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Catching Bullets: Memoirs of a Bond Fan Paperback – 3 Sep 2012

4.9 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Splendid Books (3 Sept. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0956950574
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956950574
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 407,548 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

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" - Whatculture.com "extraordinary", "seismic", "a magnificent, soulful, touching and immensely pleasurable book...a defining Bond work" - Commanderbond.net "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.


Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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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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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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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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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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Catching Bullets is a book that almost refers to my life as much as it does to the author's. Author Mark O'Connell is roughly the same age as me - he has a one year advantage - and the reference points that he makes are things that I can remember from the 1980s - the choice of either playing Superman or Star Wars in the school playground, miserable cub camps, James Bond TV Times covers, the scheduling of Bond films on television (I am very glad that Mark printed the dates that the films were shown as I can remember watching those very same broadcasts) and he even references a holiday in Crete during the mid-'80s (I was there on holiday in 1987). On that level, Catching Bullets is like looking into a joint diary that we both wrote and is wonderfully nostalgic.

But there are other things going on in Mark's tale of growing up preferring the Roger Moore era of Bond to his (and mine, and probably yours too) parents choice of Sean Connery. A constant conversation topic with my father to this very day usually revolves around the Bond films and more often than not ends up with me having to defend Moonraker - of which Mark puts over an accurate and credible defence - and then counteract his argument with how ludicrous You Only Live Twice is for the Connery era (I don't agree with Mark's argument that it is Connery's best performance but he makes his case well and anyway, it's all about Moore for us children of that era). Mark also interlaces his story of preferring the campier aspects of the Moore era with his own story of growing up knowing he was gay, and not just gay but a gay Bond fan.
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