How many Bond novels have you actually read?

saunderssaunders Living in a world of avarice and deceit
edited April 2011 in Literary 007 Posts: 987
Considering nowadays that most people are introduced to the world of James Bond through the medium of cinema and combined with the recent disappearance of so many old members and the welcome influx of so many new I'm really interested in how many current members actually have an interest in the literary side of James Bond and whether you feel the books are still relevant to the modern Bond fan.

So my question is have you read some, all or none of the books on James Bond by Ian Fleming, Kingsley Amis, John Pearson, John Gardner, Raymond Benson (spit!) or Sebastian Faulks?

Personally I've read all of them many times and feel they all very relevant to the modern Bond fanatic.


  • LudsLuds MIA
    edited April 2011 Posts: 1,986
    All the Fleming, Amis, Wood's adaptations, Gardner, Benson, Pearson, and Faulk. Only the first of the Young Bond though. ;)
  • Posts: 11,175
    All the Fleming novels (not the short stories though), High Time to Kill, Never Dream of Dying (both by Raymond Benson) and James Bond: The Authorised Biography (by John Pearson).

    I've got Devil May Care on my shelf but haven't got round to reading it yet.
  • Posts: 562
    Quoting Luds: All the Fleming, Amis, Gardner, Benson, Pearson, and Faulks. Only the first of the Young Bond though.
    Ditto. I constantly re-read the Fleming and Gardner novels, so I've read most of those multiple times.
  • AgentJamesBond007AgentJamesBond007 Vesper’s grave
    edited April 2011 Posts: 2,605
    All of the Fleming, Colonel Sun (Kingsley Amis), James Bond: The Authorised Biography of 007 (Pearson), Licence Renewed, Win, Lose, and Die, Icebreaker (all three by Gardner), Zero Minus Ten, High Time to Kill, Doubleshot, The Man with the Red Tattoo (Raymond Benson), Devil May Care (Faulks), and Young Bond 1 & 2.

    All great reads (except for DMC) and I'm still 14!
  • doubleonothingdoubleonothing Los Angeles Moderator
    Posts: 864
    I've read all the Fleming books and short stories as well as a few of the Gardener's, a Benson and the Faulks.

    As far as I'm concerned, the Fleming books are unbeatable, the Gardener ones I've read are decent, the Benson felt rather lifeless and Faulks' was almost an insult.

  • Samuel001Samuel001 Moderator
    edited June 2011 Posts: 13,335
    I've only read all of the Fleming novels and short stories, as well as Faulks' book and that's enough for me. I get the feeling anything non-Fleming wouldn't work. As can be seen from Devil May Care.
  • Posts: 91
    I've read the Flemings - all I think at last count! Also the Bensons (groan), the Faulks (let down) and a few of the Young Bonds.
  • St_GeorgeSt_George Shuttling Drax's lovelies to the space doughnut - happy 40th, MR!
    edited April 2011 Posts: 1,699
    The Flemings, Robert Markham/ Kingsley Amis's Colonel Sun (decent), Christopher Wood's TSWLM and MR adaptations (fun), one or two Gardners (snore), none of the Bensons, the first and second Young Bonds by Higson (not bad) and Faulks's effort (which, if you accept as parody more than anything, is sort of fun).

    Frankly, for me, if you read all the Flemings, then there's little need to read any others. Looking forward to finding out what Deaver's thing'll be like though. And, to that end, keeping a perfectly open mind about it too...
  • Posts: 7,652
    All of the Flemings, colonel Sun, 2x Chris Wood novelisations, Gardners (except for one of the later ones which I could not obtain), all of Benson, Faulks, The Higson 5, and Carte Blanche pre-ordered.
  • LudsLuds MIA
    Posts: 1,986
    Quoting SaintMark: 2x Chris Wood novelisations
    Added those to the list! Forgot all about those. They are very forgettable after all ;)
  • QsAssistantQsAssistant All those moments lost in time... like tears in rain
    Posts: 1,807
    I have only read "Casino Royale" and "Live and Let Die". Both good books, although I started skimming towards the end of "Live and Let Die". Getting ready to read "Moonraker".
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 21,345
    All of the Flemings, and more than once. None of the others, stubbornly, with the exception of the GE and TWINE novelizations. No intention of ever crawling beyond the literary legacy of Fleming.
  • Posts: 406
    Just read the Fleming novels and DAD novelisation
  • Posts: 116
    The Flemings, the Amis, most of the Gardners, one or two Bensons (meh), DMC (blech), I think that's everyone isn't it? My "Bond Thing" is almost entirely nostalgia for reading the Fleming novels over summers in the mid 1980's as a lad :)
  • edited May 2011 Posts: 139
    I've read/own all the novels & short stories (Fleming, Amis, Gardner, Benson, Faulks, Higson) as well as the Moneypenny Trilogy (Guardian Angel, Secret Servant & Final Fling) by Sam Wienberg.

    James Bond: The Authorised Biography of 007 (Pearson)

    Also have the unofficial novel 'The Killing Zone' by Jim Hatfield.
  • Posts: 592
    I've read all the Flemings (multiple, multiple times!), plus Amis, Gardner, Benson and Faulks. No Pearson or "Young Bond" titles, though.

    While I appreciated that "Devil May Care" was set in the 1960s, otherwise it was dreadfully bad.

  • Posts: 117
    I've read all the Flemings (multiple, multiple times!), plus Amis, Pearson, Faulks (spit!), all the Higsons, the Woods, the Hatfield (spit!), most of the Gardners and three of the Bensons. The Flemings are infinitely, infinitely superior to any of the others, in a completely different class. It's a kind of magic.
    I read my first Bond book in the year 1971 (can't remember which one it was though) at the age of 10, though I didn't understand much of it. In the summer and autumn of 1988 I read all the Flemings from CR through OP but since then I've re-read them on and off in no particular order.
  • PrinceKamalKhanPrinceKamalKhan Monsoon Palace, Udaipur
    Posts: 3,204
    By Fleming:

    TB, OHMSS, YOLT, TMWTGG, CR, MR, FRWL: 7 novels

    FAVTAK, FYEO, OP, TPOAL, TLD: 5 short stories

    By Wood: JBTSWLM, JBAM(I think. It's been a long time so I can't remember if I read all or just part of it): 2 novels

    By Gardner: LR, GE: 2 novels

    By Benson: ZMT, TFOD, TND, TWINE, DAD: 5 novels

    So 21 Bond novels and 5 short stories over all
  • Posts: 73
    There are NO Bond Novels.
    There are Ian Fleming Novels.
    The answer is ONE.
    I read Dr. No for an 8th Grade Book Report back in 1962.
  • Posts: 73
    Wait a Minute.
    The NOVELS are not really any good.
    THE MOVIES are what got Ian Fleming a Mansion in Bahama Islands.
    It's called a SCREEN PLAY.
    If you can take a Novel or Story and make it a MOVIE....THEN you become BOND.
    No one goes to the MOVIES to see a BOOK.
  • Posts: 117
    Hang about, hang about, that's a very narrow viewpoint - and this thread is supposed to be about the books.
    Quoting JB007LTK: The NOVELS are not really any good.
    How would you know?!? You'll probably find one or two people on this site that disagree with that opinion - including me. The Fleming novels are, in my opinion - f***in' awesome. So you read one, fifty years ago. Does that qualify you to say "they're not really any good?"
    I don't think so.
  • saunderssaunders Living in a world of avarice and deceit
    Posts: 987
    Well said Gaz1961, I've never played any Bond computer games because that's not my thing but I would never be narrow minded enough to just dismiss them as irrelevant to James Bond because of this. I can appreciate some people don't like reading or find it too difficult, and for them maybe the cinematic James Bond is the only true Bond, but they have my pity for they are missing a whole wealth of exciting and interesting exploits. As for your opinions JB007LTK, my own views are:

    In my opinion the NOVELS are very good.
    Ian Fleming didn't have a mansion in the Bahama Islands, his Jamaican home 'Goldeneye' was a modest medium sized bungalow on a couple of acres of land by the sea, and as for being bought with the movie royalties, it was purchased in 1946, and it was here he wrote his very first James Bond novel 'Casino Royale'
    I concede people don't go to a cinema to read a book (I believe they use libraries for that!), but they do go to see adaptions of books, the idea of saying Bond is not authentic until he reaches the celluloid screen is simply ludicrous, by your reckoning does this mean that the 'Da Vinci Code' was not a popular thriller until it was made into a film?

  • Posts: 117
    ...or The Lord Of The Rings? a ricidulous statement already!
  • Wait a Minute.
    THE MOVIES are what got Ian Fleming a Mansion in Bahama Islands.
    Actually, Old Boy, it was a decommissioning payment from DNI office, a salary from Kelmsley House for his role as Foreign manager that paid for Goldeneye. Renting it out to celebrities and the aristocracy, including a Prime Minister paid for the upkeep.

    Fleming left approximately £200,000 from his estate when he died and that included a sizeable sum left to himself by Mrs Val [His mother] when he died. Although Fleming benefitted in the very twilight of his life from a deal done with Eon, he didn't really get to enjoy it for both his health deteriorated and he was to fight a lengthy legal battle with one of the joint writers of the screenplay of Thunderball, which he borrowed heavily from for the novel.

    So, in fact, he was lucky not to lose everything down to the very FIRST original screenplay to be written for cinema.

    Swot up, Old Boy.

  • Oh, and all of the Fleming novels, Faulks and Deaver. Including about fifty biographical books.
  • edited July 2011 Posts: 4,622
    To answer the question. Every book I could get my paws on which is all of them so far.

    Although I can't claim full completeness. There are two Benson short stories and both MP Diaries shorts that I have not read.

    14 Fleming plus OO7 in New York -check
    14 Gardners- check
    6 Bensons- check
    1 Colonel Sun- Check
    1 Pearson Bond Authorized Bi0- check
    1 Devil May Care- check
    7 Screenplay Adaptations- check
    5 Young Bonds and YB Dossier with short story- check
    3 MP Diaries- check
    1 Benson Short published in Playboy- check

    Based on this data Carte Blanche will be the 53rd full length Bond adventure book to be published spanning 10 different authors.
  • Posts: 406
    All of Flemings, Colonel Sun, DAD Novelization, Devil May Care but I have licence renewed and carte blanche sitting in the wardrobe ready to be read once my uni exams are over in 3 weeks times
  • Posts: 321
    I haven't actually read any of the Bond novels, even after picking up Carte Blanche when it was released.

    I have all the Fleming titles and various Benson and Garnder novels along with Devil May Care and Carte Blanche. I also have the 5 Young Bond novels as part of the collection I have.

    I am at the point now where I feel that I MUST read them and wondered if there was a definitive guide anywhere that I can have a look over to see the best order in which to read them, including all non-fleming titles.

    It may be that it is actually on the forum and my apologies if I have missed it somewhere but any help would be much appreciated.

    Many thanks
  • NicNacNicNac Administrator, Moderator
    Posts: 7,513
    Order of publication would be the best way, although there is a suggestion that you could start with Young Bond, then stick to publication order, except slip DMC in after Octopussy and before Colonel Sun.
    Good luck
  • Posts: 4,748
    I just bought Moonraker the novel at a cheap used items store for $1.25 on Monday, and I've read the first 15 pages so far. I had no idea that Bond actually did some desk work every now and then. I just assumed he was whisked away on another whirlwind adventure after his usual two-week leave of absence.
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