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The James Bond Bedside Companion

The James Bond Bedside Companion [Kindle Edition]

Raymond Benson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

New revised digital edition of the classic 007 reference book from the 1980s, complete with a new Foreword by the author.

THE JAMES BOND BEDSIDE COMPANION is an encyclopedic celebration of 007, who is still the world’s most popular secret agent.

The only book to cover all aspects of the James Bond phenomenon in a single volume, it includes: a) An intimate portrait of Ian Fleming as remembered by his friends and colleagues; b) a character study of James Bond—his background and early life, his clothing and other personal habits, his preferences in food and drink, his attitudes toward women and marriage; c) The by-products of Bondmania and the merchandising of 007; d) Detailed analyses of every James Bond novel by Ian Fleming, as well as those written by other authors through the 1980s; e) A critical look at the 007 film series—the producers, screenplays, directors, actors, soundtracks, and special effects; f) over 100 photographs; g) An Introduction written by Ernest Cuneo, perhaps Fleming’s closest American friend; h) And enough facts, figures, and miscellaneous Bondian trivia to satisfy even the most ardent fan.

BIO: Raymond Benson is the highly acclaimed author of twenty-five books, six original James Bond 007 novels, three film novelizations, three short stories, and two anthologies on Bond. He is a sought-after lecturer on film genres and history. Writing as David Michaels, Benson is a New York Times best-selling author, an Edgar Alan Poe Award nominee, and a Readers' Choice Award winner.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3228 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Crossroad Press; Crossroad Press Digital Edition edition (6 Jan 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #79,684 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nobody's Done It Better 18 Aug 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
This is the fourth appearance of Raymond Benson's 'Bond Bible' that has proven so elusive over the years. First published in USA in 1984, a revised and updated second edition appeared in UK in 1988, before a facsimile 'print on demand' edition appeared in USA in 2001. This 2012 Kindle version is the 1988 edition albeit with a further new introduction by the author. Why should you invest? Simply because it has never been outclassed in its coverage of both books and films. An enjoyable skim for the casual fan, there's enough depth to satisfy the enthusiast.

For those who don't know, in the 80s Benson was a theatre graduate working a day job while making a name for himself as a director and composer. A music, book and film buff with a particular love for James Bond, he spent three years researching the Bedside Companion which was then nominated for an Edgar. Its success saw him interview and befriend 1980s Bond author John Gardner, write several 007 role play games and earn him the respect of fans and Glidrose (then holder of the literary Bond copyright) as the leading authority on the Bond books. After Gardner retired from the role, Benson was entrusted with the job between 1997 and 2002: for me, his James Bond: The Union Trilogy: Three 007 Novels are worthy of the best of Fleming. In short, the guy knew his stuff.

The Bedside Companion is both a comprehensive analysis of the James Bond canon and a blueprint for his later 007 fiction. It has 5 sections: The Bond Phenomenon, a narrative timeline across all media between the 50s and 80s; a potted biography of Ian Fleming; a biography of Bond himself; and sections on the novels and films.
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5.0 out of 5 stars All the Facts on Bond 26 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Brilliant Book, covers Fleming's life and all the Novels and Films, even some of the early J Gardner Books. First printed in the early 80s so not up to date But still a very interesting read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Everything you need to know about Bond! 25 Mar 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a truly fantastic collection of knowledge about the James Bond franchise. Covering the books to the films up to the late 1980s, this comprehensive guide is sure to inform and entertain any reader.

I initially purchased the kindle edition of this book, to help me write my dissertation. I found the book to be invaluable, but the kindle edition sadly did not contain page numbers so I bought a physical copy of the book too.

Overall, highly recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  21 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent analysis of the James Bond phenomenon. 10 Mar 2002
By Ivanhoe - Published on
Raymond Benson's James Bond Bedside Companion provides an excellent analysis of the entire James Bond series, including the films and the novels. This edition was originally released in 1988, and it has not been updated to the present. As a result, some of the information is quite dated. Of most notable development is the fact that Raymond Benson himself has since taken over as the author of the James Bond literary series.
Nonetheless, this is overall, an informative work. Benson provides a chapter on Ian Fleming's background. Of particular note is a chapter in which Benson pieces together the biography of the James Bond character. This is reminiscent of John Pearson's Unauthorized Biography of James Bond. Benson provides an excellent analysis of the James Bond novels. He identifies trends in Ian Fleming's writing nad points to specific examples of what he calls the "Fleming Effect." For hard core fans of the novels this section is excellent. Benson includes analysis of the works of Ian FLeming, Kingsley Amis, and John Gardner. Curiously, many of the apparent criticisms that Benson had of Gardner's work, he is guilty of committing in his own novels. The film analysis is also excellent. Benson provides detailed analysis of every film through the Living Daylights.
It should be noted that this book will probably not be of much appeal to the casual James Bond fan. Benson tries to provide an in depth analysis rather than focusing on the superficial. Of distraction to the hard core fan, are occasional factual errors that appear to be the result of sloppy editing. Additionally, the quality of the text and photos is generally poor. The formatting of the text is somewhat erratic with occasional omissions of glaringly obvious punctuation. The photos are all black & white. The photos are generally blurred. This appear to be the result of poor printing.
Overall, the quality of the author's analysis is generally educational and informative. However, the production of the actual book borders on shoddy. An excellent reference work for the hardcore fan, but if you're looking for color photos of Bond girls and gadgets, then you should look elsewhere.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable Literary and Cinematic Bond Compendium 31 Jan 2007
By hille2000 - Published on
I found Author Raymond Benson's "James Bond Bedside Companion" to be an indispensable work on James Bond along with works of authors such as John Griswold, Kingsley Amis, Philip Lisa and others. Benson's book focuses on both the literary and cinematic James Bond and goes even further examining the entire James Bond phenomenon. Overall this is a very comprehensive book told concisely in expert fashion. It is an essential book for any James Bond enthusiast. Putting it bluntly, Benson knows his stuff.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE essential reference work on James Bond. Period. 29 Sep 2002
By Matthew - Published on
If you're a fan of the movies or books but haven't ever read anything about them, this is the place to start. If you have read lots of other stuff, but not this, shame on you. You'll still learn a lot from The James Bond Bedside Companion, and you'll find that it is THE essential guide to all things Bond, books and films, all in one place. I have just about everything ever published on Bond in English (and that's a lot of books), and this is the one that I'll pull off the shelf first if I want to look things up. Every Bond fan should own it.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Should be called "The LITERARY James Bond Bedside Companion" 5 Nov 2012
By Clem - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Like all major James Bond fans, I try to get my hands on just about any book, used or new, that I discover about the James Bond phenomenon. This book (which was written and published in 1983 and revised in 1988) is incredibly rich in detail. The author digs DEEP into the background, character and personality traits of James Bond as well as his creator, Ian Fleming. The best thing about this book is that it does an amazing job of introducing the reader to the richness and appeal of the Ian Fleming novels which, lets face it, don't get as much attention as they did over 50 years ago when the author was still alive. Ironically, the author of this book would be chosen to write several "official" James Bond novels starting in the late 1990s after John Gardner (the one who took over after Ian Fleming) retired. Reading this companion will peak your interest, and subconsciously draw you to your local used book store to hoard up on the Fleming novels.
Sadly, this asset to this work is also its biggest liability. Raymond Benson is so much in love with the literary James Bond, that when he gets to the "James Bond Movies" section of the book, all he does is whine and bellyache at every instance where the movie isn't exactly like the book. It gets quite aggravating when you're reading about your favorite movies and the author keeps saying "Another problem with the movie, is that it's different from the book in that it......" over and over and over again. You can just imagine how thrilled (sarcasm intended) the author is by the time he gets to the Roger Moore movies. I lost track of how many times, while talking about the 70s movies, where the author says "there is an attempt at humor here, which clearly has no place in a James Bond movie...." Well, sorry Mr. Benson, but there are plenty of people who enjoy humor in the James Bond movies. Sadly, what these Bond "purists" fail to realize, is that if the the producers stuck with the "original formula" of the Fleming novels for screen adaptations, the series would have never survived the decade of the 1960s, let alone as long as 2012 and beyond.
So one wishes he would have been a bit more objective in many places. Still, a good book overall, and although I have yet to read any of his novels yet, the consensus is that they're very strong overall.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BOND-Bible 27 Feb 2013
By Soeren Madsen - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
I have alot of books about 007 ( .....and I mean alot..!!!), but nobody does it better than Mr. Benson. It's a book you can read again and again.......and again....just like the Bible. I would love an "up to date"- version from this great some kind of a New Testament.
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