DK books has made the great even better with their revised edition of "James Bond: The Secret World of 007". Previously released in 2000, this latest edition expands to include the two most recent Bond Thrillers "Die Another Day" and the upcoming "Casino Royale". As with all of DK's books, it is highlighted by fantastic photography from beginning to end and presented in an over-sized hardcover format with dust jacket, perfectly suited for the coffee table.
The book start out with the perfunctory introduction to the character and his rich history including that distinctive "Bond look" , a section on "Q" the master gadget maker, as well as a look at the various bond women such as May Day, Elektra King, and Domino.
Next the book gets into each of the Bond missions, i.e, the films, beginning with Dr. No. You'll go inside the plot of each film and the lair of each villain to meet the evil masterminds as well as their various henchman and attractive women. You'll relive the most harrowing moments of each film and see the tools that Bond applied to save the day. These sections feature numerous photos from each film as well as artistic renderings of things such as Dr. No's Crab Key lair which takes the reader through a step-by-step replay of Bond's ingenious escape.
The Goldfinger section gets you up close and personal inside Bond's ride, the Aston Martin DB5 with it's pop-out machine guns, smoke emitting exhaust pipes, and ejector seat. Diamonds are Forever introduces us to the deadly assassins Wint & Kidd as well as a pair of gorgeous ladies Plenty O'Toole and Tiffany Case as the arch-villain Blofeld returns. The Spy Who Loved Me introduces us to one of the most popular Bond villains the giant, steel-toothed Jaws who gets a sizeable section in the book.
While Bond enthusiasts will know all the details already, casual fans will really eat up this book and it's a simply gorgeous collectible. There are a couple of problems, though. One, is that you barely see Sean Connery, Roger Moore, or even Timothy Dalton anywhere in the book. The only Bond you really see is Pierce Brosnan up until the back section that lists each films credits. The other slight is that there isn't much coverage on Casino Royale but DK has that solved with their new book "Bond on Set" devoted to the latest Bond Film. Two minor things and not enough for me not to highly recommend this book.
Reviewed by Tim Janson