This week we welcome one of the Bond community’s most esteemed members, collectors and writers in from the cold. The author of James Bond’s Cuisine: 007 Every Last Meal, Matt Sherman.
What is your favorite Chopping cover and why?
Thanks for such an Artistic query–with the Flemings alone, that’s like asking which of my nine wayward but beautiful children I love the most.
I’m going to go on a limb here and say For Your Eyes Only (sorry Dickie, I know Uncle Ian busted your chops on that one) as I’m a contrarian for that minimalist cover and as we get to see James Bond the precise way Ian Fleming imagined him! Or at least one of his eyeballs . . . should have been “For Your Eye Only”, I guess.
But let’s give credit where it’s due–Licence Renewed‘s first became a thing of wonder because of the cover before I read it (It’s a BOND!), and any fan whose heart doesn’t skip a beat looking at Goldfinger or Octopussy doesn’t understand what Bond is and what true art is.
Do you own any 1st editions?
I love the firsts and Capes/Hodders and have collected the Flemings and the firsts from all the continuation authors. I’ve collected other interesting firsts for years, such as every Bond in English that was issued in hardcover but without any dust jacket (with leather or faux-leather boards only). That took a few shelves over by itself.
I’ve also collected many firsts of editions about the Bond novels and films, the actors, authors and film technicians as well. It’s all getting a little ridiculous now. Instead of a handful of titles as there were to find decades ago, everyone and everyone’s cousin has a Bond book in print nowadays. Heck, I have one I wrote (James Bond’s Cuisine) and I collected proofs of my own work. But I never inscribed one to myself, that’s just weird.
What is on your literary 007 wishlist?
I’m excited to see what the new and collectible firsts will look like for the follow-up to Trigger Mortis in 2018. Like Literary007’s many devout readers, I want my next first, next, first.
When did you read your first Bond novel and which is your favorite?
I was reading Fleming at age 9 (okay, I was really reading it to others) and started with 5 Signet paperbacks before finding 9 more. I can’t tell you what a let down it was to first see Connery and others destroying the great reads I enjoyed, onscreen!
I am hard-pressed to choose a favorite Bond novel. Lately, though, I’ve been on a big The Man With The Golden Gun kick. The James Bond of that novel is different than the rest. He is recovering from deep hypnotherapy and deprogramming both, and isn’t quite himself, but is trying hard to be and often succeeds. The novel after TMWTGG would have been extraordinary. I also love the countless parallels with Casino Royale I documented after a recent rereading of TMWTGG.
Do you have any favorite Bond dust jackets in paperback or by continuation authors?
The Hungarian You Only Live Twice paperback is amazing, with Blofeld’s castle of death atop a Golgotha skull. The windows of the castle become the teeth in the skull, which remains when the paperback is turned upside down! The more recent Hungarian covers are gorgeous, too.
I love Salvador Dali’s work and adore the Colonel Sun first painting which covers the entire jacket, front and back. The original paintings for the Christopher Wood movie novelizations are lovely.
While not a paperback or continuation, the British Book Club of You Only Live Twice anticipated the excellent Richie Fahey paperback covers. The Twice edition in hardback captures every detail of Blofeld’s castle, Blofeld and Irma Bunt directly from the rich descriptions of the novel just as Fahey sought authentic depictions for his covers.
Visit Matt’s Bond Fan Events website
One thought on “Field Report: Matt Sherman”
Nice to see someone speak fondly of The Man With The Golden Gun. Many dismiss it as Fleming’s worst novel, but I’ve always enjoyed it and have re-read it several times because its just that good.