1. What is your favorite Chopping cover and why?
I think it would have to be Thunderball. The skeletal hand over the cards and pierced through with the dagger is perhaps the most eye-catching of the covers, in my opinion. I enjoy From Russia With Love as well, the cover is outstanding, the simplicity of the rose and the gun really portrays the story well.
2. Do you own any 1st editions?
I have a first edition of Octopussy and the Living Daylights – 1st edition/1st Impression. I’ve got a 1st edition/3rd impression of OHMSS and a 1st edition/2nd impression of YOLT. I am aggressively looking to add to this collection.
3. What is on your literary 007 wishlist?
A pipe dream would be one of the three original Fleming novels – they’re generally more expensive than I can afford at the moment, some approaching $10K in price on eBay, due to their scarcity. I’m also lusting after the Ian Fleming Bibliography by Jon Gilbert as well.
4. When did you read your first Bond novel and which is your favorite?
I was in my early teens, and my great-grandfather had turned his garage into a used paperback book store. I had of course, seen a number of the films on TV, and found a complete set of the 1960’s Signet paperbacks. I took them all home and read from the start of the series – Casino Royale. That first line of dialogue still resonates with me to this day,
“The scent and smoke and sweat of a casino are nauseating at three in the morning.”
Almost 30 years later. I’ve read all of the Fleming books at least 10 times each, listened to them on audiobook, and have them on Kindle so I can search them. I’ve read all of the continuation novels at least once. Mixed opinions on them. My favorite of the entire series is OHMSS.
5. Do you have any favorite Bond dust jackets in paperback or by continuation authors?
I like the 2008 Penguin centenary editions. They’re colorful and fresh. Some of the Pan paperbacks over the years have had some really interesting covers as well, I always enjoy covers that I think can add something to my view of the book or the character of Bond. All in all, I’ve got at least three copies of each Fleming novel, in various forms and releases, and at least one of each of the continuation novels, most of them from the time they were first released.
Bruce Allen has been engaged on a labour of love involving (only) the Fleming novels at Fleming’s Bond. He takes a look at products, drinks, locations, cultural references made throughout the series.