Forever And A Day - Anthony Horowitz (SPOILERS! BEWARE!)


There’s no shame in enjoying something.

But when one starts to stop noticing bad style and lack of research it should give one pause to consider what one expects from entertainment.

Especially when those errors could have/should have been easily corrected before one hands over good money for it.


Given Bond is by its nature incredibly unrealistic, going through a book to find things that wouldnt be like that in real life is possibly the most pointlessly pedantic exercise you could do - second only to trying that with Star Wars.


Yeah, but - enjoying something for sheer entertainment´s sake and pointing out errors or wobbly style do not exclude each other.

And as I stated before: I did not even notice those errors because I read the book for sheer pleasure (which I only got at some points). Which tells you a lot about how shoddily I actually read it.


Definition of fandom right there.


Lest we forget…

Fleming himself had a number of passages picked apart, mostly stuff hinging on obscure details that never bothered the general readership but made the nerds in their respective fields write him letters debating their hobbyhorses, cars, clothes, drinks, guns…

Then again, not everything is permitted under artistic licence. Some of the examples given above point out how important thorough editing is. I’m sure Horowitz wouldn’t have left some of these awkward phrases or wordings unchanged if they had just been pointed out to him.


Where do you draw the line?

We have a thread dedicated to finding errors in the films, so why not the books?

Anybody surprised to learn that Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight books are festering with proofreading errors? Some of the blemishes include “whose/who’s”, “though/through”, “reign/rain”, “past/passed” and “relived/relieved”. Meyer also does not understand or seem to care where “east” and “west” are on a map.

According to one of the blogs I link to, “Apparently, Meyer’s original version looked like it was written by a person who failed middle school English courses. Her own brother pointed out that the version she submitted was nigh impossible to read due to the huge number of spelling and grammar errors.” FWIW, Meyer “received a National Merit Scholarship and attended Brigham Young University, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree (1997) in English literature.”




Twilight - Grammatical Errors Showing 1-50 of 382

Even a Twilight fan site has a dedicated thread!

The tumblr blog “Reasoning with Vampires” blog has spawned 109 pages of proof-reading errors. Points to the owner for coining the term “paracrap”, i.e. a badly written paragraph. This highly entertaining blog concludes with the gem: “How much time do you think it takes to find problems with Twilight? I don’t have to spend hours with a magnifying glass searching for the next thing to bitch about. I turn the page and voilá!”

Let me conclude with this immortal gem:

D-Day: [to Bluto] War’s over, man. Wormer dropped the big one.

Bluto: What? Over? Did you say “over”? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!

Otter: [to Boon] Germans?

Boon: Forget it, he’s rolling.


I still haven’t even touched it.


Wrong spelling and factual errors should never be tolerated. They can and should easily be corrected before a book is sold.

They might not prohibit one from enjoying the whole story. But they remain a sign of shoddy work, exhibiting a carelessness and even contempt for the audience who does not need anything better.

Would you accept a badly cooked meal because - heck - it tastes well enough?

Would you wear clothes who are barely stitched together? Would you like to sit down on a chair which could break down any second because it was made without care?

This is, actually, an important thread since it points out how far we already have fallen from a standard which should be the norm.


Think it’s more an overworked editor. Did the minimum of readthroughs so they could get through the other authors’ work before the mornings deadline.

I’d point out the issues are so small that they where only noticed by one person who went looking for them on a James Bond fan forum.


They are definitely worse in other books. But either one strives for excellence or one doesn’t. Excuses can always be made.

I applaud Glidrose for pointing at this problem.


I can’t abide typos in this day and age. Even before spellcheckers, I couldn’t abide.

It is one reason why I won’t buy Some Kind of Hero which is apparently littered with them. And another reason why I find reading the MI-6 website a trifle hard going as all sorts of typo nonsense is strewn around its estate.


It is the problem with using the computer rather than manually checking - a word that isn’t wrong in isolation but is in that context isn’t picked up by many spell checkers (Their horse and they’re horse are both right according a computers spell checker, for example, and you can imagine the chaos caused by a misplaced comma)

Ideally, it’s what you want an editor to look for.


But you are so wrong, Mr Orion! [Misquoting Le Chiffre here.]

At least five people noticed them. If you had carefully read my original post you would have noticed that I had credited author, illustrator, editor (and ex-Royal Navy!) Rik Morton with finding some of these errors. I even linked to his website. Of those four other errors, three - Woodrow Wilson, Cumbria and the Marie Celeste - were found by Amazon reviewers. The only two I actually noticed were “fourteen months after the end of the trial” and “slither/sliver”.


Fair enough.

Extra credit for paraphrasing Casino Royale, putting me in the Bond role while you’re at it.


The U.S. edition apparently reprints the UK edition in toto with British spellings and proofreading errors.

FAAD has failed to place on either the New York Times or the Los Angeles Times bestsellers lists.

It also failed to make the top 150 bestselling books on USA Today’s combined list. For the week ending 11/11/2018 the following books placed

#55 Beastie Boys Book, Michael Diamond, Adam Horovitz
#58 Hindsight, Justin Timberlake
#73 To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee (1960)
#102 The Mamba Mentality: How I Play, Kobe Bryant
#104 In Pieces, Sally Field
#108 The Complete Ketogenic Diet for Beginners, Amy Ramos
#120 The Andromeda Strain, Michael Crichton (1969)
#123 Why Religion? A Personal Story, Elaine Pagels
#125 The Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson (1959)
#130 The Highlander Who Protected Me, Vanessa Kelly
#133 Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Truman Capote (1958)

Kirkus Reviews: “Horowitz unfolds this tale in prose as knowingly workmanlike as Ian Fleming’s, and readers hungry for details of Bond’s origin story will find out why he demands his martinis shaken, not stirred. But although he conscientiously hits all the obligatory notes, taking care not to outshine his master, there’s nothing here that would make the unwary suspect how fiendishly inventive Horowitz can be when he’s not laboring in Bond’s shadow ( The Word Is Murder , 2018, etc.). Crisp, unpretentious, and bound to please the legion of fans for whom a world of Bond is never enough.”


I’m tbh not surprised - I discussed this with @Dustin on the Bond comics thread, and it equally applies here, these are only ever going to sell to huge fans of the series, selling best when there’s a hugely popular adaptation in TV or film, which (I really hope) the publishers must be aware

Btw, It fills me with joy that To Kill A Mockingbird is still a best seller. Still such a powerful book.


And one other thing: to end up on one of these bestseller lists today you must do serious business: FAAD competes with a couple of literary and genre classics (one of which even has a Netflix show to provide pop culture support) and tomes by - after a fashion - celebrities with millions of fans around the globe. On top of countless long-running thriller/mystery series that no doubt also have a firm hold on some of those 150 ranks.

In the absence of any big promotional campaign - that I am aware of - it would have been most surprising if FAAD, without a Bond film in theatres that would promote the book, had landed in the upper 20. But that need not concern as long as the book sells to the enthusiasts and satisfies that readership.


This. Very this.


Just for the record. We are still waiting for a Spanish translation of Trigger Mortis OR Forever and a Day.


As far as I can see there seems to be no German edition planned either as yet. But I haven’t followed the fate of the German editions for some time, I could be wrong. Trigger Mortis didn’t seem to sell so well, doesn’t surprise me the publisher skipped on the sequel.