Wednesday, April 17, 2013

“The scent and smoke and sweat of a casino are nauseating at three in the morning. Then the soul erosion produced by high gambling – a compost of greed and fear and nervous tension – becomes unbearable and the senses awake and revolt from it.”  - Opening paragraph of Casino Royale
It might not be “Bond. James Bond” but the opening lines of Casino Royale were Bond’s true birth into polite British society in 1953 and a few days ago on April 13th marked the 60th anniversary of Casino Royale’s release in the UK. The book had already seen the first two printings sell out in the UK by the time us Americans finally saw a release of it almost a year later. Even then, the sales were poor stateside. Regardless of our meager interest at the time, Fleming was on his way to writing eleven more novels. And, the book would pave the way for a television show, a spoof movie in 1967, and of course, Daniel Craig’s Bond in 2006.
The Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois as created a special exhibit commemorating Casino Royale’s 60th anniversary, going on now through July 12, 2013. They have several events planned that include acclaimed Bond author Raymond Benson, a film festival, and a concert featuring music from Bond films. For more information, check out their official website: Sadly, I do not see a trip to Illinois in my immediate future.
And more book news: British writer William Boyd, who was tapped by the Ian Fleming estate to write the next Bond novel, has announced the forthcoming title: Solo. It will be out September 26, 2013 (UK release date) and will be set in both South Africa and the United States. And, it will be a period novel: 1969, with our suave spy aged 45. Boyd was interviewed yesterday at The London Book Fair: scroll down to see the interview here: According to Voice of America, an American and Canadian release is expected on October 8th from HarperCollins. I haven’t read any of Boyd’s other books, but I’ll be sure to pick up this one. I do favor period novels and will be anxious to see the world Boyd creates.
I wonder what else on the horizon for our Mr. Bond? Time will tell. In the meantime, I saw this on Reddit and thought it was rather sweet, in a spy sort of way – enjoy!


  1. I've always been intrigued at the attempts to sorta "retcon" Bond's history to make him more relevant and applicable to mordern day setting.

    Thought I have not read - and I am sure my beautiful girlfriend will surely loan it to me - but Jeff Deaver's book Carte Blanc comes to mind, with Bond being much younger, born in the later 1970s, well past the eras of the what people consider Bond being in his prime.

    But I think there is alot of wiggle room to re-imagine Bond into something more contemporary. I like to think that he doesn't always have to be firmly rooted into Cold War politics or outlandish and garrish plots.

  2. Nick, the "retcon" of Bond history is intriguing, especially with the new 007 Legends video game. The franchise has seemed to put their eggs in one basket so to speak by placing Daniel Craig into the various pre-Craig Bond movies in Legends. Makes me wonder what the franchise will do when the franchise chooses the next Bond?

    As to Boyd, from what I have read, I am hopeful that the next novel will be a bit more rooted in realism rather than the outlandish/garrish plots that plagued filmic Bond.


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