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James Bond Unmasked Paperback – May 9, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 178 pages
  • Publisher: Spies Publishing; 1ST edition (May 9, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984412611
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984412617
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #414,187 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

And the matter of fact writing style makes this very familiar material sound boring.
JCN
Obviously the interviews with Connery, Lazenby, Moore, Dalton, Brosnan and Craig had invaluable material to the book, but also the directors and producers.
Fred Topel
Desowitz has very, very few of those; or if he does, they did not make it onto the page here.
Bryant Burnette

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Delmo Walters Jr. on May 19, 2012
Format: Paperback
From the publisher of the acclaimed and exhaustively researched "Making of OHMSS" comes a new book delving into the evolution of James Bond. Written by Bill Desowitz, "James Bond Unmasked" peels back the layers of how the character has changed from Connery to Craig, and how the movies have adapted to the changing times, from setting trends to following them. It's a quick read that flows nicely. When I buy film or TV books, I'm after two things: information I did not know, and photos I've never seen. This book delivers on both. The highlight of the book are the interviews with the 6 Bond actors, including a new interview with Sean Connery from 2002. While a 10 year old interview usually wouldn't be classified as new, this one is as the last time Connery talked this much about Bond was for an interview in the late '80s with London Weekend Television that has been quoted and sourced to death since! Add this book to your cinematic 007 50th anniversary shopping list.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Kate on May 30, 2012
Format: Paperback
Since the Bond films are absolute classic films of the action genre, I was excited to read this book. I must say, it does not disappoint.

This book is filled with information on each of the Bond films, interviews with the six actors who have played James Bond, and photographs that help bring this book to life.

A synopsis of each film is included, and these are fun to read through even if you have seen all the movies. Not only do the synopses explain what happened in the movies, but they also contain quotes from the Bond actor who was in that specific film.

The actor interviews are superb, and offer a unique perspective on the films. Each actor was able to both fulfill the Bond role as he was written, as well as bring his own unique characteristics and abilities to the role so that every actor had an impact on who James Bond was. It is intriguing to read about what those qualities are and how each actor used them to redefine the Bond character as his own. The interviews give you the chance to learn more about how the actors felt within each of their roles as James Bond, as well as opinions and extra information on scenes from the films.

The quotes and interviews with the Bond actors offer an inside perspective on the films, and it's very enjoyable to read. Anyone should read this, whether you're a fanatical James Bond fan or a distant admirer.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By fleming17f on October 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
I can't think of a better way to celebrate Bond's 50th Anniversary than by reviewing the first 22 films, using Bill Desowitz's film-by-film analysis as your guide. But the true highlights of this work are the one-on-one interviews with each of the six Bond actors, including the first Bond-related interview Sean Connery's given since the 80s, and one of only two on Bond granted by Timothy Dalton. A great gift for Bond fanatics and newcomers alike!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By HeathCliff on October 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
Transparency disclosure: I'm a fellow journalist, and have known Bill Desowitz for 20 years. The major accomplishment of the book - and not to be taken lightly - is that Bill interviewed all six James Bond actors (especially Sean Connery and Timothy Dalton, who rarely discuss Bond anymore) - AND he artfully combined their insights with his own for this comprehensive book.

James Bond Unmasked is admittedly less for the fanboy who knows every nanodata of information, and for the average fan as a comprehensive overview and guide to better understand and appreciate how each actor has lent his own personality while staying true to the 007 template established by the indelible Connery.

It's a birds-eye view which is instructive and fascinating, to the Bond series - and will give the reader the broad insights: that Connery's inspired creation was an upper class/working class hybrid perfectly suited to the swinging '60s; that George Lazenby put a more human face on Bond; that Roger Moore showed how absurd it all was with a casual demeanor; that Dalton returned to the roots of Fleming for the first time with a more fallible Bond (setting the stage, in essence, for Daniel Craig's conflicted 007); and that Pierce Brosnan hit a very successful middle ground between Connery and Moore.

It's an instructive, valuable film-by-film narrative approach containing synopsis, quotes and commentary - and a relevant, concise 50th anniversary reference guide.

HeathCliff Rothman, contributor to Vanity Fair, New York Times, GQ, O Oprah, Los Angeles (and currently president of [...]
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By JCN on October 7, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book to be very thin on new material. The vast majority of the pages is taken up by synopsis' of the films. And the matter of fact writing style makes this very familiar material sound boring. The new interviews/information could fit in a pamphlet. Not worth the money. Go elsewhere for some in depth reading.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bryant Burnette on October 12, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If the content of this book were found on a blog somewhere, I'd think it was pretty good, but as a book, it's a dud. As other reviewers have pointed out, the vast majority of the book consists of synopses of each movie. Frankly, I don't need synopses; I've seen most of these movies dozens of times. A synopsis is fine, provided that it's being used as a framing device for some sort of analysis and insight. Desowitz has very, very few of those; or if he does, they did not make it onto the page here.

What he has are some decent interviews with the Bond actors. Those take up nineteen pages, so in terms of interesting content, you're paying about $1 for each of these pages. If that seems worth the expenditure to you, then go for it, says I.

A few notes:

(1) Who edited this book? Nobody worth their salt. The chapter on Tomorrow Never Dies has two instances of Wai Lin being called "Mai Lin," which is embarrassing.
(2) It's Bilbao, Spain. Not Bilboa.
(3) Desowitz obviously has no idea what the word "irony" means. He misuses the word frequently, often using "ironically" to indicate "coincidentally" or "notably" or "interestingly," or something similar. I'll grant you that "irony," as a concept, is misused widely in our culture, but, again, an editor ought to have corrected those mistakes here.
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