Saturday 31 October 2015

Here you can buy SOME KIND OF HERO for just £10

Since it is Halloween here in Sweden today my blog post will be a short one.

I am always interested in money and to always make a bargain on any book that has to do with James Bond.
Earlier I have written that has a really good price on SOME KIND OF HERO that cost only £17 when the recomended retail price is £25.

But now, just a few days after the books release, British food chain Morrison has a great deal on the 700 page book of only £10. This was reported by Andrew Gardiner who visited the shop yesterday (Thanks for the heads up).

Photo by Andrew Gardiner

So what are you waiting for? Hunt down your local Morrison food stor and buy the book because I believe you will never get a new copy for less then that.

I received a review copy of the book  earlier this week from the publishers The History Press but with two kids and a SPECTRE film opening this week I have not yet had the time to look at this brick of a book. I hope it will be a great read.

My review copy .

Friday 30 October 2015

It's easy to make a James Bond film!

Today saw the premiere of the new James Bond film SPECTRE in Sweden. And since we celebrate Halloween this weekend in Sweden we only had to work half day so I could take Mrs Bäckman to Stockholms biggest cinema screen to attend the premiere of SPECTRE.

Now this blog is aiming to be as spoiler free as possible and I know that countries like France and the USA have not yet had its premiere so there will be no spoilers here. I decided early on to not see more then the teaser trailer for SPECTRE and read no articles. That worked out fine and I believe that made me enjoy the film more when all the surprise were still there. But I wonder how many of the fans noticed that for SPECTRE Daniel Craig was a co-producer and I feel certain that this was a classic Hollywood way to make him come back to play James Bond by not giving him a to high salary. But instead, to give him two salaries, one as an actor and one as a producer with a % of box office as well. This is also why you will see him again in BOND 25. No actor says no to such a great offer. 

But to upset a few I will have to put my chin out and say that it is truly easy to make a James Bond film. All you have to do is to follow the one true formula that Producer Albert R Broccoli talks about in his biography WHEN THE SNOW MELTS. In this book he explains the success of the franchise in one sentence: "Make sure that every penny is up there on the screen" and that is exactly how SPECTRE has been made. It may also help to shift actors according to were they are born so that they can promote the film in their native countries. And for the bigger part of the film use actors from countries with allot of inhabitants like France, Germany, Italy and others. Just like the continuation novels have a tendency to always start in London and during the mission always visit the US in some way to please the US publisher and readers.   

When the Snow melts - Cubby Broccoli

Now if you have already seen SPECTRE or have not I do hope you have not missed the BBC James Bond special program on TIMESHIFT called LOOKING FOR MR. BOND: 007 AT THE BBC. This is a 60 minute documentary with only material from the BBC archive. Since I live in Sweden I must say that the bigger part of this documentary was material I had never seen. Its a truly MUST SEE if you are a fan of the James Bond films. Click here to get to the program.

I have recived 8 pagages with James Bond related books this week. I will try and share them with you as quickly as possible.  

You can find used copies of Cubby Broccolis book WHEN THE SNOW MELTS by clicking here.

Thursday 29 October 2015

Did you notice this in SPECTRE?

The day after the Royal gala premiere of the new James Bond film SPECTRE took place this Monday, IAN FLEMING PUBLICATIONS had their special screening of the film for family, friends and specially invited. Amongst the invited was Young Bond author Charlie Higson, Andrew Lycett (author of the Ian Fleming biography) and Kate Millis, fiction editor at Orion publishing who publishes the James Bond novels. 

When reading there Twitter feed they all seemed to enjoy the film allot. I myself will have to wait until tomorrow at 14:15 (here in Stockholm Sweden) to see SPECTRE. Since hardly anyone has not liked it my expectations gets higher by the hour. I have not even seen a trailer for the film yet, kept my self totally in the dark not reading any interviews and so on.

IAN FLEMING PUBLICATIONS has posted a blog post on there website this Monday saying that there will be a scene in SPECTRE that has its origin from the COLONEL SUN book written by Kingsley Amis under the name Robert Markham in 1968. 

My COLONEL SUN Australian book club edition.

The Colonel Sun scene which features in SPECTRE is one of pivotal importance both to the film and the book and fans are encouraged to identify which part stems from Amis’ pen.
Corinne Turner, Managing Director of Ian Fleming Publications Ltd. commented that ‘The Fleming family and The Kingsley Amis Estate hope that fans of SPECTRE will be encouraged to reach for this thrilling book by one of the finest writers of the 20thcentury.’

Also out this week is another BBC Radio program about James Bond / Ian Fleming and Scotland. It is hosted by Robbie Coltrane who appeared in the 1995 James Bond film GoldenEye.
The radio program is called is called JAMES BOND: LICENCE TO KILT and can be found by clicking here. The show is 28 minutes long. Enjoy!

If you wish to buy your copy of COLONEL SUN and sponsor the blog at the same time you can do so by order your book on Amazon UK below.

Wednesday 28 October 2015

BBC 4 Books at bedtime features TRIGGER MORTIS

BBC 4 in the UK are currently featuring a TRIGGER MORTIS reading on there Books at bedtime series at 22:45 every night.

The first episode was this Monday and the second episode was yesterday. Each episode is 15 minutes long.

The book is being read by Rupert Penry-Jones and he does it really good. If I were to complain on anything it might be that his American accent seems a bit forced but I sure wish to keep listening every day on my lunch break walk in the local park.

Rupert Penry-Jones is a British TV actor that I dont know if international listeners will reckon. I recommend all of you to listen to this reading of TRIGGER MORTIS. I feel that the voice of Rupert Penry-Jones is far better then the audiobook choice of David Oyelowo. Compare David Oyelowo with Rupert Penry-Jones for your self by clicking on there names. 

If you have not read the book this is an easy way to at least her it. If you have already read the book this is a fun way of picking up details in the script that one does not remember when you read a book for the first time. 

Enjoy! I know I will. You will find an direct link to BBC 4 here!

If you (just like I) wish to have the book in your collection you can sponsor the blog buy ordering your copy of TRIGGER MORTIS by clicking the book below. The price already have a 50% discount and only cost  £9.00 and is -53% on the regular price.

Tuesday 27 October 2015

The TRIGGER MORTIS collection

It took some time for the Goldsboro Books TRIGGER MORTIS edition to reach Sweden so I am glad that Anders Frejdh at From Sweden With Love helped me get my hands on the Waterstone signed edition of TRIGGER MORTIS.

On the release day of TRIGGER MORTIS there was a book signing at the Waterstones Bookstore in London. Anthony Horowitz was offcourse there and I had given Anders special instructions for my "black edition". If possible I wanted Anthony Horowitz to write.

"Come in 007. M grunted, Take a seat, I will be with you in a minute". 

Since I already had the US proof edition of the book I managed to find this passage before the release.

The Waterstone edition of TRIGGER MORTIS.

My Goldsboro Edition is number 875 out of a 1000. According to Goldsboro Books website they had a few signed prints left when the books was sent out so all of the 1000 prints did not sell at once. They do seem to be sold out now though. And that's great news. It would be truly interesting to know how many books have been sold in the UK. A quick search on Google finds me nothing on the subject. 

Goldboro Edition of TRIGGER MORTIS

The US cover is totally different from the UK version. I personally enjoy the blueprint on the UK cover much more and it do grow on you while you read the book. The US cover just tries to highlight the James Bond life with a tux and a Vodka Martini. The UK version is better in that sense. As a book collector the artwork is highly important. If I like the cover I will buy the book. My only reason for buying the US edition was that it was a PROOF COPY. I have decided some time ago to only collect the hardbacks first editions of the books after Fleming. The main resaon for this is space (as the saying goes: Happy Wife, Happy Life).


For this blog post I asked Anthony Horowitz on Twitter if there were any differences between the Proof version and the first edition but I believe he has not seen my post yet and if he answers I will get back to you on this. It would be great knowing if something was changed that he remembers.

Also in my collection is two extra dustjackets and the instructions on how to builed the rockets they used to promote the book upon release. I have not jet been able to destroy my jackets for that purpose. 

How to build your own rocket.

Finally in the collection I have three postcards from Orion that they sent out to promote the book a few month before the release but if you head over to THE BOOK BOND they have pictures of three postcards.
The final touch I wish to point out is off course the homage to Ian Fleming's GOLDFINGER from 1959. As I believe you are aware of TRIGGER MORTIS takes place two weeks after GOLDFINGER and therefore there is a skull embroiled on the TRIGGER MORTIS front just like it was on the GOLDFINGER front on the first edition. 

Sunday 25 October 2015

James Bond books sell for over £37 000 and I bought one of them

This week London auction house Dreweatts & Bloomsbury had a book auction that included many rarities and I got my hand on one of them. You can check out the catalogue here.

I could never imagine that some of the prices would end up so very high. It was quite sad to understand that some gaps in my collection will never be filled. I have kids, a country house and a car that I foremost need to make sure that I can afford if something happens. 

What I most of all wanted to win was the first edition MOONRAKER that was auctioned but due to the high price. I guess that will never happen. But as I said one of the books eventually became mine. More on that later.

What amazes me the most is that books on auction houses goes for a lot more then the ones on Ebay. I just cant understand this? Can anybody explain?
Below you will see the hammer prices. To that is an extra fee of +24%. After that its +3% for paying with creditcard.

Casino Royale, Sold for: £22 000
first edition, original boards, very minor bumping to foot, else fine, first issue dust-jacket without the Times review, very light browning to spine and at head, minor chipping to spine ends and corners, very short closed tear to foot of rear panel, very light surface soiling, minor browning to extremities of front flap, very light creasing to head, but an excellent example overall, [GIlbert A1a1.1], 1953.

Moonraker, Sold for £10 500
first edition, issue with ‘shoot’ on p.10, original boards, fine, dust-jacket, spine a little darkened, some very light surface soiling, but a remarkably sharp, near-fine example otherwise, 8vo, 1955.
From Russia, With Love, Sold for £1200
first edition, original boards, dust-jacket, slight discolouration to spine, spine ends and corners a little chipped, light creasing to head and foot with a few very short tears to foot of rear panel, light staining to rear panel, a little rubbed at extremities, still excellent overall, [Gilbert A5a1.1], 8vo, 1957.
Dr. No, Sold for £500
first edition, original second state boards with silhouette, light bumping to foot of spine, else fine, dust-jacket, spine lightly browned and with vertical crease, but an excellent copy overall, [Gilbert A6a 1.3], 8vo, 1958.
Thunderball, Sold for £400
first edition, original boards, minor bumping to spine ends and corners, dust-jacket, some minor rubbing and creasing to head and foot, but a near-fine example overall, [GIlbert A9a1.1], 8vo,1961.
The Spy Who Loved Me,Sold for £380 first edition,original boards, dust-jacket, light discolouration to spine, minor spotting to upper panel, very minor surface soiling to lower panel, but a bright and excellent example overall, [Gilbert A10a1.1], 8vo, 1962.
You Only Live Twice, Sold for £800uncorrected proof copy , original wrappers with repeated publisher's motif, slight shelf lean, spine creased, original proof dust-jacket by Chopping, with 4-line 'proof only' note typed onto inside front flap, a little creased and worn at head, foot of spine and corners a little chipped, staining to upper panel, light surface soiling, [Gilbert pp.387-388], 8vo , 1964 [1963].
You Only Live Twice, The man with the golden gun, Octopussy, Sold for £450
very minor browning to endpapers, jacket spine faded, very minor surface soiling,
1964; The Man with the Golden Gun, jacket with minor marking to upper panel, 1965; Octopussy and the Living Daylights, jacket with publisher's later price-sticker, 1966, first editions, original boards, dust-jackets, excellent or near-fine overall, [Gilbert A12a1.1; A13a1.3; A14a1.3], 8vo (3)

The Man with the Golden Gun, Sold for £1300
uncorrected proof copy,
original printed wrappers with Cape monograms, slight shelf-lean, minor creasing to spine, proof dust-jacket, creasing to head and foot and along spine, very short closed tear to head of upper panel, but an excellent example overall, [Gilbert pp.414-415], 8vo, 1965.
Note the difference on the dust jacket. 
I will get back to you later on these books once I have received the one item I won.

Saturday 24 October 2015

It's not a threat, it's a promise!

Dear All,

Even though I have wanted to write a blogpost I have not been able to. The reason for this is that my mind has been fully occupied by a few emails I have received on Facebook and to my email address.

All these problems a due to this blogpost.

The emails are from one of the author of the now released book SOME KIND OF HERO and every email starts with PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL - NOT FOR PUBLICATION - WITHOUT PREJUDICE. The author is angry at me for pointing out that his book can be read on Amazon without payment and say I have acted "inflammatory, hostile and in breach of copyright and moral rights".

Now since I am not a lawyer and English is my second language I have some problems with the WITHOUT PREJUDICE part. But I tried to google it and found the following link and there is says that the text does not count if there some kind of threat within the email. The “Without Prejudice” rule has long been subject to exceptions. I feel this to be one of these occasions.

And since the author in his email says that he shall "notify all relevant copyright holders of your actions" and by that tries to threaten me. And since I have no idea of what kind of stunt or emails he has planed I have no other option then to come clean on the matter.

What I cant understand is that I am being jumped at because I point out a fact that the author should be well aware of. If the author finds it troublesome that Amazon has, what seems to be, the entire book on display on there website then he should be angry with his publishers and not me for making this deal with Amazon.  The publishers should then contact Amazon and take the pages away. I feel I get to receive all the frustration out of this fact when I have nothing to do with it.
I have never in my life seen, what seems to be, an entire book available on Amazon and I surely has nothing to do with it being there for everyone to read.

In his email he pinpoints some facts that needs to be solved. And I am most cooperative that I wish to solve this matter as you can see below. 

1. He writes that I am frustrated by the fact that I have not received an email back from the publishers since I contacted them on October 10 and that I should have contacted him personally instead of writing in my blog post that the publishers have not come back.

Answer: I did contact him personally on October 15 but did not receive any answer at all.
I do not find it a big deal that I wrote that the publishers has not come back to me for 10 days. I have just started my blog and believe it to be quite common (sadly) that companies do not understand the value of speaking to customers who take there free time to contact them.
Please note that (by coincidence?) the Marketing executive of the publishers contacted me yesterday saying that she would send out the book right away. I am off course thankful for this.

2. He writes that I have breached the copyright rules for the two pictures that I have borrowed from the books Facebook page and if I had read the captions next two the photos that he says explains the pictures. He also says that I am "trying to stir up controversy" over the photos.

Answer: Yes, I should have written that the photos was taken by M Whitherspoon and that has now been updated.
If one looks at the books Facebook page one can clearly see by the comments these books has made that MANY people has misunderstood these photos and take them for real. I also wonder (dont know) if it is legal to fool the customers like this and what Piccadilly lights and the Transport for Londons legal department feel of these actions. There is a saying in Sweden: Dont throw a rock if your in a glasshouse. 

3. He says that I claim in my blog post that one can read the entire book on Amazon when it to him looks like an ordinary "Look inside" preview. In other words he claims that I am wrong. 

Answer: Now I dont know what he can see on his computer but on my computer I can still see, what seems to be, the entire book. Please look at the picture below. To be friendly I have chosen a title page so that I do not spread the text of his book but as you can see this is page 276. You can also see that the drop down list is truly small. I believe I have access to if not the entire book, then 98% of it.

5. Now he states what changes he "suggests" that I do on my own blog.

a) I update the blog post with the same captions as they appear on the Facebook page. DONE!
b) I double check if the entire book is available on AMAZON he wants me to write him a private email saying so or contact Amazon to have it removed. If I can't be certain that the entire book is free to read he wants me to update my blogpost. I am not going to sit an read 700 pages on my computer so therefore I have updated the blogpost to "what seems to be" but I still believe that the book is available and if this is a problem I urge the authors to have it removed. Thats not my task, especially since I live in Sweden and has no connection to the book.
Now let me be clear once again. My intentions was never to harm the release of the book. My intentions was the opposite. If the author believes that James Bond fans will read the entire book on Amazon (700 pages) instead of paying as little as £17 when a lot of the fans collect all things Bond then I think they are naive.

If any publishers have been contacted by the author to drag my blog in the mud I do hope you understand that this blog is my own views on the books of Bond and that I rarely write anything negative about the books I collect. On the other hand, I am Swedish and in Sweden we are very proud of our freedom of speech and freedom of opinion and just like any other reviewer there might or might not be things to criticize.

I am a fan of the creation that Ian Fleming created and just like him I will not let someone scare me into silence. I hope that the readers of this blog will stay on and understand the reason for the above post and I hope for a rewarding collaboration with any publishers in the world releasing any James Bond book. Together we can spread the word on all things 007.


Stephan Bäckman

Wednesday 21 October 2015

SOME KIND OF HERO - now in stock at Amazon

UPDATED in read.

The wait is finally over. SOME KIND OF HERO has taken writers Matthew Field and Ajay Chowdhury 20 years two write. Now the 700+ pages book from The History Press has finally reached the stores.

On Amazon the book costs only £17 and even if you find the book in stores for around £25 I do consider it a bargain due to the amount of pages.

As you can see on the top of this blog post the blood above the gunbarrel is actually a naked woman. Very stylish and cleaver I must say.

I believe many of you have already ordered the book but if not do so below. I cant wait to get hold of my copy. I actually approached The History Press about the book since I have this blog but the company never even replied to my email. So sadly it is hard for me to deliver any high resolution pictures. 

 Can this realy be true?
Photo "taken" by M Witherspoon)

When it comes to pictures the book has its own Facebook page and since I have meet Ajay Chowdhury a few times many years ago in London I know he is a joker. On the book's Facebook page there are a few pictures of the marketing campaign going on for the book. At first one one truly believes that the pictures are real but the more I look at them I think they are fake. If that's the case this would be typical Ajay Chowdhury. I any reader can confirm if the pictures are real or fake I would be very glad. 

Is this Photoshoped?
(Photo "taken" by M Witherspoon)

Now let me finish this post by telling you something quite remarkable. If you are a cheap person or maybe a student living on loan's then there is a way for you to actually read the entire book for free on your computer. It is truly strange but for some reason Amazon has put out what seams to be the entire book as a "Look inside" on there web page. You can see for your self by clicking here. But hurry up because I think that someone has committed an error.

I have a trip planned to London in December and I do hope to have lunch with Ajay then to catch up. Would love to hear the stories about how the book came to be. I guess this will sadly never happen due to this.

You can sponsor the blog buy buying your copy of SOME KIND OF HERO by clicking the link below. 

Tuesday 20 October 2015

Added to the collection is NEVER DREAM OF DYING

Added to my collection today is a UK first edition of Raymond Benson's James Bond novel NEVER DREAM OF DYING.

It was released in 2001 by Hodder & Stoughton and the original price was £17.99.

My copy is signed by Raymond Benson and bought on Ebay for £19.50. I consider this a really great catch since the price is almost the same as when it was released and this one is actually signed by the author.

During today's dinner I spoke to my wife regarding the books cover. It is in my opinion one of the worst artworks for any James Bond books and I say this even when Sweden is actually in the middle of the artwork. The book looks more like a revealing book about Scientology (dont ask me why that comes to mind).

Now I don't know if this book sold poorly or if there was any other reason for the estate not to give the Raymond Benson books the great cover design they deserved. I don't men any harm on Raymond Benson but I do think that these books might have gotten a wider audience if the book covers had been more intriguing. My wife that reads a lot of books said that with a cover like this she would NEVER DREAM OF READING and she has read CASINO ROYALE at least.

I had to ask Raymond Benson on Twitter if he had anything to say when it comes to these covers for his books and as you can see below sadly he had not. One of the first books I ever got was Benson's THE JAMES BOND BEDSIDE COMPANION and it has an excellent cover by Graham Rye.

Whit that said, I do look forward to read all the Benson novels since I know that he is a true James Bond fan with lots of knowledge on the matter.

copyright of Graham Rye/007 MAGAZINE & ARCHIVE Limited/

NEVER DREAM OF DYING seems not to be available as a book at the moment on Amazon so if you want it you will have to hunt down a used copy, 

Monday 19 October 2015

A close look at Casino Royale - The book that is!

When I commute by train or take a walk during my lunch break I like to enjoy what my smartphone can offer me.  The other day I found this fantastic documentary on YouTube.

It was a one hour long close look at Ian Flemings first novel Casino Royale and you can see the program below.  it shows many (for me) new facts about Ian Fleming and also the BBC interview in really great picture quality. You truly get the feeling that you get closer to Ian Fleming and to his first book of 14.

I was planing to write a whole blog post about the following but I insert it here instead.
Have you ever thought about how much page 60 of Casino Royale actually means to us Bond fans. On this page you get Bond to present himself as Bond... James Bond and a few lines lower he order his Vodka Martini, shaken, not stirred. That page has followed his books and films since 1953 to present day. Quite amazing.

check out the documentary below! You will not be disappointed! It might even make you want to read the book...again.

Sunday 18 October 2015

Record breaking price for Swedish James Bond comic

Today a Swedish James Bond comic was sold to a new record breaking price.

It was the first issue of the comic magazine JAMES BOND AGENT 007 from 1965 that was sold for the record price of 245 Euro / $278 / £179.

The Swedish James Bond comic ran for thirty years in Sweden (1965-1995).

The first comic had Sean Connery on the cover and the story was Ian Fleming's GOLDFINGER drawn by John McLusky

These comics are now 50 years old and very rare to find. One can wonder how many actually exists to this day in good condition. I am happy to say that I have two of these in my collection but I started collecting this magazine when I was 12 years old 26 years ago.

Tuesday 13 October 2015

Raymond Bensons THE MAN WITH THE RED TATTOO added to the collection

Added to my collection today is RAYMOND BENSON's final James Bond book THE MAN WITH THE RED TATTOO.

It was released 2002 by Hodder & Stoughton and cost £18.99 upon release.

Here I need to mention that the movie tie-in for DIE ANOTHER DAY was released in November 2002 and was Raymonds last Bond book but that was an adaptation of the screenplay written by Neal Pervis and Robert Wade.  

I bought my book (the above and below photo) out of Ebay and paid £13 for it. I consider this a really great catch.

Sadly the cover design for Raymond Bensons James Bond books have aged really quickly. What might have looked good and advanced in the early 2000 now looks old and easy to do yourself in Photoshop. I think that THE MAN WITH THE RED TATTOO has the best cover design out of the books Benson wrote. One can actually start wondering if the writer had anything to say about the cover design for his books and also why the Ian Fleming Publications did not spend more money on the books design. I am sure that should have helped the sales of these books a lot. Just like the great cover design we just saw on TRIGGER MORTIS (UK that is!).

"When a British businessman and his family are killed in Japan, James Bond suspects a mass assassination. Investigating with the help of beautiful Japanese agent Reiko Tamura and his old friend Tiger Tanaka, Bond discovers that two powerful factions controlled by the mysterious terrorist Goro Yoshida are playing God. Between them they have created the perfect weapon, one small and seemingly insignificant enough to strike anywhere, unnoticed.

With an emergency G7 summit meeting just days away, it's a race against time as Bond confronts both man and nature in a desperate bid to stop the release of a deadly virus that could destroy the Western world."

If you wish to buy the paperback version of THE MAN WITH THE RED TATTOO you can sponsor the blog buy buying it below. 

Monday 12 October 2015

German DVD release of GOLDENEYE

The TV-movie GOLDENEYE has been released in Germany on DVD for the first time. The film was available on VHS back in the day but since then has only been out on DVD in England as a bundle with The Daily Mail.

GOLDENEYE is obviously a film about Ian Fleming staring Charles Dance in the lead role. He is actually the only actor to look like Ian Fleming.

GOLDENEYE can be bought here and cost 18,16 Euro.

I actually liked GOLDEN EYE as a film. The sad thing is that since the film is so old and made fore TV it has the 4:3 ratio and only stereo sound and the picture quality is truly poor. Below you can see the poor picture quality the film has nowadays.

When GOLDENEYE was released in Sweden (where I live) the title was A SPY WITH HONOR.

Raymond Bensons HIGH TIME TO KILL

Added to my collection today is the UK first edition of Raymond Benson's HIGH TIME TO KILL.

The book was released in 1999 by Hodder & Stoughton and cost £16:99 upon release.

I must confess that I have yet to read any of the Bond novels by Raymond Benson. The reason for this is that I actually stopped collecting James Bond stuff for many years just around when this book came out. But since Raymond Benson did such a great job with THE JAMES BOND BEDSIDE COMPANION I have high hopes for his novels as well.

I bought the book on Ebay for £24,99. That shows how few actual collectors there are of James Bond Books that are not first editions of the Fleming books. I was the only bidder.

If you wish to buy this book on Amazon UK and at the same time sponsor this blog you can click on the image below.

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