Customer Reviews: James Bond: The Secret World of 007
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on November 24, 2000
This amazing book brings to reality the fantasy world of 007. It provides details about everything and anything to do with James Bond as if he were a real secret agent.
There are three main sections:
1. The Bond Dossier - here you will find background information on Bond (the weapons, clothes, women), MI6 and the villains. (As this book is targeted at today's 'kids', it uses images of the actors from the latest film, The World Is Not Enough - Brosnan, Dench, etc. - as the 'real' James Bond and MI6 team.)
2. The Missions - this section dedicates 4 - 6 pages for each of Bond's 'missions' (i.e. the 19 Bond films), describing what the 'mission' is about and who the allies and villains are. There are detailed cross-section illustrations of the villains' headquarters, e.g. Blofeld's volcano, Stromberg's Atlantis and Elliot Carver's Stealth Ship, and also wonderful photos/illustrations of the Bond vehicles and gadgets, e.g. the DB5, Lotus, Little Nellie, etc. These pictures miraculously show how everything falls into place and how everything works (a miracle considering most of these things don't really function or even exist in real life!)
3. The Movies - the book ends with background information on 'movies' that have been made about James Bond, featuring the 5 actors who have portrayed him. The introduction to this section diplomatically concludes: "The real 007 has never disclosed which one (actor) he feels has captured him the best"! (It is only in this last section that we see pictures of Connery, Lazenby, Moore and Dalton.)
This is definitely one of the best books on James Bond. It is well researched and has breath-taking pictures, as per DK's usual high standards. It beautifully and convincingly transforms the fiction of Bond into reality.
I actually have the British version of this book and it has a simple but more official looking cover - just the title of the book on a plain red jacket with an embossed "James Bond". Maybe not as fun looking as the American version but definitely a lot easier to carry around for a thirty-something 'kid' like me!
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Add more Bond to your life between movies!
This is the book you have been waiting for! It starts with the Bond films and adds to your pleasure of watching and recalling them in a remarkably effective way.
This book takes an in-depth look at the action, the gadgets, the props, and the lairs of the Bond films . . . spiced up with many of your favorite stills from those movies. You will see illustrations to cut away the surface of the devices, cars, attache cases, and belts to show you how Bond used them in the films. As you know, each film ends with a major attack on the bad guy's lair. These are lovingly drawn and detailed so you can see how the whole sequence took place. You will even get such basics as how to use judo illustrated!
The book begins with a perfunctory foreword by the current M. The next sections feature stills and drawn illustrations from the movies built around the themes of Bond's secret weapons, clothing, the women he loved, other MI6 personnel, Q, spies who worked for other governments, and Blofeld.
Next, you go into several pages on each move in order. These include outlines of the characters in the movies, the lairs of the villains, any special equipment used (every single wonderful car is there!), and the details of the ending attack scenes. In some cases, the opening and intermediate attack scenes are blocked out also. The movies covered include Dr. No, From Russia with Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Diamonds Are Forever, Live and Let Die, The Man with the Golden Gun, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, A View to a Kill, The Living Daylights, Golden Eye, Tomorrow Never Dies, and The World Is Not Enough.
Finally, there is an appendix with all of the key movie credits so you can see who played what roles. This will be great for playing trivia games and amazing people over a glass of vintage claret!
The book will greatly expand your appreciation of the details in the films. It will also make them feel fresher than the way they appear on the television festivals of 17 Days of Bond (or whatever they are called -- Ian Fleming must turn in his grave).
After you have finished enjoying these wonderful pages, I suggest that you think about where it would be valuable and interesting for people in your family to you to tell them the details concerning something about your earlier years. They may find how you "made it to where you are" as fascinating as the Bond fans find this wonderful book about plots and movie-making.
Have a [Thunder] ball!
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on October 10, 2000
In a word, wow.
When this showed up today, I was so dazzled by the beautiful photography, brilliant cutaway illustrations and classic DK "callout" design that it took me a few minutes to figure out what was really going on here.
What's going on is simply this: this Bond book is the first of its kind. It exists purely within the fantasy universe created by the films. That is to say, that although it is crammed with pictures of actors, actresses, sets, models and props, none is described as such. Instead, each film is really a "case," actors are villains, actresses Bond's women, props are real weapons, sets are lairs. Picture a (DK) "Eyewitness Travel Guide" to Bond's (real) world and you get the idea. The hundreds of new and newly imagined technical illustrations are such a treat: you picture the film people talking to the book people, and all of them pondering, how WOULD this missile-launching ghetto blaster work?
Although there are many pictures of Sean Connery (and the four other Bonds), his name does not appear ANYWHERE until a brief "movie index" ten pages from the end. This to me is a good thing. Those of us who watch the Bonds do so to live briefly in his slightly surreal universe. "Secret World" lets you do so in more depth and with greater understanding than ever before.
Of particular value are these two brilliant features:
1) Travel/fight scene breakdowns. To me, those dustups on speeding trains and flying blimps all happen in a blur. Who's he punching? What does that buy him? Here, in numbered steps, you can follow the hurtling vehicle's progress and how James stands at each turn.
2) Evil lair cutaways. These help to bridge the huge gaps between those three Bond staples: exotic locales, imaginative model work and sprawling interior sets. In the films, we see these as: Bad process shot of motorboat speeding towards futuristic evil lair (model + location). Cut to wide shot of boat docking at interior dock (obviously a set). These cutaways show you the "real" relation and mitigate the fakeness.
Frankly an incredible book. A must for the Bond person on your list. With this as your "official" guide and the wonderful "Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" as your unofficial, you're good to go.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon November 11, 2014
This is a really great book with wonderful illustrations, photos and more important an exhaustive amount of details surrounding the world of James Bond. What you get is tons of information covering all the James Bond movies (except for 1967's Casino Royale) from Dr. No in 1962 all the way up to The World is Not Enough in 1999. So that means the book is not complete. A newer edition was made to pick up those three latest movies, however that doesn't kill the value of this edition. This book was a gold mine.

DK publishing has published a lot of fantastic movie books. Many of these were called visual dictionaries because they have lots of interesting photos and illustrations as well as a small wealth of information. This book is no different. What you are getting is essentially a visual dictionary that covers an astounding 19 movies with an impressive amount of information. Each movie is listed like a Bond "mission", and each mission touches on a large amount of details like villains, lairs and locales, the love interests, and of course all the tools of the trade Bond is famous for.

If wanted to know what's inside Bond's Astin Martin now you get a chance to see it along with all the other notable Bond cars from the movies. See where every secret weapon and defense system is placed. What about all those cool watches, lighters, cigarettes that did spy stuff? You get to see them here too and know how they work. How about all those girls Bond gets involves with? You see them all here. What about those cool lairs like Stromberg's floating Atlantis and Drax's space station? You get cross-section illustrations for those as well... and more.

It is a very impressive book. The only problem is it was made in 2000, which pre-dates three newer 007 movies. A revised version of this book was published to cover what was missed. This book showcases stuff from Die Another Day like the Aston Martin V12 with a laundry list of its features (plus a smaller entry on the villain Jaguar car), a blurb on the Ice Palace and Project Icarus, and almost a full page for Halle Berry. The final two films are far less about the tech and focus on pretty much being a plot synopsis with some great photos. So all in all if you have this book aren't missing terribly too much.

This is a great book, but the updated edition kind of puts it out to pasture. If you already have the book then I guess it's a toss up. If you don't have any of the books and want to get the most out of your reading I would go ahead and shy away from this edition. However if you don't mind missing the extra stuff the new book has then you can grab this book at a great price.
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on November 23, 2008
Spoiler Warning: Enemy Agents Will be Shot on Sight on possession of this `classified' information.

Okay, now that the sponsored section is over, we can get to the meat. James Bond is an incredibly successful franchise. Since 1958, and Flemings' first novel, Casino Royale, Bond has been on book stands, and in theatres. Surprisingly, Fleming also penned Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang too, aimed at a slightly different audience. I wonder if Q and the good professor are related? They both so like gadget.

Opening the pages of this book is like digging into the classified Bond mission dossier. Daniel Craig greets you with a thoughtful glance. "Get to know me if you dare. Trust no one." He seems to say. You turn the page with a hint of wonder, and Pierce Brosnan, explains what lies behind his license to kill. Formerly a commander in the British Navy, Bond is perfect for MI6, and a double nought spy. What is the Bond look anyway? Page 13 is the guide. Fashion is only part of his artillery.
The book explores the full range of love interests, supporting cast members, film adventures, supporting villains, and details from "Quantum of Solace." Loaded with pictures, outstanding 3 d illustrations, and enough information to keep any Bond-ophile satisfied.

Available at your local book store, watch Quantum in the theatres first.

Tim Lasiuta
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on May 24, 2011
Out of all the Bond reference books that I have purchased I would have to say that this one was the most disappointing. All of the content from this book could be found in the Bond Encyclopedia which is just about the same price on Amazon but it is a lot better (more additional content).

I definitely would buy another book if you are only looking to purchase a small number of James Bond reference texts but if you are like me and buy anything Bond related then this is something that you can add to your library if the price is right.
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on October 21, 2000
This is great, a book that finally explains all the little things you mite miss when you watch Bond. I really like the fact that at the begining The flims and James Bond himself are treated as being real, for me it adds to the enjoyment of picking it up every time.
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on October 17, 2000
I was very impressed by the sheer quality of this book. The pictures and illustrations are very high quality. There are many new photos that I never have seen before in other books on James Bond. It details a lot of good information that other similar books just do not touch on. What I like most is that there are photos and or illustrations on almost all the gadgetry featured in the films. I highly recommend this book to anyone.
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on December 1, 2002
Not to often do you come across a James Bond book that is filled with exciting detail of the films and visually arresting pictures. This book gives that to Bond fans and more! All will agree that the fantastic photos, the gadgetry, the girls, villains, and Mr. Bond himself have never looked better. The creme de la creme of this book is stunning way the pictures are put together to give the viewer a view of where the actors moved in many scenes, such as the funhouse in The Man With the Golden Gun or the entire design of ships like the Disco Volante or the Stealth Ship.
The book begins with a prologue from M explaining the book. Also included is the way that Mr. Bond dresses and gets around. We learn about many of his lady friends such as Domino Derval, Tracy di Vincenzo and Anya Amasova. There are also the femme fatales, such as Mayday and Helga Brandt. The World of spies is also present giving us information on many operatives like Felix Leiter, Quarrel, General Gogol and many others. Finally we learn of SPECTRE and it's head -Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Then we are off to the stunning Film Dossier. The film Dossier gives you the lowdown on all 007 films from Dr. No to The World is Not Enough. For each film basically see the characters and main aspects like the vehicles, or daring chases. Car chases and gun fights are examined in fantastic detail. This book will tell all about Bond and show you every thing about his missions. The end of the book gives it's own version of the cast and crew of each film. You will see all the gadgets of the Aston Martin DB5, the structure of Piz Gloria, the majestic freefall in Moonraker, the tanker chase in Licence to Kill, how the Stealth Ship worked and hundreds more...
A magnificent book that is filled with great information and wonderful photos of Mr. Bond, James Bond!
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on February 20, 2002
This book is pretty thorough. It has detailed plot summaries of every Bond film in order, and it sets out the notable stunts and gadgets in each film. However, the book feels somewhat empty, because, for some reason, most of the book doesn't contain any pictures of James Bond. That's right -- in a book about James Bond's adventures, the book scrupulously avoids printing any pictures of James Bond on those adventures. Instead, you get drawings of of Bond, and even those drawings carefully avoid showing Bond's face, so you end up with a lot of drawings of the top of Bond's head. Presumably, this has something to do with licensing, but it is strange that the only pictures of James Bond are in the first chapter or so and in the appendix. And the pictures you do get of Bond are heavily -- and I mean heavily -- tilted in favor of Pierce Brosnan, so if you're looking for Sean Connery or any other James Bond, you'll have to satisfy your interest with one or two pictures. As seeing James Bond is the reason most people would want this book, this omission hurt the book's value. Nonetheless, this is a cute coffee table book, and a decent light read, if you're in the mood for Bond but don't have the time to pop in a video. It's just about worth the price.
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