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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
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...
Published on May 19, 2012 by Delmo Walters Jr.

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not The Best
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.
Published 22 months ago by JCN


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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, May 19, 2012
This review is from: James Bond Unmasked (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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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling overview of the Bond films, May 30, 2012
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This review is from: James Bond Unmasked (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect way to celebrate the 50th!, October 17, 2012
This review is from: James Bond Unmasked (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
5.0 out of 5 stars DESOWITZ IS A FIRST-RATE FILM JOURNALIST AND AUTHOR - JAMES BOND UNMASKED INCLUDED, October 16, 2012
This review is from: James Bond Unmasked (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
2.0 out of 5 stars Not The Best, October 7, 2012
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This review is from: James Bond Unmasked (Paperback)
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
2.0 out of 5 stars I paid money for this?, October 12, 2012
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This review is from: James Bond Unmasked (Paperback)
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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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bond Lover's Dream, August 31, 2012
By 
Fred Topel (Studio City, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: James Bond Unmasked (Paperback)
This is a great way to revisit the entire Bond series. Bill Desowitz has intimate knowledge and firsthand accounts from all the James Bonds to tell the entire story of every movie. It's a good read full of details of the films themselves, and behind the scenes of what went on. You get a real sense of the entire trajectory of the series, the many phases from the '60s to the funny period to trying to get back to serious again. Obviously the interviews with Connery, Lazenby, Moore, Dalton, Brosnan and Craig had invaluable material to the book, but also the directors and producers. I've read many 007 books and this is tops.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lots of filler, needs substance, July 30, 2013
By 
William Kendall (Ottawa Valley, Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: James Bond Unmasked (Paperback)
You expect better, coming from a journalist who's covered the Bond films for awhile, not to mention the quality of the Bond franchise. I was looking forward to reading this, but came away in dismay. The author profiles each of the Bonds, and does offer up tidbits of production information. The interviews (most of which seem to be several years old) with each actor seem interesting enough- Timothy Dalton's commentary is most enlightening of those interview transcripts. Still, the vast majority of the book amounts to little more than detailed film summaries. Most Bond fans have either seen each of the films or know enough about them that they don't need summaries. In the end, the impression is that the reader feels disappointed.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars More film summaries than interviews, May 27, 2013
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This review is from: James Bond Unmasked (Paperback)
I must admit I was looking forward to this book. A Bond book that interviews all the actors that have portrayed Bond, would be a must have for any Bond fan's collection. As I read through the book I just realized I bought a book with detailed film summaries. The book goes through all the Bond movies, basically acting as a walk through guide for each film. These have to be the most detailed summaries of Bond film ever composed in one book. Each film is summarized up to Quantum of Solace and then they discuss the future of the series with Skyfall, after that we have the interviews with all the actors, covering about 16 pages. An entire book that has been sold on interviewing the bonds and out of 178 pages we get about 16 pages of interviews. Yeah there are snippets of quotes throughout the summaries but nothing new or surprising. I felt that half the information was just picked from past Bond reference books. Another part I disliked about the book was that the interviews ranged from 4-10 years ago. With the majority of them being done in 2002 for the 40th anniversary of Bond and then Craig's being done around the release of Quantum of Solace. The only highlight is Dalton's interview. Overall about 80% of this book is filler with the film summaries. If you want a book with in-depth film summaries this is for you, if you want in-depth interviews with the actors who portrayed Bond, I guess you will have to wait until that book is released.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely book for the 50th Anniversary of the most successful film franchise in the world, February 13, 2013
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This review is from: James Bond Unmasked (Paperback)
How often do you get the chance to read interviews with Sir Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Sir Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig in the SAME publication? Has it ever happened before?

The answer to the first question is no, at least for me, and despite being a Bond fan for almost 30 years. The answer to the second question is also no, as far as I know.

Nuff said, Bill Desowitz' book is a great one, and definitely THE book to get if you want a unique possibility to know a little bit more about each of the six actors in one volume. Highly recommended.
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James Bond Unmasked
James Bond Unmasked by Bill Desowitz (Paperback - May 9, 2012)
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