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DMC headed for "curiosity" status?


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#1 zencat

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 05:12 PM

It occurred to be today that DMC could, in time, find itself alongside Pearson's James Bond Bio as a largely forgotten stand alone curiosity in the literary canon that us fans who lived the halcyon days of the Centenary celebrations of 2008 will have to explain to younger fans. I can see this book falling away in time, especially as we get a new series, and with the "Writing as Ian Fleming" tag and 1968 setting could seem very odd and out of place to newbies. Just as with the Pearson book, they will ask what the heck and why.

Just an observation.

And because I know this thread will elicit a title-wave of DMC slagging (as DMC threads tend to do), I'll just say early what I always say in DMC threads, that I like the book just fine. Always have, always will. Not the best, but not the worst. And my memories of the Centenary Week are VERY fond indeed. B)

#2 OmarB

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 05:17 PM

I would never go as far as a curiosity. It was a big deal, promoted really well and sold well. In my head it will be in the same area Col Sun is. A good author writing as someone else for a one shot deal.

#3 zencat

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 05:24 PM

You could be right, OmarB. Although I do remember when I found my first copy of Colonel Sun in a used bookstore, I had to look at it long and hard (and even read the first few pages) to convince myself this was a "real" James Bond novel. I'd just never heard of it before. Of course, this was before the internet.

You know, I think I might have actually put it back on the shelf that first time, convinced it was just a Mack Bolan-type of Bond imitation. It was only because I kept encountering it that I finally bought it. And it was still a while before I ever learned exactly what it was.

#4 marktmurphy

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 08:07 PM

I've been doing the rounds of the local charity shops recently and I think I've seen a copy (or rather at least one copy) of DMC in each one! B)

#5 OmarB

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 08:14 PM

I actually think that DMD will be looked upon favorably with time. a great author with his own following doing a Fleming pastich ... the kids comming up now who will be reading this in a few years having no memory of all the excitment about the book will just read it.

#6 doublenoughtspy

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 11:13 PM

I think Zencat's instincts are right.

Colonel Sun has a lot of things going for it - 1st continuation novel, and along with The James Bond Dossier and The Book of Bond - it was a trilogy of output from a "major author" and huge fan of Bond.

Whereas DMC, and Faulks strike me as a little more cynical, more about the paycheck.
It was an interesting experiment, but I think awareness will fade rapidly.

My gut feeling is that Deever's work will have a bigger impact, partly because of his large fan base.

One thing I'm curious about - is just how well DMC did. I didn't hear anything about selling out/2nd/3rd/4th printings or whatever. Then again, I'm sure the 1st edition was printed in great quantities, and there were so many friggin different "special" editions that could be considered print runs.

#7 marktmurphy

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 11:20 PM

My gut feeling is that Deever's work will have a bigger impact, partly because of his large fan base.


Faulks ain't exactly small fry, although Deaver's probably one that you could say has a 'fanbase'; Faulks operates in a bit more of a literary section of the market.

One thing I'm curious about - is just how well DMC did. I didn't hear anything about selling out/2nd/3rd/4th printings or whatever. Then again, I'm sure the 1st edition was printed in great quantities, and there were so many friggin different "special" editions that could be considered print runs.


I think it did really rather well indeed. It was Penguin's fastest selling hardback fiction title ever, with 44,093 copies sold in the first four days alone: second only to a Harry Potter title. 'Previous Penguin bestsellers by the likes of Tom Clancy and Nick Hornby have sold about 11,500 copies in their first four days, the publisher said.'
I'd find surprising if any book with the campaign that one had did anything but stellar business.

#8 zencat

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 11:24 PM

It was into a second edition instantly. Same with the paperback. And didn't they say it was Penguins bestselling hardcover ever?

Thing is, I think aside from Bond fandom, Colonel Sun is largely forgotten. Like I said above, when I first saw it I didn't know what the heck it was, and I was already a pretty big fan (this was 80/81ish).

#9 doublenoughtspy

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 11:44 PM

Faulks ain't exactly small fry, although Deaver's probably one that you could say has a 'fanbase'; Faulks operates in a bit more of a literary section of the market.


I agree - I'm not saying that Faulks doesn't have a great reputation, I realize he writes in the serious literary genre rather than popular fiction.

But he isn't that well known here in the states.

I stand corrected regarding the printings of DMC. I have noticed the super ultra deluxe editions are coming down in price.

Zencat - I assumed you were talking about fandom the whole time. It's not like the publishing world is still talking about License Renewed either.

I guess some more questions to ask are - what percentage of people were picking up DMC because they were Faulks fans? Will Deever's fanbase, which will be helpful to a degree, be as much a factor as the centenary publicity? I kinda doubt it.

I think the other reason Deever's work will have more of an impact is because he is creating a whole new era for Bond, that other authors will continue, whereas Faulks was putting Bond back in the 60s, where we have plenty of existing adventures.

#10 zencat

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 12:07 AM

Zencat - I assumed you were talking about fandom the whole time. It's not like the publishing world is still talking about License Renewed either.

I'm talking about Bond fandom and the general reader. And I'm talking about fans who come to Bond in ten years or so, not today. But I guess in the age of the internet, nothing is disappears anymore.

#11 Bryce (003)

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 12:23 AM

I think the whole stigma of someone trying to emulate Fleming's style of storytelling and narrative is odd if not impossible. I've always thought of writing sort of like fingerprints or snowflakes. No two are the same regardless of talent or skill or character or subject.

If I were an established and printed author and also a Bond fan, I'd be flattered by the offer to carry on the spirit but if the guidelines were "write as Fleming would set in the same era" I sure as Hell wouldn't want to try it being of an entirely contemporary and different generation.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed DMC and have read it now three times. It's grown on me, but as has been mentioned, Colonel Sun did take place as a novel of it's time and what I'm trying to get across is that the flavour of it was right.

Had Faulks had the opportunity that Deaver has been granted, it might have been more widely well received.

Anyway, in for a moneypenny, in for a pound. B)

#12 Guy Haines

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 06:09 AM

I think Zencat's instincts are right.

Colonel Sun has a lot of things going for it - 1st continuation novel, and along with The James Bond Dossier and The Book of Bond - it was a trilogy of output from a "major author" and huge fan of Bond.

Whereas DMC, and Faulks strike me as a little more cynical, more about the paycheck.
It was an interesting experiment, but I think awareness will fade rapidly.

My gut feeling is that Deever's work will have a bigger impact, partly because of his large fan base.

One thing I'm curious about - is just how well DMC did. I didn't hear anything about selling out/2nd/3rd/4th printings or whatever. Then again, I'm sure the 1st edition was printed in great quantities, and there were so many friggin different "special" editions that could be considered print runs.


Colonel Sun had a lot going for it in its day, not just because of the reasons you mention, but also because it was published in the hayday of 1960s "Bondmania", when people would snap up anything to do with Bond. Which doesn't detract from its virtues, because it is a good read, written by one who appreciated Fleming and Bond.

It would still have a lot going for it today if it had been promoted the way all the other original Fleming novels have been over the past few years.

As for DMC, it is too soon to say if it is headed for remainder hell and forgotten curiosity status. Reading it, I couldn't help thinking that the author had started off wanting to emulate Fleming, but part way through had his mind on possible film adaptation. Hence the way the plot line altered from the anglophobic villain wanting to destroy Great Britain through corruption to the more movie like nuclear threat plot.




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