What Bond reference book are you reading?

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  • Posts: 3,229
    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: 7
    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: 7
    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 Schloss Drache ~ Defender of the Continuation.
    edited June 14 Posts: 12,693
    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.
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