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James Bond: The Authorized Bio of 007


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#31 Solex Agitator

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Posted 02 May 2004 - 05:02 AM

Hey Zencat! GREAT article! Brought back alot of memories of when and where I purchased this book in the mid 70s!

I rather like this book. It has such spirit. I have often dreamt of this book being turned into a film. A James Bond documentary made like a propaganda film.

Again, thanks! I am inspired to crack open my worn paperback copy again after many years.

#32 MrDraco

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Posted 02 May 2004 - 05:01 PM

i have this book sitting on my shelf from an action i won and never had a chance to read it cos i thought it was a corny wanna be james bond book, humm i'll have to get it out and read it as soon as i'm done with the Ludlum's i'm reading... coolness

#33 Tanger

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Posted 02 May 2004 - 05:09 PM

Definitely do read it at the earliest oppurtunity. It really is that great. And for those who don't own a copy, my advice is track one down as soon as possible, it's so very much worth it.

#34 Johnboy007

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Posted 02 May 2004 - 05:49 PM

Sometime this week, I hope to persuade one of the credit card carrying members of the family to order this from Half or ABE, along with the Wood novelisations.

#35 Qwerty

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Posted 02 May 2004 - 06:05 PM

This will be the first thing I buy the next time I make purchases on eBay.

#36 zencat

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Posted 02 May 2004 - 06:45 PM

I'm pleased to see how much this article seems to have reignited interest in this book (just as deths original thread reignited me). In these dark days of no continuation novels, and the dubious prospect of "Young James Bond" ahead, it's the perfect time for Bond fans to pick up and read this terrific book.

I'm still hunting for the 1985 hardcover editions by HaperCollins or Granada. If anyone come across either of these in their search, please let me know. :)

#37 Blofeld's Cat

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Posted 17 May 2004 - 12:26 PM

I'm still hunting for the 1985 hardcover editions by HaperCollins or Granada. If anyone come across either of these in their search, please let me know. :)

Zen, do you have either the Sidgwick & Jackson or Morrow 1st edition? Biblioz have a listing for these.

#38 zencat

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Posted 17 May 2004 - 02:32 PM

I'm still hunting for the 1985 hardcover editions by HaperCollins or Granada. If anyone come across either of these in their search, please let me know. :)

Zen, do you have either the Sidgwick & Jackson or Morrow 1st edition? Biblioz have a listing for these.

Yes, I have both these. This is a case where the reprints are harder to find than the first editions. :)

But thanks for the link anyway, BC. :)

#39 Blofeld's Cat

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Posted 18 May 2004 - 10:07 AM

Yes, I have both these. This is a case where the reprints are harder to find than the first editions. :)

Weird.

Why would that be the case here though? HarperCollins are a major mainstream publisher so I gather there would've been a fairly large 1st run in the first place.


#40 TheSaint

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Posted 18 May 2004 - 11:48 PM

Any recent readers of this book remember if there's a reference made to Bond meeting Matt Helm, or a thinly-veiled version? Someone said this happened in a Matt Helm Yahoo Group. As my copy is in storage, I have no way of verifying for myself.

#41 zencat

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Posted 19 May 2004 - 02:50 AM

Any recent readers of this book remember if there's a reference made to Bond meeting Matt Helm, or a thinly-veiled version? Someone said this happened in a Matt Helm Yahoo Group. As my copy is in storage, I have no way of verifying for myself.

Hmmm...I don't reacall that. But I don't really know Matt Helm that well so it's possible I missed it.

Btw, CBn now has an official section for this book, thanks to Mister Asterix. :)

#42 Qwerty

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Posted 19 May 2004 - 02:52 AM

Btw, CBn now has an official section for this book, thanks to Mister Asterix. :)

So I see! Very nice job on that! Nice to see the review there.

#43 Blofeld's Cat

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Posted 19 May 2004 - 10:46 AM

Matt Helm and Felix Leiter are similarly described in the books.

#44 Blofeld's Barber

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Posted 30 July 2004 - 04:29 PM

I just finished reading John Pearson's fictional biography of James Bond - I didn't even know this book existed until I visited the forum recently... What a great idea for a novel and Pearson's writing is extraordinary. His knowledge of the Fleming books makes this a very enjoyable read, especially for die hard Fleming fans. Has anyone else read this book and, if so, what did you think?

#45 Qwerty

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Posted 30 July 2004 - 04:42 PM

http://debrief.comma...showtopic=15878

May want to check this out.

#46 zencat

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Posted 30 July 2004 - 05:55 PM

I also recently rediscovered this book, Blofed's Barber, and you're right, it's a really terrific continuation novel...it's now one of my favorites!

Check out the review/overview I wrote for our lit section here on CBn.

http://www.commander...es/2358-1.shtml

#47 Tanger

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Posted 02 August 2004 - 02:21 PM

Seeing this thread again has reminded me of how good this novel is. I think it may be time for a re-read.

#48 Johnboy007

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Posted 11 September 2004 - 02:45 AM

I got a first edition hardcover of this today. Looks like it shall be an interesting read. :)

#49 Zing!

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 09:56 PM

I read "James Bond: The Authorized Biography of 007" this past summer, and I can honestly say that this was THE BEST post-Fleming Bond novel that I have read! Better than Amis, better than Gardner's best, way better than Benson... this book makes me wonder why Glidrose never approached Pearson about continuing the series. Absolutely fantastic - I couldn't put it down! I would highly recommend this book to anyone who hasn't had a chance to pick it up - it's a little hard to track down nowadays, but definitely worth the effort!

:)

#50 zencat

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Posted 23 November 2004 - 04:48 PM

I agree Zing! It's really a terrific book. I wish they would reprint it so more fans can discover it.

Welcome to CBn. :)

#51 Ry

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Posted 04 December 2004 - 12:55 AM

Just finished the book and what a great read. Pearson really did the research on this one. I completely fell into the story and believed what was going on even though I knew it was all fiction. Great continution novel and wonderful to hear some of the different sides of Bond including his childhood. Lets hope that the new Young Bond novels can work like Pearson's attempt.

#52 [dark]

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Posted 04 December 2004 - 01:19 AM

Picked this up off eBay last week. Look forward to getting stuck into it soon.

#53 Blofeld's Cat

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Posted 04 December 2004 - 04:57 AM

I'll be re-reading my original Pan paperback after I've read the Flemings and Colonel Sun.

#54 trumanlodge89

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 08:40 PM

i recieved my copy of this today!! cant wait to read it. its the 1986 grove edition.

#55 zencat

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 11:46 PM

Cool, trumanlodge89. Let us know what you think after you read it. :)

#56 Mr. Somerset

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 11:57 PM

I used to have a copy of that book. Don't know what happened to it. I had the edition with the white cover/red lettering. I always thought the model they had for OO7 on the bottom looked a bit like Robert Urich on Spenser: For Hire.
Darn, after seeing that article, it makes me want to go find another copy!

#57 wattenscheid09

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Posted 09 May 2005 - 10:33 AM

Great great great read. Pearson's got Bond right to the details. Great additional stories, too. I especially like his first impression upon meeting Bond, where he states that Bond looks like in the descriptions, but that nothing prepared him for the air of tension that surrounds Bond. Perfect.

#58 TortillaFactory

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Posted 29 May 2005 - 07:31 PM

I just found a copy of this book at my local library and I'm currently ploughing my way through it. My friend and I had a long conversation about some of the ideas presented in it, and have come to the following conclusions:

/spoiler.gif

Honeychile Ryder as the snobby golddigger...foreshadowing Paris Carver (whom I heard was originally supposed to be Natalya of GE)? A cutesy idea, but I can't quite forgive Pearson for it. It smacks of a gimic, like Lazenby's Bond pulling a bunch of ex-gadgets out of his drawer. "See, guys? See? It really IS Bond! Toldyaso!"

Marthe de Brandt. Something about their relationship gives me the creeps. Maybe it's the Mary Kay Letourneau case, but, my God. No matter how tall Bond was or how old he looked, he was still a child. What if it had been a sixteen-year-old girl with a Bond in his late twenties? How many people would present that relationship in such a positive light? The fact that sixteen-year-old boys are generally hornier, and that men are percieved, despite current reactionary feministic sentiments, to be more emotionally stolid than women, doesn't make me feel any better about it. Bond was clearly Marthe's pet, pawn, and surrogate incestuous son. The relationship wasn't healthy for either one, especially not the boy. IMHO if this had really happened to Bond, he'd be MUCH more screwed up than he ever was. Particularly after the little exhibitionist stunt with Marthe's ex-lover.

Which brings me to the murder/possible attempted suicide. When Bond drove the car off the cliff, he was doing the sort of thing that an immature teenager WOULD do. Despite how Pearson portrays him dealing with the death of his parents, the fact is that childhood trauma causes arrested emotional development. Fleming understood this, at least on some level: in his books Bond is constantly saying ridiculous things just to nettle people, and pushing the boundaries of polite society in exactly the way that a twelve-year-old boy would. When he's shot down by a woman, he reacts like a petulant child. Pearson, however, seems to want to have it both ways. Bond is both spectacularly mature, sixteen going on sixty, and enough of an emotional mess to at least contemplate dying along with Marthe. It's not completely clear whether or not he intended suicide, I'll grant you that, but either he was immature enough not to think through the consequeunces, or immature enough to believe that it would be better to die than to live without her.

Pearon's repeated descriptions of Bond as a "romantic" make me wonder what, exactly, he means by that. I don't think Bond's afraid of his women being real people. That may be his self-diagnosis, but then why did he ever consider marrying? He's afraid of love, maybe, afraid of commitment and intimacy and being challenged emotionally, but that's not the same thing.

One thing I like is Pearson's perception of Monique and James' relationship. Motherly dissaproval, while unnervingly Freudian, definitely fits the bill. However, the older brother issue complicates things, and it does make one wonder whatever became of him, later in the series.
/gen_line.gif

Ultimately, Pearson's book reads like a Bible version of Bond's life. It covers a grand scope with a sort of dispassionate glaze, which ultimately does little save make the reader yearn for a more detailed view.

#59 [dark]

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Posted 11 July 2005 - 09:01 AM

Finally finished this two nights ago.

It truly is an enjoyable book, well worth seeking out. The postmodern premise alone is worth the read (the end result is played straight, but it is impossible not to see it as tongue-in-cheek), but Pearson concocts an elaborate back story to Fleming's character that manages to stay distant enough for you to believe it's a seperate entity to Fleming's Bond, on which he was "based".

There are parts that don't quite gel and would be considered blasphemous to hardcore Fleming fans (the incident with M was particularly off-putting when I first read it, although my mindset has slightly eased since). And, as John says, the final third of the book, in which the "real" Bond recounts the missions relayed by Fleming in his novels, never quite works on the basis that there's not enough of a logical link between the books' publication and what the Secret Service is getting out of it. Having said that, the final third is perhaps the most enjoyable for hearing a different take on Fleming's stories (the backgrounds to Moonraker and The Spy Who Loved Me are particularly amusing!). As ardent fans, we know the whole thing is poppycock, but the enjoyment comes from not only the What if? factor, but also the way Pearson manages to create an almost plausible alternate reality.

I confess to struggling a bit through the chapters discussing Bond's formative years (I've never been too interested in Bond's personal history), but the book hits its stride once Bond reaches adulthood. Yet there are so many anecdotes discussed during the book that it moves at a quick enough pace not to lag anywhere.

As a post-script to Fleming's 14 books (and, even though it's only mentioned in passing, Amis' Colonel Sun), Pearson's novel is a must-read (but, for maximum enjoymet, only after reading those books).

Now onto SilverFin!

#60 Jboldman

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Posted 20 July 2005 - 08:39 PM

James Bond was a real man. It's said that Fleming took the name from the book "Birds of the West Indies", by a real British ornithologist named James Bond.

As for the secret agent James Bond being real. No. John Pearson wrote this book as if Bond were real. It's a faked authorized Bio, a novel of sorts. :)  An "if Bond were real, this would be his story". -- FUN STUFF if you ask me.

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:) Hate to break this to you - James Bond (the ornithologist) was an American.

I read this book years ago when it first appeared in paperback in the states.
Counted over three dozen instances where he diviated from what Fleming had wrote. Can't consider it part of the canon.
(Although Raymond Benson made a sly reference to this book in his first short story.)




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