Best book about Bond ?

edited October 2012 in Literary 007 Posts: 269
I hope this discussion does not exists already.

So what is your favourite Book about the James Bond phenomenon ?

For me, "Licence to thrill" by James Chapman has been my favourite for years. But I'm currently discovering "The feminism of James Bond" by Robert Caplen and I really enjoy reading it !

The "Bond on set" books also figure on a very good place on my Bond shelf.

What about you ?

Comments

  • Interested to know more about Licence To Thrill, as I have noticed that one online a few times. What makes it such a good book?
  • Samuel001Samuel001 Moderator
    Posts: 13,305
    The Battle for Bond is another must read for all Bond fans.
  • Samuel001 wrote:
    The Battle for Bond is another must read for all Bond fans.

    I'll second that, very interesting book. Have the paperback. I do wish more of the non fiction Bond books were available on Kindle
  • James Bond The Legacy. It's full of intresting stuff about every film, including the unofficial ones if I remember right, from DN to DAD.

    Even though it's now 3 films behind, I still think it's the best book about Bond.
  • Lancaster007Lancaster007 Shrublands Health Clinic, England
    Posts: 1,874
    Battle for Bond is a must, and if you like OHMSS (and what real Bond fan doesn't) then Charles Helfenstien's The Making of On Her Majesty's Secret Service is a great book covering everything you could want to know about how a film gets made. Brilliant.
  • ggl007ggl007 www.archivo007.com Spain, España
    Posts: 2,476
    Remember The James Bond Bedside Companion? Still a classic...

    James Bond The Legacy is the best... until we could see the Taschen one...
  • Posts: 1,052
    The Legacy book is pretty extensive, with history about Fleming and the deal with Cubby and Harry, good discussion about each film right up through to DAD.

    Licence to Thrill by James Chapman, is not bad but the author is fairly pretentious and tends to read too much into a lot of things!
  • Posts: 267
    Ytterbium wrote:
    I hope this discussion does not exists already.

    So what is your favourite Book about the James Bond phenomenon ?

    For me, "Licence to thrill" by James Chapman has been my favourite for years. But I'm currently discovering "The feminism of James Bond" by Robert Caplen and I really enjoy reading it !

    The "Bond on set" books also figure on a very good place on my Bond shelf.

    What about you ?

    Dear Ytterbium,
    IMHO the best books about Bond are Andrew Lycett's brilliant biography of Fleming and the late, great Kingsley Amis book "The James Bond Dossier".
    Regards,
    Bentley
  • MalloryMallory Are you ready to get back to work?
    Posts: 1,442
    I would echo the previous statements about James Bond: The Legacy. Its quite a bit out of date but it does give a very comprehensive behind the scenes view of Bond. If you are after just general bond information, then The James Bond Encyclopedia is a fun read, but doesnt contain that much new stuff.
  • Posts: 269
    Interested to know more about Licence To Thrill, as I have noticed that one online a few times. What makes it such a good book?
    James Chapman is an academic who re-reads the success of the Bond books and films throughout history, in relation to the international and cultural context. He proposes a lot of elements, beyond the production deals, explaining the good reception of each film, and how they react and match with the spirit of the time.
    Beyond that, he delivers some good analysis, his description of the English Films just before Dr No is very relevant. I would recommend the book only for the introduction named "taking Bond seriously".

    I agree with identigraph, the author is a bit snobby, and the explanations are sometime far-fetched. But I wouldn't say he's pretentious. I saw him giving a public lecture on Bond, and the guy definitely knows his subject (and is also a huge fan).

    I like this book, because beyond the writing style I really enjoy, it proposes some insights to the Bond saga through originals angles. Even if not always relevant, it's excellent and serious food for thoughts.

    I'm looking forward to reading the Lycett's biography. I also attended one of his lecture on Fleming's life : it was like watching Desmond Llewelyn talking about his gadgets : with great fondness in the voice, and a huge respect for Ian Fleming.

    Since you all recommend it, I shall acquire James Bond: The Legacy. I thought it was just another book on Bond only with pictures and known facts.
  • edited October 2012 Posts: 20
    Henry Chancellor's James Bond: The man and his world has an excellent biography of Fleming and sections exploring various aspects of the Bond's life: food, villains, women, cars/gadgets, nature etc.
  • Bond: The legacy is a Titan of a book. Wonderful glossy pics, well written and insightful and also good states. The only down side is it doesn't stretch into the Craig era.
  • Major_BoothroydMajor_Boothroyd Republic of Isthmus
    Posts: 2,691
    I just ordered The Battle For Bond and The Making of OHMSS. Should be here in a few days. Can't wait. So Thunderball (and by extension NSNA) is covered. OHMSS is covered and I know that there is the one about A View To A Kill. Are there any other books about the making of individual Bond films? Independent critical ones like these, not simply EON approved tie-ins that are timed to coincide with the release dates?
  • The James Bond Archives. It gives readers an in-depth look at behind the scene photo's, gadgets, storyboards, & interviews with the directors & the actors who have played James Bond.
  • 001001
    edited December 2012 Posts: 1,575
    The James Bond Archives. It gives readers an in-depth look at behind the scene photo's, gadgets, storyboards, & interviews with the directors & the actors who have played James Bond.

    How much did you get it for? The best price i've seen for it is $144 at bookdepository.com.

    My best book is James Bond The Legacy.
    The Art of bond i recommend and it's cheap.

  • edited December 2012 Posts: 546
    001 wrote:
    The James Bond Archives. It gives readers an in-depth look at behind the scene photo's, gadgets, storyboards, & interviews with the directors & the actors who have played James Bond.

    How much did you get it for? The best price i've seen for it is $144 at bookdepository.com.

    My best book is James Bond The Legacy.
    The Art of bond i recommend and it's cheap.

    It cost $122 on Amazon. But it's well worth it.
  • Posts: 202
    I enjoy this one:
    http://www.amazon.com/James-Bond-Movie-Posters-Collection/dp/0811836258

    Excellent collection of Bond art for one book and the images are nicely printed, too.
  • 007InVT007InVT Classified
    edited August 2013 Posts: 893
    @Bentley

    Yes, Lycett's is the best bio out there. I've been in touch with him in fact about a family connection during Fleming's stockbroker years, he's a very nice man.

    Amis' book is great but I recommend O.F. Snelling's James Bond: A Report too. It's very funny in parts and spot on with his observations.

    5524e39b4278f7b9d76b9b95f9755d64.jpg
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    edited August 2013 Posts: 14,723
    Kingsley Amis' The James Bond Dossier would surely be up there for the literary side of James Bond. I bought my copy for 10p at a town fair on 1 August 1998 and I still treasure it as the cornerstone of my Bond book collection!
  • edited August 2013 Posts: 12,379
    I think James Bond The Legacy is the best.

    I also recently enjoyed the making of TLD. Might get the OHMSS one at some point.
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    Posts: 9,117
    The James Bond Dossier by Amis and The James Bond Bedside Companion by Benson have yet to be bettered.

    Sad really as they are both ancient.
  • ggl007ggl007 www.archivo007.com Spain, España
    Posts: 2,476
    The Making of OHMSS is a masterpiece. It´s only about one film, but still brilliant and impressive...
  • 007InVT007InVT Classified
    Posts: 893
    This is an interesting video panel with Lycett and Seb Faulks, love him or hate him.

  • I'm surprised no one has mentioned "The Bond Files" by Andy Lane & Paul Simpson. It was a pretty comprehensive (at the time) look at Bond in all his incarnations. I wish they would do a new updated one!
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 14,723
    Jaggedpulp wrote:
    I'm surprised no one has mentioned "The Bond Files" by Andy Lane & Paul Simpson. It was a pretty comprehensive (at the time) look at Bond in all his incarnations. I wish they would do a new updated one!

    Indeed. That is another great one, though it does need to be updated for this new era.
  • Posts: 2,531
    Bentley wrote:
    Ytterbium wrote:
    I hope this discussion does not exists already.

    So what is your favourite Book about the James Bond phenomenon ?

    For me, "Licence to thrill" by James Chapman has been my favourite for years. But I'm currently discovering "The feminism of James Bond" by Robert Caplen and I really enjoy reading it !

    The "Bond on set" books also figure on a very good place on my Bond shelf.

    What about you ?

    Dear Ytterbium,
    IMHO the best books about Bond are Andrew Lycett's brilliant biography of Fleming and the late, great Kingsley Amis book "The James Bond Dossier".
    Regards,
    Bentley

    I'll second that! I have this Lycett book. I've been meaning to read it a second time.

  • edited September 2013 Posts: 2,531
    The Book Of Bond
    or Every Man Has His Own 007
    by Lt. - Col. William ('Bill') Tanner

    1965 Jonathan Cape

    "A glorious guide to easy do-it-yourself Bondmanship...authoritatively compiled by 'Bill' Tanner - M's No. 2 and a close friend of Bond's for many years."

    It'll teach you "how to look, what to wear, eat drink and smoke and how to acquire a Bond woman of your very own!"

    This book did wonders for me and still does! :) It sits proudly in my James Bond bookcase.
  • Posts: 686
    Bounine wrote:
    The Book Of Bond
    or Every Man Has His Own 007
    by Lt. - Col. William ('Bill') Tanner

    1965 Jonathan Cape

    "A glorious guide to easy do-it-yourself Bondmanship...authoritatively compiled by 'Bill' Tanner - M's No. 2 and a close friend of Bond's for many years."

    It'll teach you "how to look, what to wear, eat drink and smoke and how to acquire a Bond woman of your very own!"

    This book did wonders for me and still does! :) It sits proudly in my James Bond bookcase.

    I have the Viking version - only difference is it doe not have the reversible jacket.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    edited September 2013 Posts: 14,723
    Bounine wrote:
    Bentley wrote:
    Ytterbium wrote:
    I hope this discussion does not exists already.

    So what is your favourite Book about the James Bond phenomenon ?

    For me, "Licence to thrill" by James Chapman has been my favourite for years. But I'm currently discovering "The feminism of James Bond" by Robert Caplen and I really enjoy reading it !

    The "Bond on set" books also figure on a very good place on my Bond shelf.

    What about you ?

    Dear Ytterbium,
    IMHO the best books about Bond are Andrew Lycett's brilliant biography of Fleming and the late, great Kingsley Amis book "The James Bond Dossier".
    Regards,
    Bentley

    I'll second that! I have this Lycett book. I've been meaning to read it a second time.

    I'll third that. Lycett's biography is my first port of call for a Fleming/Bond query! An excellent piece of work!
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