Monday, September 12, 2022

"Silverfin" ESL Edition

Tonight I visited Dymocks book store in Camberwell to pick up a new addition to my book collection.  A week ago I'd ordered an ESL (English Second Language) copy of Charlie Higson's young James Bond adventure "Silverfin" and earlier today I was alerted my special order had arrived.

The book is only 64 pages so it's pretty thin.  Published in 2021 by Penguin in the UK, it's basically a savagely abridged black-and-white graphic interpretation of Charlie Higson 2005 novel.

I've checked the web and this appears to be the only book in this series so far, but hopefully more will follow.

Finally, I could have easily ordered the book from an on-line book site however it was great to have supported a family owned business instead.

Thursday, September 01, 2022

U.S. Versions Of "Carte Blanche"

It used to be rare to meet fellow James Bond book collectors.  Fortunately with the advent of the internet, online forums and Facebook groups it's now much easier to chat with like-minded bibliophiles.

On the weekend I caught up with a fellow collector here in Melbourne, Victoria.  It's the first time I've met another Bond collector in my own country.  He was selling some unwanted books from his collection to create more shelf space for other more desirable titles.  As well as the opportunity to see his collection (and what a great book collection it was) I was also able to purchase a paperback from him that I had a feeling could have slight cover differences to a similar copy on my own shelves.

The paperback in question was a copy of Jeffery Deaver's "Carte Blanche" published by Pocket Books in the U.S. in 2012.  At first when he handed me the book I immediately thought there was a very minor cover difference.  But on bringing the book home I realised the difference was much more noticeable.

Here's the copy I purchased.  The text appears to be a grey/white colour:

And here's my original copy.  The text appears to be more silver on the cover:

But those differences are minor when you place the books side by side.  Here they're also accompanied by the trade size paperback:

The size difference was an unexpected surprise.  Here's the back covers too:

The copy I purchased was "For International Sale" while my copy was a first U.S. printing.

It's always nice to still find these surprises.  However now I'm wondering if there are other variations of U.S. paperback printings of this title out there ?  I suppose only time will tell.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Two Forgotten Draft Post Stories

Today's post is a little different.

Back in early June of this year I received a fourth copy of John Gardner's "Icebreaker" in the mail featuring a skull on the cover.  I started writing the blog post below and then found yet another variant cover online and quickly purchased it.  Four copies became five.  This meant the post below became redundant and was saved as a draft only.  The story of these five covers published by Coronet and Coronet-General in the 1980's can be found here in the post that was finally released.

I've now re-opened this draft post and published some of what I originally wrote.  Any duplicated text copied to the other post has been deleted however I forgot two stories here which others may also find interesting.

Firstly, here's two photos I was going to include when I received the fourth copy.  It shows all the different cover variations of this paperback I owned at the time:

Story 1:
In a recent post in the James Bond Collectable Books Worldwide group on Facebook a collector named Ian S. commented that he'd recently added a paperback copy of John Gardner's "Icebreaker" to his collection.  The cover image he included was this one:

I decided to contact him with "Hi Ian, I liked your recent post on the 'vampire' Icebreaker and then realised I didn't have a copy myself !  I have 3 different covers of this book but not a Coronet-General one matching yours.  Thanks to eBay I was able to remedy that situation this morning.  Thanks for the post, cheers Baz"

He responded with "You're welcome! It was thanks to your Piz Gloria website that I even knew of the alternative cover in the 1st place. I got one a couple of years ago, and thought the price on this one was too good to pass up. Then I realised it wasn't a sticker on the cover and double checked Piz Gloria to see if it was there.
Also, it's interesting that the distributed mark is in a different place."  He also added that "You have probably already noticed that the Canadian copy has the title in blue while the UK  edition is metallic."  He then sent this image:

Story 2:
After I'd purchased the similar copy on eBay, with the light blue title text, I asked the seller to please send the book well packaged so it didn't get damaged in transit.  She replied "I keep bubble wrap in business.  Will keep it well protected for the trip.  This book was my Dad's; he would have loved the idea of it going to Australia.  Enjoy"

Monday, August 15, 2022

"For Special Services" Berkley/Charter Variations

Another day... another parcel.  

This time it contained a copy of John Gardner's "For Special Services" published in the US by Berkley in 1986.  

As far as I'm aware the four different slight cover variations below are all that were available for this title from Berkley/Charter in the 1980's, but I'm sure I'll be proven wrong.

1) Berkley - International Edition - RRP $2.95 - December 1982 with the cover tag-line
"The International Bestseller - Now In Paperback".  Publisher details top right.

The following three copies all have the same cover tag-line "The New York Times Bestseller".

2) Berkley - RRP $3.50 - April 1983 - Silver silhouette.  Note also the slight change of position of the silhouette compared to the other covers here. Publisher details top right. 

3) Berkley - RRP $3.95 - June 1986 - Black silhouette.  Publisher details middle left.

4) Charter - RRP $4.50 - July 1987 - Black silhouette.  Publisher details middle left.

And here's the four covers together:

Thursday, August 11, 2022

"With A Mind To Kill" - Waterstones Exclusive Edition (Again)

Over the last few months I've purchased several James Bond items.  But the parcels have sat in a bag in our lounge room and I'm only starting to open them now.  

Today's parcel was received a couple of months ago from Waterstones in the UK.  It's a hardback copy of Anthony Horowitz's latest James Bond novel "With A Mind To Kill".  The novel was published by Jonathan Cape and released on May 26, 2022.  

This edition is similar to another "exclusive" copy I received from Waterstones at it's time of release as they both have a stenciled edge that reads "007".  The copy shown here isn't signed by the author though.

Monday, August 08, 2022

Coronet Sniper Series Replacement

The first paperback printing of John Gardner's fifth James Bond adventure "Nobody Lives For Ever" was published by Coronet in 1986.  The cover features an image of a sniper sight aiming at a boat and a silhouette of Bond in front of "007" text.  

As the years have passed I've realised this printing is not very common.  It may have even had a limited release only in the UK as I never saw this edition for sale in new bookstores here in Australia back in the 1980's.  I only discovered this cover existed in the late 1990's.  

There were few websites displaying James Bond book covers back then, especially continuation novels.  And online websites selling books wasn't anywhere as big as it is today.  Finding this cover in a second-hand book store was a real surprise, especially as there were already four other titles with matching covers in my collection.  Those titles were reprints of the first four of Gardner's Bond adventures; "Licence Renewed" (white), ""For Special Services" (red), "Icebreaker" (black) and "Role Of Honour" (dark blue).   For want of a name I called these covers the Coronet Sniper Series.

Now I'm pretty picky.  The original copy I found wasn't in great condition compared to the other four I had in my series and it's always been a bugbear of mine.  It's taken a long time but recently I found and purchased a replacement copy.  Here's the two of them together.  The copy on the right is the new one.  It has a couple of texta marks on the back cover hiding the printed price but the spine is lovely and overall the copy appears unread.

And here's the new copy with the other four in the series.  The last copy, with the red cover, is the same title published by Coronet-General in Canada.  I still have no idea why they changed the colour from light blue/teal to red in Canada, especially as "For Special Services" was already printed in red, but it's an added bonus of this series.

Finally, this is the card that accompanied the book from the overseas seller.  I like these extra details from sellers.

Friday, August 05, 2022

Granada Box Set Arrives

I recently purchased this four book box set/slip-case of Ian Fleming - James Bond paperbacks published by Granada.  The four paperbacks contained in the set are: "Goldfinger", "From Russia With Love", "The Man With The Golden Gun" and "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" which are all part of the Girls On Guns series.  This set has an ISBN of 0 586 06306 4. 

Back in 2017 I purchased a similar Ian Fleming box set published by Triad-Panther containing six paperbacks.  As far as I'm aware there is only one further box set of this series of books.  The hunt continues...

Thursday, August 04, 2022

Sadly, Life Must Go On

My sister-in-law has accompanied my wife and I on many book hunting adventures.  Sadly, less than three weeks ago she passed away from Covid.  She is 47.

Two weeks ago my wife and I used her laptop and I noticed she'd opened all of the post notification emails sent from this blog.  Not only has my wife lost her sister, her family a daughter, and myself a great friend, but there's now one less regular reader of this blog.

After the funeral my wife and I took a week off work.  Collecting James Bond novels certainly wasn't a priority during this time.  In fact I still have a pile of books in their postage parcels that I haven't opened yet.  However we happened to pass two second-hand book stores while we were travelling to the Mornington Peninsula for a day trip and we made some quick stops.

The first was Chapter House Books in Mornington.  As I took photos of the street frontage I was shocked to see a "Business For Sale" sign on the front window.  

I entered the store and scoured the books on the shelves, before purchasing an unread trade paperback of Jeffery Deaver's "Carte Blanche" which contained an autographed book plate from the author.  I spoke to the friendly woman behind the counter and she explained she'd operated the store for over 14 years and it was time for a change, so they were selling the entire business in the hope someone else would continue it.  Good luck to the owners and I hope the business does continue.

Here's some photos from inside the store as well as the book I purchased with its book plate.

Next stop was Frankston Book Exchange.  Rob was behind the counter suggesting books to read to another customer.

James Bond adventures are located on the left near the front of the store, along with Agatha Christie and Ngaio Marsh mysteries, and other popular vintage authors. 

There were five Bond paperbacks on the shelf, as well as a 7th impression hardback of "The Spy Who Loved Me" published by Jonathan Cape in 1965.  I already had all the paperbacks and the Cape hardback, but the Cape still had its dustjacket which is not common.  I opened the inside cover and noticed that the jacket was taped to the inside of the cover which isn't ideal.  However for AU$40 I knew it was still a reasonable price.

Before I left I asked Rob about his brother's second-hand book store, the Pakenham Book Exchange, which was closed on my last visit and he explained it was still temporarily closed.  There had been a fire in an accompanying shop in the arcade and the owner was still waiting on repairs to be carried out.  His brother had thrown out hundreds of books because of water damage caused by the response to the fire.  I hope the book store reopens soon.