When I started to collect the James Bond books as a teenager, I scoured second hand bookshops around the world for fair condition first editions – The original Ian Fleming books have always been my favourite, and have always been personally important to me because my life and Bond’s have been similar on several layers – I hasten to mention that I have not ever had to garote, knife or shoot anybody…
The John Gardiner books – awful though they are – I bought as they came out from Harrods, and keep on my shelf for ‘completeness’.
The Raymond Benson books were better – and once again these have a personal significance because each one has been signed and personally dedicated to me by the author.
And this is where my my annoyance with Penguin books lies – Devil May Care is a great book, but Penguin decided that they would fleece customers by selling their special signed edition (limited to 500) at Â£100 and a further 1500 un-numbered signed copies – which are now littering ebay at up to Â£100 each.
No more signed copies will be available they say…. Why – if the book was such a big thing for them, could Penguin/Waterstones not have had the author do a signing session, allowing us to have a more personal attachment to the book.
Instead the book is just another ‘investment’ for Angus to inherit.
In the book – set in 1967 – 007 has his old Bentley back, but right at the begining of the book he is ambushed on the way to Heathrow -and he thinks to himself that he would rather be in Aston Martin with the compartment under the driver’s seat for the big Colt 45….