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Catching Bullets: Memoirs of a Bond Fan [Paperback]

Mark Gatiss , Maud Adams , Mark O'Connell , Barbara Broccoli
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
RRP: £7.99
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Book Description

3 Sep 2012
When Jimmy O'Connell took a job as chauffeur for 007 producers Eon Productions, it would not just be Cubby Broccoli, Roger Moore and Sean Connery he would drive to James Bond his grandson Mark swiftly hitched a metaphorical ride too. In Catching Bullets: Memoirs of a Bond Fan, Mark O'Connell takes us on a humorous journey of filmic discovery where Bond films fire like bullets at a Thatcher era childhood, closeted adolescence and adult life as a comedy writer still inspired by that Broccoli movie magic. Catching Bullets is a unique and sharply-observed love-letter to James Bond, Duran Duran title songs and bolting down your tea quick enough to watch Roger Moore falling out of a plane without a parachute.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Splendid Books (3 Sep 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0956950574
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956950574
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 51,732 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Catching Bullets is a wonderfully funny and touching memoir Barbara Broccoli, co-Producer of the James Bond films "a completely unique...perspective on the franchise" "...a wholly original take on a subject that has been written about so many times with most authors covering the same topics over and over again. O Connell s book offers a totally fresh take and is a really enjoyable read, not just for Bond fans but for anyone looking for a nostalgic romp through the pop culture of the last fifty years" - "extraordinary", "seismic", "a magnificent, soulful, touching and immensely pleasurable book...a defining Bond work" - "Well-written, thoughtful and intelligent, Mark s book, with a foreword by long-time fan Mark Gatiss and an afterword by Maud Adams herself, is likely to jog memories as well as provoke passionate debate. Perfect bedside reading and just the right book to remind us all why we fell in love with Bond, James Bond, in the first place" --Starburst

About the Author

Mark O'Connell is a talented comedy writer and has written for a range of top comedy performers including the legendary Ronnie Corbett plus various sketch shows, sitcom projects, stand-up acts and online shorts. Mark won the prestigious Lloyds Bank Channel Four Film Challenge for his short film, Carrying Dad which starred John Simm and Larry Lamb. He also scooped the coveted Jerwood Film Prize for Skedaddle and has worked with top comedy producer Jon Plowman. He has also been selected by London 2012 / BT to be one of the official BT Storytellers of the London Olympics.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST HAVE FOR BOND FANS! 30 Sep 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There are many books about James Bond. Especially this fall there will be lots of titles devoted to this legendary character and its 50 years of entertaining a mass audience.

But this one you should definitely get. Because it gets the fascination of James Bond like no other book has yet managed to.

Author Mark O'Connell understands that the allure of James Bond 007 consists not only of its massive entertainment value but also of the personal connection the audience can make with these films. Since every Bond film basically is a variation of a distinct story formula, the interesting part is how every new film manages to use this formula and re-new its appeal. This, of course, always depends on the particular time during which a Bond film is made. Every Bond film becomes a time capsule, holding not only fashions and ideas of its particular era but also shaping them. The effect on the audience is magnificent: Everyone can re-watch every Bond film and re-experience their own feelings at the time they saw these films for the first time. Bond films not only made movie history, they are telling us about history. And also our own history.

This is what O'Connell masterfully illuminates by writing about every Bond film not in the chronological order of their release dates but the order in which he has seen them, from youth onwards. CATCHING BULLETS, referring to the way one had to be always looking for a way to catch these films when they were shown on TV or a re-run in the local cinema, back in the 80's when internet streaming or available Blu Ray-boxes were not an option. This structure allows O'Connell to convey the personal connection between his personal life and James Bond films.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for all lifelong Bond fans!!! 18 Sep 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Mark O'Connell makes much of his unusual status as a gay Bond fan, so appropriately enough his funny, extemely personal book is very much a love letter to all things 007. He also bolts the more autobiographical elements on to some sharp insights and observations of the individual films (presented in a refreshingly personal, rather than chronological, order) that will increase your appreciation of even the least-loved entries in the series (he's made me willing to give Moonraker another go after many years).

All in all, a great read that will make people like me feel that we are not alone in our lifelong Bond geekery, and for that I am very grateful!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Bond related read in ages! 22 Sep 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Being the obsessive Bond fan that I am I've read many, many books regarding various people and their connections to the world of 007, usually they tend to be rather dry and dull crew and cast recollections, this book though is all about being a fan and growing up with Bond and it's an absolute joy to read. Being roughly the same age as the author I can fully identify with his journey and his 1980's recollections of videoing Bond off the telly at Christmas and the frustrations of 'pan and scan' (despite not having such a great family connection to the world of EON!), while not a fact and figures reference guide this book contains enough trivia and insightful observations to appeal to any fan of 007, but it's much more than that it's also the tricky journey through adolescence as a gay 007 fan and the joys and anguish that can entail, and the constant good humour is both warm and very funny (my personal favourite gem being that line about "Roger's Bond deflowering more than just Kananga's poppy fields"). I can't recommend this wonderful book highly enough and it's well worth the money.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A View Of A Bond Fan 24 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This brilliantly funny, laugh out loud (capturing the best of Bill Bryson) tribute and affectionate look at the James Bond series by a fan growing up in the 80's is a must read. Not just for Bond fans (of which I am one) but for anyone who has had a childhood compulsion to collect everything to do with their hero. The insight into the Bond films are beautifully written and almost convince you A View To A Kill is worth a second look. This book written by the very funny Mark O Connell by the way and Mark Gatiss only supplied the forward. A perfect read and a hilarious visit to the past, present and to come...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not just for Bond fans 23 Jun 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Mark O' Connell's history of catching the James Bond films benefits from his ever-so-personal approach. In some cases, attempts to add a "back-story" to what is largely a summary of Bond "bullets" can seem forced, but here it works. In doing so, O' Connell makes the subtle point that - for all of us - the love of films like these is intimately tied to our personal life stories. Added to that, O' Connell's observations are sharp, but warm. He has the most incredible capacity for loving Bond in all incarnations, even if his personal favourite - like mine - remains the great Sir Roger. Very much recommended
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read. 16 Nov 2012
By Mark
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having been sucked in by the hype of the new Bond movie I bought this for my Kindle. I've always loved the Bond movies but would not class myself as a 'huge fan' - more of a 'casual fan'. Anyway I thoroughly enjoyed the book - it's a great read.

To choose three words to sum it up; Intelligent, Engaging, Witty.
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