Bond Book Butchery

PropertyOfALadyPropertyOfALady Colders Federation CEO
in Literary 007 Posts: 3,533
I came across an email dated January 4, 2016 in which I laid into IFP for getting the text of John Gardner's Nobody Lives Forever wrong in the Kindle version. The audiobook has additional text. After consulting with our resident John Gardner expert @Dragonpol on the matter (with him looking up the passage in question from his 1986 Coronet edition), we came to the conclusion that the Kindle edition is correct. This morning, @moneyofpropre2 brought up a question about the 2017 Vintage Books editions being edited and having passages removed, especially Live and Let Die's chapter 5 being edited from "Nigger Heaven" to "Fifth Avenue", and three pages of dialogue between a Black couple at a restaurant where Bond eats with Leiter being removed.

Why do I bring this up? I think it would be kind of neat to have a crowdsourced thread to denote differences across all the Bond books and the various editions. I'll start with what I know: all of the Ian Fleming Bonds on Kindle are presented unedited and begin with the note "The text in this edition has been restored by the Fleming family company Ian Fleming Publications, to reflect the work as it was originally published."

Icebreaker by John Gardner has several changes:

The audio book version goes like this:

Administrative offices and a radio room extend to left and right of this passage which ends, abruptly, at a pair of heavy, high doors, the entrance to a long, narrow room, bare but for its massive conference table and attendant chairs, together with facilities for showing films, V.T.R., and slides.

The original passage is:

Administrative offices and a radio room extend to left and right of this passage which ends, abruptly, at a pair of heavy, high doors leading to a long, narrow room, bare but for its massive conference table and chairs, together with facilities for showing films, V.T.R., and slides.


Nobody Lives Forever has this for Kindle:

This time she pulled away, gently putting her fingers to his mouth. ‘I’m sorry, James. But no.’ There was the ghost of a smile as she said, ‘I’m a good convent girl, remember. But that’s not the only reason. If you’re serious, be patient. Now, goodnight, and thank you for the lovely evening.’ ‘I should thank you, Principessa,’ he said with a shade of formality. He watched as she closed her door, then went slowly to his own room, swallowed a couple of Dexedrine tablets and prepared to sit up all night, ready for anything.


The 1986 Coronet edition:

This time she pulled away, gently putting her fingers to his mouth. ‘I’m sorry, James. But no.’ There was the ghost of a smile as she said, ‘I’m a good convent girl, remember. But that’s not the only reason. If you’re serious, be patient. Now, goodnight, and thank you for the lovely evening.’ ‘I should thank you, Principessa,’ he said with a touch of formality. He watched as she closed her door, then went slowly to his own room, swallowed a couple of Dexedrine tablets and prepared to sit up all night.

Get to it!

Comments

  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 30,345
    Interesting, but I don't really have any input.
  • NickTwentyTwoNickTwentyTwo Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts: 4,021
    YOLT film butchered YOLT novel. I’ll read the OP when I’m off work to see if I’m on topic here. ;)
  • edited December 2020 Posts: 679
    Yeah, it would be good to have somewhere a sort of guide that tell us what edition have or haven't the text pristine (missing, censorship, and is the UK or the US text?).

    Concerning, Nobody Lives Forever. We know there is differences between UK & US edition (like in COLD), maybe you want to compare the kindle/coronet/audio to tthe points of compraisons that had been evoked here : https://web.archive.org/web/20060127215050/http://www.007forever.com/books/faq011.html ?

    BTW I have a e-book of Nobody Lives Forever (which is not on Kindle) dated from 2011 and the text in it is the one of what you listed as Coronet edition (seems to be the UK text). What do you have for chapter 17? My E-book have the "The room was white, furnished with glass tables, soft white armchairs, and valuable modern paintings" of the UK text cited on 007Forever. If we have 2 differents e-book, It would mean that IFP have updated the Kindle version since 2011, update that included change of the text ? Or do Kindle send the US version to people who are from USA like you?


  • PropertyOfALadyPropertyOfALady Colders Federation CEO
    Posts: 3,533
    Looks like I too have the UK ebook text. Mine is published June 2013 though.
  • Posts: 109
    This is something I've tried to figure out for sometime. I've read on other forums before mentioning that some of Gardner's novels were cut or altered between US and UK versions. The above seems to be perhaps some difference in US and UK phrases?
  • echoecho 007 in New York
    Posts: 4,282
    I remember as a kid reading one of the Bond books and thinking, "What's a lorry?"
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 8,489
    Not outright butchery, but there are the minor differences in titles and how they were marketed in the UK versus the US.

    John Gardner's COLD in the UK, COLD Fall in the US.

    dd89b5086edd3c43b87ea50903b5a0878961e6ab.png


    Or the subtler Nobody Lives For Ever, and Nobody Lives Forever.

    c0166ed2f6fa72fc1c9b444dcce87343d3f290e6.png

    More egregious (but beautiful on their own) were the paperback US versions of Ian Fleming's of Casino Royale and Moonraker.

    ce36b3e9569dfecf38c83f02252024e4cdf3ab75.png

    be6888f3f19751a4f8a03e8271e84a6114e06c33.png

  • PropertyOfALadyPropertyOfALady Colders Federation CEO
    Posts: 3,533
    I really don't get the title swaps there. They have absolutely nothing to do with the plots.
  • More importantly, imo, ...... Jimmy Bond?
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    edited June 1 Posts: 14,264
    TheBondFan wrote: »
    More importantly, imo, ...... Jimmy Bond?

    I think that edition was a kind of tie-in with the CBS TV adaptation of Casino Royale from 1954, starring Barry Nelson in the lead role. He was referred to as "Card Sharp" Jimmy Bond in that adaptation. Presumably that description on the novel didn't go any further than the back cover and didn't actually feature in the text itself.
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