Leather-Bound Bond - James Bond has Carte Blanche
James Bond's new assignment has been accepted. Carte Blanche is the brand new literary outing for James Bond, written by Jeffrey Deaver.
I really enjoyed Sebastian Faulks' homage to Ian Fleming's writing style when he resurrected James Bond in his novel Devil May Care. All of Bond's character traits were in evidence. Set in the 60s, around the same time as Fleming's books, it made a satisfying read for those familiar with Fleming's originals.
They say the new Bond novel written by Jeffrey Deaver is a different beast, or rather the character of Bond is different. As it has a contemporary setting then it's probably wise that he hasn't tried to transplant the mores and attitudes of the original 50s/60s stories, they would probably seem dated at best. The pace is meant to be different too, taut and, no doubt, film friendly. I'll be getting a copy to see where he's taken the character.
Deaver is a fan like Faulks, and is as familiar with Fleming's books, so I'm sure he would have picked up on the small details that represent the essence of Bond. For one, Bond drives a Bentley in Carte Blanche, as he always did in the Fleming era - owning three in the 14 original novels. In Carte Blanche he drives a Bentley Continental GT. To celebrate this, Hodder & Stoughton, the publisher, has partnered with Bentley Motors to create 500 special editions of Carte Blanche. A similar thing was done for Devil May Care.
The book comes in a machine-tooled aerodynamic metal case with an anodised aluminium base. The book sitting in the case is handmade and bound in white nappa leather with red edging, the same quality of leather used to fit out the interior of a Bentley. Dramatically, a die-cut bullet hole has been driven into the pages of the book and nestled in the pages sits a 9mm bullet marked with the edition number of the book, the words of the story tracing around it.
I have a Pan copy of Thunderball from the 1960s that has 'bullet holes' designed into the front cover, but this new limited edition collaboration with Bentley is another level entirely.