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The James Bond Dossier Hardcover – June, 1965

4.7 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 142 pages
  • Publisher: New American Library (June 1965)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9997512286
  • ISBN-13: 978-9997512284
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #202,913 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
This book is very good to read after you have freshly finished the Ian Fleming's original 'James Bond' books (avaliable in a new edition from Viking and Penguin: order them now!). It allows readers to take a peak into the aspects of Bond they might have missed whilst reading. Amis has taken Fleming's original facts, ellaborated, and made his own humourous, sketchy, and facinating observations. As a literary master himself, and a long-time admirer of what he calls 'the Fleming affect', Amis expertly takes apart, not just the world, but the man, James Bond. Fleming veiwed the manuscript of this book shortly before he died, and approved every part save minor quibles of what James Bond ate, drove or drank.
As stated earlier, Amis was himself a bond-fan, and said to Fleming once: "Mr Fleming, You are the only author whom I can say 'I have read all your books, and have enjoyed them thouroughly'". A due credit.
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Format: Hardcover
There are two books I find to be superior on the subject of examining Ian Fleming's James Bond novels and short stories. The first and definitive is "Ian Fleming's James Bond: Annotations and Chronologies for Ian Fleming's Bond Stories" by John Griswold. It is an objective research and analysis of the highest order of Ian Fleming's total literary output that he devoted to his fictional hero who operated and existed in a factual and reality based world shaped for his hero's existence. The second book is Kingsley Amis' THE JAMES BOND DOSSIER, which for me was the first serious look of why many people were so enamored by Ian Fleming's James Bond books. Kingsley Amis states in the Preface to his THE JAMES BOND DOSSIER that he too was an Ian Fleming fan and that his book was a result of "a modest article of about 5,000 words" that grew into the essay that became his book. It is a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining book subjectively examined in segregated elements of Fleming's books broken down into chapters by Amis. Written during the same era as O.F. Snelliing's 007 JAMES BOND: A REPORT, Kingsley Amis' book remains an endearing bit of literary nostalgia devoted to Ian Fleming's creation.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
After you've read all the Bonds, there are two books you should read: "Colonel Sun" and "The James Bond Dossier," both by Kingsley Amis. The former was the first of the official Bond novels authorized by Fleming's estate, and the latter is the first serious study of the Bond books, written when Fleming was still alive. The dossier covers the books' themes and commonalities and flaws, always with a loving eye.

If you love the Bonds as the light entertainment they were intended to be, Amis shares your enthusiasm and adds some insight and perspective. Well worth perusing.
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Most important is that Kingley Amis is writing about the Ian Fleming James Bond books. He is aware of the movies but he is only speaking to the books. He is also writing while Fleming is still alive and before the parade of post Connery Bonds. If all you know are the movies and esp the recent ones, much of what Amis discusses will make little sense.

The audience for The James Bond Dossier are those who have or are in the midst of reading Ian Fleming's secret agent books. Parenthetically, one of the first things Amis explains is that Bond is not a spy, he is a secret agent. Being a secret agent is a more nebulous calling and is rarely about espionage and more often about , pretty much anything M assigns.

Amis came into the literary world as something of a cynic, broadly critical and majestically sardonic. A clear purpose of the Dossier is to give `it' back to those literary professionals who had over analyzed and otherwise over stated the cultural influence or importance of these books. The short answer should be that James Bond is escapist adventure stories for (mostly) adult males. Fleming's goal was to create not so much a believable hero, but one that we (I am a fan too) would be able to blur into our image of ourselves and thereby share his heroics and his women. Bond has to be lager than life, virile and able to live lavishly. Such is how Fleming designed him.

Here it might be fun to consider the adult male fantasy value of a James Bond and compare him to the pre-adult male fantasy value of Harry Potter. Perhaps under the title: My Name? Potter, Harry Potter. Done as a serious comparative analysis might be to make the same mistake of those Amis systematically out analyzes those critical of Bond as Literature (Capital' L').
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Format: Hardcover
There are two books I find to be superior on the subject of examining Ian Fleming's James Bond novels and short stories. The first and definitive is "Ian Fleming's James Bond: Annotations and Chronologies for Ian Fleming's Bond Stories" by John Griswold. It is an objective research and analysis of the highest order of Ian Fleming's total literary output that he devoted to his fictional hero who operated and existed in a factual and reality based world shaped for his hero's existence. The second book is Kingsley Amis' THE JAMES BOND DOSSIER, which for me was the first serious look of why many people were so enamored by Ian Fleming's James Bond books. Kingsley Amis states in the Preface to his THE JAMES BOND DOSSIER that he too was an Ian Fleming fan and that his book was a result of "a modest article of about 5,000 words" that grew into the essay that became his book. It is a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining book subjectively examined in segregated elements of Fleming's books broken down into chapters by Amis. Written during the same era as O.F. Snelliing's 007 JAMES BOND: A REPORT, Kingsley Amis' book remains an endearing bit of literary nostalgia devoted to Ian Fleming's creation.
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