This week we welcome David Salter in from the cold, who has the distinction of having once lived in the birthplace of Ian Fleming at 27 Green Street.
What is your favorite Chopping cover and why?
From Russia With Love. It was the first hardback that I had bought on the day of publication and the first Chopping illustration – and, therefore, startlingly fresh.
Do you own any 1st editions?
Yes. Live and Let Die, From Russia With Love, Dr. No, Goldfinger, Thunderball, The Spy Who Loved Me, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, You Only Live Twice, The Man With The Golden Gun, Octopussy, plus Colonel Sun, all the biographies and The James Bond Dossier, O.F. Snelling and much else.
One of my most interesting and unusual books is a glossy paperback – “Les Nombreuses Vies deJames Bond” by Laurent Queyssi which I bought in Paris a few years ago. It covers the literary Bond pretty thoroughly and tells his life story, pretty much gleaned from Pearson’s biography. It is illustrated throughout with photographs of Hoagy Carmichael at various stages of his life, looking very Bond-like. There are also several photographs of a London doorway and house front, claiming to be 30, Wellington Square but which are most definitely not.
What is on your literary 007 wishlist?
Like everyone else, I imagine, A Casino Royale first. I used to smoke the same cigarettes, from Morlands, that Fleming smoked, in the ’60s. I didn’t keep (or managed to lose) one of the elegant dark blue and gold boxes that they came in and I wish I had one – full or empty. And a 1930 4 1/2 litre Blower Bentley.
When did you read your first Bond novel and which is your favorite?
As a student, in 1956, in a train on my way to School of Architecture. Moonraker, Pan paperback, found on a WH Smith railway bookstall. Hmm… Ian Fleming, never heard of him. An Adventure of James Bond – never heard of him either, but looks interesting. I devoured it during the journey. The World turned and nothing was ever the same again.
My favourite? Without a doubt Casino Royale. Pure unadulterated Bond before he was overtaken by fame, gimmicks and Boys Own Paper super-villains. Moonraker, From Russia With Love and Thunderball follow close behind.
Do you have any favorite Bond dust jackets in paperback or by continuation authors?
Well, the Pan 1956 Moonraker paperback, obviously. I like the Raymond Hawkey paperbacks and the original Colonel Sun is interesting.
David Salter has been an enthusiast for the books of Ian Fleming since he stumbled into James Bond, via Moonraker, at a rural railway station bookstall in 1956. This lifelong interest has resulted in a substantial collection of books, magazines, newspaper cuttings and ephemera. From 1964 to 1969 he lived at 27 Green Street, off Park Lane in London, the house where Fleming was born.
Read more of David’s articles at The James Bond Dossier.