This week’s unfortunate victim to Dr. No’s Caribbean island is Matt Sherman, who has thought out what he plans to eat and drink wisely!
001. The Man with the Golden Gun by Ian Fleming
This highly underrated novel, from the ever-highly underrated novelist Ian Fleming, is a must-do for island fun. Like me awaiting rescue, the Bond of TMWTGG is adrift, post-Russian brainwash and post-Secret Service deprogramming. He craves liquor and cigarettes at odd moments and swelters in the heat. He has nightmares but gives avid readers a guide to fine island cuisine. Raw snake meat, anyone?
Read more: Ian Fleming’s Golden Farewell
002. James Bond: The Man and His World, the Official Companion to Ian Fleming’s Creation by Henry Chancellor
Chancellor’s 2005 work remains one of the best Bond books of the past two decades. There is insight on every page into how Mr. Fleming sourced his plots, travelogue, character names and much more. Lots of delicious food and menus, too. The island days in the sun are making me hungry?
003. James Bond’s Cuisine: 007’s Every Last Meal by Matt Sherman
Now that I am so hungry and thirsty, my slim volume packed with details on everything every character ingested in every Bond book and film is a must read. I can’t even remember all the details within, and I wrote the darn thing, but I know there are tips from the 47 Bond novels and 26 films as to what to do when starving in a desert or jungle situation, as well as some great mixology and Bond trivia inside.
004. James Bond: Casino Royale by Dynamite Entertainment
The imminent release of Van Jensen and Dennis Calero’s graphic novel take on Casino Royale should go with me to Mr. Big’s/Bloody Morgan’s island or wherever it is I’m destined. Right now would be good, so I could read it before everyone else. I’ve been anticipating this redo of the original and one of the best Bond novels since it was announced last year. I hope it will be good enough for multiple rereads in my solitary confinement in Paradise.
Read more: Casino Royale Graphic Novel
005. Ian Fleming: The Man Behind James Bond by Andrew Lycett
Ian Fleming lived a lot of life in a short 56 years. This volume will help me reconcile my own Quantum of Solace while eating pineapples and coconut. Perhaps I can glean insights within to take up stock brokering and reduce my golf handicap and run an international cartel of spies—sorry, I meant international journalists. I’ll likely have time on my island to, like Mr. Fleming, be a popular children’s author and travelogue writer, collect modern first editions and file snappy columns and international news to The Times. It’s not like I’ll have something else to do.
006. Carte Blanche: The Red Edition by Jeffery Deaver
Carte Blanche is certainly a long enough read to keep me busy in between making smoke and distress signals. The Bentley edition is too valuable to keep on island and the little car case that guards it will surely tarnish in the sun. So I’ll bring that cool hardbound red edition, the one with the metal bullet inside its pages, evocative of Bond’s mother, who [spoiler omitted] . . . anyway, around Chapter 23, when I get to Bond’s visit to Dubai, I’ll remember traveling to the Middle East this year to see the Designing 007 Exhibit and to visit the Carte Blanche locations, and the island won’t seem as bad. I’m not going to be stranded on the island of Jamaica, perchance? Regardless, that wee bullet is as cool as 007, and everyone who has seen that book on my shelves adores this edition.
007. Live and Let Die by Ian Fleming
Do I really need a reason for this one? LALD celebrates its 64th anniversary of publication next year and remains a timeless, gripping novel. It’s about a grownup boy scout who goes on a treasure hunt and watches his girlfriend and scout leader get kidnapped, before he . . . and also the boy scout travels to a remote and mysterious island . . . just to swim out to another island, one swarming with sharks and barracuda. Plus if the first edition with first state dustjacket does well at the big island auction next month, I can have enough money to fly home . . . first class. I’ll take along a first American hardcover edition, too, just in case, so I have something good to read after the islanders steal my Jonathan Cape edition. Apparently, they haven’t even heard of PayPal on this damned island!
Song: Into Vienna (If There was a Man) by John Barry
Edith Piaf singing La Vie en Rose beckoned, but it holds too many memories for me, which is why I can never listen to that old album, Echoes of Paris. But “Into Vienna,” the haunting and melancholy song written in waltz time for the close of The Living Daylights as sung gorgeously by lead frontwoman Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders, was the song Janine Lauricella and I danced to the day she became Janine Sherman, 24 years ago this month. Stay faithful, my darling! I just watched Tom Hanks in Cast Away on Netflix! I know what to do next!
Luxury Item: Chemex Coffee Maker
This thankfully is no longer a luxury item as it was in Bond’s day, as prices have fallen (see Amazon, all who would drink caffeine Bond style). But without May (or her helpful niece, Donalda, see Solo) to help me now, I need all the help I can get to brew a good cup of Joe.
A Chemex makes coffee lose its bitterness and opens up its floral palate and . . . “Bond didn’t care for the faddish chains that now dotted the landscape, with their odd names for “small” and “medium” and “large” and the overly solicitous barkeeps-cum-coffee brewers that the Americans kept calling “baristas” for some strange reason.
But if he was going to have two pints of hot black coffee daily just to greet the island sunrise, that sunshine which always lit his cave like an overeager school chum looking for two of three judo throws at Fettes, he wanted his coffee strained of all impurities . . .
Read more: Chemex Coffeemaker
Drink: Taittinger Blanc de Blanc
I really need a drink on this island. Not too much or I’ll be too busy to calculate wind speed to leave the island on my Q-Coracle. I think I’ll reach for a split of Taittinger Blanc de Blanc Brut champagne 1943. After all, it’s the vintage Bond ordered while naming his drink after Vesper Lynd, as they dined together in the Hotel Splendide’s Roi Galant nightclub.
Read more: Taittinger Champagne
Visit Matt’s Bond Fan Events website