Top positive review
5 people found this helpful
Unlikely to be bettered
on 9 September 2014
This huge, rather unwieldy book, is one of those tomes that you lug out for a casual browse and find you have completely lost yourself in. Rather like a Bond villian, it's big, ambitious, and perhaps a tad impractical in terms of its scope, but overall it is irresistible to anyone with more than a passing interest in the Bond franchise and how these films have developed and grown over the years.
Lavishly illustrated with some truly stunning photographs, the size of the book is both a strength and a weakness, in that it has a high visual impact, but is really cumbersome to move around easily, so browsing on a sturdy table, rather than on the sofa, is the best option.
The story of the Bond franchise is going to be famiiar to anyone prepared to shell out serious money for this volume, so the content won't disappoint, but nor will it be completely new. A combination of transcribed interviews, storyboards, publicity material and behind the scene photos across 50 years of fim-making gives a range of insights, and generally it works well. Rare, the archive also includes detailed material on the non-official Bond movies, so the David Niven/Woody Allen Casino Royale caper is included here, as is Connery's return in Never Say Never Again. Including these just makes the "official" films look even better in terms of design and execution.
It's unlkely to be bettered in terms of a book about the Bond films, although don't come here expecting detailed analysis of the original books or indeed the film storylines themselves. This is much more a detailed archive of the film-making process, which is as much about the craft of cinema as it is about 007.
Having thought long and hard before buying this, it is certainly a labour of love and perhaps one of the most well-constructed and stunning books I have. The cardboard carry case that houses the book is unlikely to take much wear and tear, but will no doubt be required in mint condition for those with an eye to keeping their volume in pristine condition for re-selling as a collectors item in years to come.
Versions with the 35mm neg strips from Dr No are still, seemingly out there - they were in the version I bought online, but not from Amazon, it must be said. And as for the option to "tell the publisher you want to read this in Kindle" - forget it!