
    Are there any "must-have" Bond reference books available as ebooks? I Just got myself a Kindle Paperwhite, and thought it might be a good idea to supplement my book collection with a few Bond reference books.

    Not sure where you are based, but here in the UK the Kindle version of Benson’s much-admired ‘James Bond Bedside Companion’ is only a couple of pounds.
  • goldenswissroyalegoldenswissroyale Switzerland
    edited November 2019 Posts: 1,395
    MaxCasino wrote: »
    Now The Making of The Living Daylights by Charles Helfenstein.

    Finished? It is almost as fantastic as the onone about OHMSS. Two great books.
  • Posts: 1,062
    Ironically, I pulled out Benson's Bedside Companion this week to read a few passages. It celebrates its 35th year in my collection this Xmas when I received it as a gift. It was unique then in being the first such book to combine the novels and film series into one edition. I can only imagine what an undertaking that must've been at that time.

    Before, those subjects were covered separately and I always liked the way it broke down the books I hadn't yet read and their highlights along with the way it categorized subjects in both novels and films. It was a refreshing approach.

    With all the countless reference books about Bond currently available, it's interesting to look back to when this book was released that the only other major such books were John Brosnan's James Bond in the Cinema and Steven Jay Rubin's The James Bond Films, along with the two mid '60s paperbacks about the novels.
  • Posts: 13,030
    Are there any "must-have" Bond reference books available as ebooks? I Just got myself a Kindle Paperwhite, and thought it might be a good idea to supplement my book collection with a few Bond reference books.

    Not sure where you are based, but here in the UK the Kindle version of Benson’s much-admired ‘James Bond Bedside Companion’ is only a couple of pounds.

    I'm based in Norway, so I'm directed to the US store when I'm making a purchase – which in this case will be $3.99. Not much of a difference to the couple of pounds in the UK store, fortunately.

    Anyway, thanks for the suggestion. I haven't read the James Bond Bedside Companion before. :-)
    BT3366 wrote: »
    Ironically, I pulled out Benson's Bedside Companion this week to read a few passages. It celebrates its 35th year in my collection this Xmas when I received it as a gift. It was unique then in being the first such book to combine the novels and film series into one edition. I can only imagine what an undertaking that must've been at that time.

    Before, those subjects were covered separately and I always liked the way it broke down the books I hadn't yet read and their highlights along with the way it categorized subjects in both novels and films. It was a refreshing approach.

    With all the countless reference books about Bond currently available, it's interesting to look back to when this book was released that the only other major such books were John Brosnan's James Bond in the Cinema and Steven Jay Rubin's The James Bond Films, along with the two mid '60s paperbacks about the novels.

    Interesting! I was under the impression that the Bedside Companion only covered the books. Did Benson focus more on the books or the films?
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 17,732
    MaxCasino wrote: »
    Now The Making of The Living Daylights by Charles Helfenstein.

    Finished? It is almost as fantastic as the onone about OHMSS. Two great books.

    Absolutely. I wish Helfenstein would do more of those.
  • Max_The_ParrotMax_The_Parrot ATAC to St Cyril’s
    Posts: 1,668
    Interesting! I was under the impression that the Bedside Companion only covered the books. Did Benson focus more on the books or the films?

    Yep, it covers the films as well - up to TLD, although it’s probably better known for it’s excellent coverage of the books. The films have been covered in so many other books that you’d probably get less out of those sections. Like you I don’t have a physical copy and hadn’t read the book before, so it seemed like a no-brainer at the price (which is still the same price I paid about a year ago!)

    Hope you enjoy if you pick it up.
  • Posts: 1,062
    I never did get the updated versions of Bedside Compannion, just the initial one. Just as many of us wished John Brosnan had updated James Bond in the Cinema past MR, we never got an updated Bedside Companion beyond the late '80s. It's been said considering Benson became a continuation author that it more or less made it a conflict of interest.

    Fortunately, he's written for 007 Magazine and Cinema Retro, where he did the excellent recaps of various year of film history. I'm always interested in reading his thoughts.

    I'll also shout my enthusiasm/enthusiasm for Charles Helfenstein to continue on from OHMSS and TLD any time. Just maybe he'll surprise us one day as he did with those books, which came out kind of quietly.
  • edited November 2019 Posts: 13,030
    Interesting! I was under the impression that the Bedside Companion only covered the books. Did Benson focus more on the books or the films?

    Yep, it covers the films as well - up to TLD, although it’s probably better known for it’s excellent coverage of the books. The films have been covered in so many other books that you’d probably get less out of those sections. Like you I don’t have a physical copy and hadn’t read the book before, so it seemed like a no-brainer at the price (which is still the same price I paid about a year ago!)

    Hope you enjoy if you pick it up.

    At that price I'm sure I will pick it up! Look forward to reading it – especially the parts covering the books (as you write, there's enough content covering the films).
    BT3366 wrote: »
    I never did get the updated versions of Bedside Compannion, just the initial one. Just as many of us wished John Brosnan had updated James Bond in the Cinema past MR, we never got an updated Bedside Companion beyond the late '80s. It's been said considering Benson became a continuation author that it more or less made it a conflict of interest.

    Fortunately, he's written for 007 Magazine and Cinema Retro, where he did the excellent recaps of various year of film history. I'm always interested in reading his thoughts.

    I'll also shout my enthusiasm/enthusiasm for Charles Helfenstein to continue on from OHMSS and TLD any time. Just maybe he'll surprise us one day as he did with those books, which came out kind of quietly.

    I haven't read the TLD one, but the OHMSS book by Charles Helfenstein was a great read. It's a special film that deserved a book like that going into detail about the production. We can only hope Helfenstein writes another!
  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    Posts: 1,174
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    MaxCasino wrote: »
    Now The Making of The Living Daylights by Charles Helfenstein.

    Finished? It is almost as fantastic as the onone about OHMSS. Two great books.

    Absolutely. I wish Helfenstein would do more of those.

    Sorry for the late response, it was phenomenal! I agree with both of you, I hope Helfenstein writes another, maybe on Dr. No or Casino Royale.
  • ggl007ggl007 www.archivo007.com Spain, España
    Posts: 2,356
    MaxCasino wrote: »
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    MaxCasino wrote: »
    Now The Making of The Living Daylights by Charles Helfenstein.

    Finished? It is almost as fantastic as the onone about OHMSS. Two great books.

    Absolutely. I wish Helfenstein would do more of those.

    Sorry for the late response, it was phenomenal! I agree with both of you, I hope Helfenstein writes another, maybe on Dr. No or Casino Royale.

    Check this for Dr. No:

    137255_s0.jpg

    Really good: https://cinemaretro.com/index.php?/archives/6888-COMING-IN-OCTOBER-2012-CINEMA-RETROS-MOVIE-CLASSICS-PRESENTS-DR.-NO-SPECIAL-EDITION-ISSUE!.html
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