Bond’s Literary News

A thread honoring 70 years of James Bond. Let’s start it off with IFP giving us a new logo.

Signs of more information to come.


They release these with the “not final cover” artwork…

Off to a good start for the 70th!

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U.S. covers

That’s going to be a hard pass from me…

Not particularly effort-rich, those.

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It’s typical of modern book design, though. Easy to read and make sense of when reduced to a thumbnail on Amazon, but dull and charmless at full size on the actual product.

And now that we know that the interiors will be censored and sanitized from the originals, I’m not totally sure what incentive there is to purchase any of these.


Could be worse - we could find out they are just using stock photos for the cover art :roll_eyes:


In Canada, where Fleming is in public domain, an annotated edition of Casino Royale was released in 2020 by Broadview Press. I haven’t read it because it can’t be sold outside Canada, but a look at the table of contents suggests it’s a serious effort that provides extensive context to the novel and helps modern readers understand what went into the book.

Now just imagine if IFP had decided to emulate Broadview’s example for the 70th anniversary, instead of what it actually did. It could even have profited by marketing two 70th anniversary sets—a fully annotated one loaded with extras for the hardcore fans and collectors, and a lightly annotated one that had short contextual introductions for problematic books like LALD. Wouldn’t that have been wonderful? As it is, we’re a quarter of the way into the anniversary year and I’m wishing it never happened.


Those US covers are shocking. If somebody got paid to “design” that, then they’re stealing a living. And what’s with the font choice? Between that and the censorship, are they trying to sabotage the whole anniversary releases?


I still think it’s hilarious that they released the e-book versions with a “not final cover” placeholder as a cover. It’s as if the 70th anniversary snuck up on them.

Cool to see the FolioSociety is sticking to the original texts.

It really points up how bizarre this whole thing is. There are so many printings of this material to be found without tremendous effort, and in a few years anyone will be able to print even more versions. White-washing one particular set seems so pointless. Even if you believe the content poses some danger to society, it’s like putting a band-aid on a cancer.

Maybe it’s just to distinguish them from the other versions for future collectors? We’ve got the Pans, the Signets, the Folios and now the PC’s? I suppose there could be a few OCD collectors out there who’ll be compelled to buy them for the sake of completeness.


Given the price of Folio books, they are definitely aiming for a collectors market.

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Collectors wanting to spend extra for great binding and paper and beautiful art plates I can understand.

Collectors who want a censored, vandalised version of the texts just to say they have everything…not so much.

That said, for years I’ve kept a copy of Charles Higham’s “biography” of Errol Flynn despite the fact that it’s full of debunked, libelous falsehoods, or maybe because of them. Whole other books have been written disproving Higham’s claims, to the point where the book itself has taken on a historical significance for anyone interested in Flynn’s life. So even though as a work of scholarship it’s fit only for the rubbish bin, in another sense it belongs in the library of any serious Flynn fan. Maybe these new versions of the Bond books will fill a similar role.

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I’m think Folio came to the same conclusion.

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I doubt it will happen, Bond is one of Folio’s best selling collections already, but if they really wanted to capitalise on selling the unedited Fleming editions, it wouldn’t hurt if Folio dropped the prices a little to attract more buyers.

Cover art for the UK editions of the books I will never buy…

Those covers are superior to the new US covers, as the case always seems to be, yet they still pale in comparison to the Penguin Centenary Collection and Vintage Collection covers.

I have the Vintage Collection box set which I was happy to find but I would gladly buy all the books again to get those Penguin covers.


Slightly more invention - The Spy who Loved Me is quite clever - but still a smidge pfft. Hey ho.

(I have no actual practical suggestion for what I would have liked, other than paperbacks with the original first edition art on them but my imagination stops there).


The fact that “Live and Let Die” looks like a burning book is so damn ironic