Wednesday, June 15, 2022

The Life Of Ian Fleming

Tonight I unwrapped the last of my birthday presents.

This parcel contained a Companion Book Club edition of John Pearson's "The Life Of Ian Fleming".  First published by Jonathan Cape in 1966 it appears this book club edition was also published the same year.

John Pearson was also the author of "James Bond: The Authorized Biography" which is featured on the website as a continuation novel.  That book was first published in 1973.

Well that's the end of my birthday gifts from my wife... until next year anyway.

As a postscript to my recent post on paperback cover variations of "Icebreaker" published by Coronet I just wanted to mention a comment made by Kate in the United States who was selling one of the copies.  When I explained to her that the books I had purchased would be travelling to Australia her response was "These were my Dad's; he would have loved the idea of them going to Australia.  Enjoy !".   I doubt she'll see this post however I believe they've gone to another good home.

Monday, June 13, 2022

"For Special Services" Misprint

I recently received three parcels of books from my wife for my birthday.  When my wife had asked me what I wanted for my birthday I'd suggested just wrapping the parcels of books I'd recently received in the post.  The books were the result of several dives down a series of rabbit holes while online shopping.

The first parcel of books were for a particular cover of John Gardner's "Icebreaker" which I discussed in my last post.  

The second parcel also contained a John Gardner title published by Coronet-General Books, this time "For Special Services".  The book is shown on the left in the photo below.  These two books are identical except for one point; the silver title text.  The cover on the right shows what the silver text should look like.  The cover on the left  has misprinted silver text.

I'm not a book printing expert however when I posted this cover image on an online Facebook group a number of people suggested how it could have occurred.  If you're interested I listed them on my Less Common Books And Ephemera page on

Saturday, June 11, 2022

"Icebreaker" Paperback Cover Variations

Back in 1983 when UK publisher Coronet released John Gardner's third James Bond adventure in paperback format the cover featured a white skull on a black background.

Initially I thought all first paperback printings had exactly the same cover, but several years ago I read John Cox's The Book Bond during a discussion he'd had with Dan Gale and discovered there was a slight variant cover.  This cover is now known as the "white fangs variant" and can be seen as a white area in both corners of the mouth of the skull.  

In the photo below the left is the "white fangs variant" while the copy on the right is the standard version.

At the same time as Coronet published these books in the UK, they were also published in Canada as Coronet - General Books.  Recently I discovered exactly the same printing variation occurred there too.  And two weeks ago I received one of the copies in the mail.  Here are the same covers from Coronet - General Books.

And just when I thought I had all variations of this cover a fellow James Bond book collector, Ian S., sent me a message explaining he'd found another variant.  I managed to find the same cover for sale online and last week this copy arrived in the mail.  As you can see below the title text for this variant cover on the left is a light blue colour.  While the cover on the right (a duplicated cover from above just for reference purposes) is the usual metallic title text.  Again this is a Coronet - General Books printing.

Surely these are all the different cover variations of this printing of "Icebreaker"... but I'm not holding my breath !

Wednesday, June 08, 2022

A Day In Bendigo

On Monday my wife and I both had a day off work, so we took my parents on a mystery trip to Bendigo.  

Located in central Victoria, Bendigo is a two hour drive from the City.  It was built during the gold rush of the 1800's and is now a bustling city itself with a population close to 100,000.  It's currently also the location of the "Elvis: Direct From Graceland" exhibition at the Bendigo Art Gallery.

There were so many items on display; cars, clothes, LP's, 50's and 60's merchandise, photos and personal items belonging to Elvis.  There was also a collection of books from his own library.  Sadly there were no James Bonds novels among them.

We spent over an hour in the gallery and on leaving we all commented how good the exhibition was.  Here's a few more photos:

My wife and I also made a quick visit to Bendigo Book Mark which was just around the corner from the gallery.

The secondhand book store was really well organised with hundreds of books on the shelves, and the person behind the counter was both friendly and helpful.

There were also several Bond novels on the shelves but unfortunately none for me today.  

We all had a great day in Bendigo and hope to return again soon...

Monday, June 06, 2022

An Anthony Horowitz Weekend

My wife and I were in the City last weekend for the Good Food & Wine Show.  After we'd eaten all the free samples and sipped some wine we ventured into the City proper.  First stop was City Basement Books on Flinders Street.

This is the first time I've visited this store since the pandemic began over 2 years ago, and I'm so glad it survived all the lockdowns.  

After descending the stairs we walked to the fiction section and immediately noticed some Fleming novels.   Then amongst all the James Bond novels we were surprised to see a US hardback copy of Anthony Horowitz's "Forever And A Day" published by Harper in 2021.

The hardback looked unread as I grabbed it from the shelf.  And I was even more surprised to see a cost of just $9.  Definitely an unexpected find to add to my collection.  A paperback bag from the old Kill City Crime Books was an added bonus.

Next stop was Dymocks on Collins Street.  

The paperback version of Anthony Horowitz's new Bond novel "With A Mind To Kill" is now available on Australian book shelves, and it was great to see this format in the flesh.

I quickly purchased a copy and have since scanned the cover and added the image to my website.  Here's a photo of the paperback.

I also noticed a couple of new James Bond related titles which I briefly flicked through.  Maybe another time.

Last weekend was certainly an Anthony Horowitz weekend !