What is everyone’s three favorite and three least favorite 007 books, not by Ian Fleming? And why? I still need to read more but by the end of the year I should have more time. Young Bond, Dynamite Comics etc. are welcome as well!
I haven’t read enough of the continuation novel for my opinion on those to mean much, but I highly recommend some of the non-fiction Bond books, like The Battle for Bond, The Man with the Golden Typewriter, Some Kind of Hero, one of Roger Moore’s books, one of Charles Helfenstein’s books, or a Fleming biography…
I’m collecting all of Roger Moore’s books first, as he is a fun writer as I’ve told.
Christopher Wood’s James Bond, The Spy Who Loved Me is a terrific read and very, very Fleming in places. It successfully manages to be both a good adaptation of the film and a very good Bond novel.
Charlie Higson’s By Royal Command is a fitting culminatiuon to Higson’s arc on Young Bond. I really hoped he would do some books on Bond’s WW2 service. This one really feels like the moment Bond started becoming Bond the man rather than Bond the boy.
Ooh… I’m going to go for Anthony Horowitz’s Trigger Mortis just ahead of Colonel Sun, though tomorrow it might be different. I liked the feel of both books. They both felt like genuine Bond - Colonel Sun has a better villain and torture scene IMHO but in today’s mood, Trigger Mortis just edges it.
Honourable mentions to Licence Renewed which I adored when it came out, Icebreaker (very twisty, turny) the novelisation of Moonraker (not as good as JB, TSWLM but still very enjoyable), Double or Die, James Bond, An Authorised Biography, The Battle for Bond and Roger Moore’s My Word is my Bond.
I won’t mention my least favourite three. I’m a writer by trade and it would feel like a professional discourtesy to be openly negative about another writer.
Forever and a Day
The Authorised Biography of 007
All the Higson books as well.
Charles Helfenstein’s two making of books (OHMSS and TLD) are also excellent.
For Special Services
Never Dream of Dying
For Special Services.
Nobody Lives Forever.
High Time to Kill.
The Man With the Red Tattoo.
As for least favorites, the later Gardner books were not nearly as good as his first few. I think he ran out of steam.
The three favorites:
James Bond and Moonraker by Christopher Wood
James Bond The spy who loved me also by Wood
and the Autorished Biography of 007 by John Pearson
The least favorites:
The man from Barbarossa by John Gardner
No deals, Mr. Bond by Gardner
Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver
There’s a fantastic book called “The Politics of James Bond” by Jeremy Black that traces the films from the 60s to the 90s. Very enlightening. Explains why the movies are never set in a former commonwealth (sorry, Australia.)
Also Raymond Benson’s James Bond Bedside Companion.
As for Bond books:
Colonel Sun by Markham/Amis
Authorized Biography by Pearson
James Bond, The Spy Who Loved Me novelization by Christopher Wood
Icebreaker by Gardner
No Deals, Mr. Bond by Gardner
Win, Lose or Die by Gardner
The Facts of Death by Benson
Double Shot by Benson
Never Dream of Dying by Benson
Admittedly, some of these aren’t the best, I just remember enjoying reading them.
Role of Honour
The Man from Barbarossa