Friday, October 23, 2015

Bond VS. Bond: The Many Faces of 007 Book Review

Paul Simpson's Bond VS. Bond: The Many Faces of 007 is one of the most comprehensive guides to the world's most famous secret agent and the litmus test for which all Spy-Fi fiction and cinematic drama is held to. The books basically asks the age old question, "Who is your favorite Bond? Sean Connery or Daniel Craig? Roger Moore or Pierce Brosnan? Roger Lazenby or Timothy Dalton?" The book does not stop there though, the book also explores the unofficial entries in the Bond franchise that includes the like of the classy gentleman David Niven and one of the most talented comedic and dramatic actors of the twentieth century, Peter Sellers. It even examines the very first dramatization of Casino Royale, which aired in 1954 on the CBS anthology series Climax! The black and white first adaptation starred Barry Nelson as Bond and Peter Lorre as LeChiffre. Beautiful black and white photos are included for this chapter as well as gorgeous full color photos and republication so of script pages and internal studio memos for the comedic 1967 version of Casino Royale.

The book explores in great detail with many photographs that include the original published paperback novel covers as well as Ian Fleming's Royal Quiet Deluxe Portable Gold Plated typewriter, which he bought himself as a present for finishing Casino Royale. Fleming's literary career is examined with great detail as we'll as his visit to one of the film sets and chatting it up with Producer Harry Saltzman and Actor Sean Connery. In addition to Fleming's novels,  Robert Markham and Anthony Horowitz novels as well as the radio dramatization are covered in detail as well and this is all before we even get the films featuring the six official Bonds. One-sheet art is displayed along with specific sections detailing the Bond girls, gadgets, guns and cars described or dramatized for all of the books, audio dramas, and movies. I am simply amazed at how comprehensive this book is, Besides an index, a bibliography and filmography for all Bond covered works is included at the end. The book even includes information and early publicity photos for Spectre, the twenty fourth official Bond book opening in cinemas in November of 2015. The book even covers United Artists attempts to cast an American Actor as Bond. Wisely it can be agreed that Bond should always be played by a British Actor. To find out who they considered is eye opening and according to the publisher, no other book at the time of my writing this review has analyzed every incarnation of James Bond in one volume.

The book itself comes in a nice jacket surrounding the hardcover elements that has identical artwork upon it too. There have been many Bond books over the years and there will certainly be more. This is the first Bond book I have ever owned so I cannot compare it to others. What I can state though on it's own merits, this is a great book for any Bond enthusiast and a great gift idea this holiday season for the Bond fan in your life. A companion book entitled James Bond Cars is due out this November.

Bond VS. Bond: The Many Faces of 007 by Paul Simpson, ISBN: 9781631060007, Hardcover, 208 pages with 150 photos and illustrations is available now at retailers on and offline courtesy of Race Point Publishing with a suggested retail price of $28.00 Dollars in the US, 18.00 in the UK and $34:00 in Canada.

(C) Copyright 2015 By Mark A. Rivera
All Rights Reserved.