Wednesday, August 28, 2013

German SOLO cover art

Here's the cover art for the German edition of Solo, the new James Bond novel by William Boyd. Solo will be released in Germany by Berlin Verlag on October 1, 2013 and can be pre-ordered on Amazon.co.uk (UK) and Amazon.de (Germany).

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

First official SOLO plot description

U.S. publisher HarperCollins has revealed the first official plot description of Solo, the new James Bond novel by William Boyd due for release in the UK on September 26 and the U.S. on October 8, 2013.

It's 1969, and, having just celebrated his forty-fifth birthday, James Bond—British special agent 007—is summoned to headquarters to receive an unusual assignment. Zanzarim, a troubled West African nation, is being ravaged by a bitter civil war, and M directs Bond to quash the rebels threatening the established regime.

Bond's arrival in Africa marks the start of a feverish mission to discover the forces behind this brutal war—and he soon realizes the situation is far from straightforward. Piece by piece, Bond uncovers the real cause of the violence in Zanzarim, revealing a twisting conspiracy that extends further than he ever imagined.

Moving from rebel battlefields in West Africa to the closed doors of intelligence offices in London and Washington, this novel is at once a gripping thriller, a tensely plotted story full of memorable characters and breathtaking twists, and a masterful study of power and how it is wielded—a brilliant addition to the James Bond canon.

Also revealed by HarperCollins is the cover art for the unabridged U.S. audiobook, which confirms it will feature the reading by Dominic West.


You can pre-order the UK edition of Solo at Amazon.co.uk and the U.S. edition at Amazon.com.

Less than a month to go!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

LINK: An open letter to the chefs of the Dorchester hotel, London

Edward Biddulph of the blog James Bond memes has written an open letter to the chefs of The Dorchester Hotel in London with some tips about how to properly prepare James Bond's favorite meal: scrambled eggs. This is pretty great.

Click to read at James Bond memes.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

SOLO event: Breakfast with Bond at The Dorchester

Today we have news of a pretty cool Solo launch event in conjunction with The Dorchester Hotel in London. Here is the full press release:

Breakfast with Bond at The Dorchester

-Enjoy breakfast as described in Solo, the new James Bond book by William Boyd

(London) Dorchester Collection’s iconic British hotel, The Dorchester, will be the first and most fitting location to read the new James Bond book on publication day, Thursday 26 September, and will host a book reading by William Boyd on Saturday 28 September.

The Dorchester is the setting for the opening scene of the new James Bond book by international bestselling author William Boyd, in which 007 is described as treating himself to a 45th birthday breakfast in 1969. In the book, Bond’s breakfast at The Dorchester consists of “four eggs, scrambled with pepper sprinkled on top, half a dozen rashers of unsmoked bacon, well done, on the side and a long draught of strong black coffee”.

From Thursday 26 September, guests quoting ‘Solo’ whilst making a breakfast reservation will receive a copy of the book or can choose to listen to the audio version read by British actor Dominic West on an iPod over breakfast. Creating the perfect environment by evoking the time the novel is set; restaurant guests will also have the option of listening to hits from the 60s on an iPod, be given a copy of a national newspaper and the menu from 1969, and will be served their breakfast silver service in keeping with the 60s. Once a week, a table will be chosen at random to be charged the Grill Menu’s 1969 price, a sum just short of £2.

On Saturday 28 September a special event will take place at The Grill at The Dorchester during which William Boyd will read from the first chapter of Solo, share his experience of writing the book, and sign copies for guests. Further evocative narrative will be added to this unique event with vintage cars from the 1960’s parked on the hotel forecourt, and characters dressed in 60’s outfits. Optional dress code for guests: swinging 60s, tickets priced at £69.

Solo author William Boyd said: "I chose The Dorchester for James Bond to stay in because the hotel has strong literary associations (particularly in World War 2) but also because it was the epitome of style and glamour in the 1960s. The Dorchester was, and still is, the elite hotel — the choice of film stars and show business legends — and so it seemed fitting that when Bond wanted to give himself a special birthday treat he would book himself a room at The Dorchester."

For the full Solo experience guests can stay the night at The Dorchester just like James Bond. By requesting ‘007 room service’, guests will be provided with the full library set of the Ian Fleming Bond Collection with an accompanying martini nightcap.

Martini master classes are also provided at The Bar at The Dorchester by expert alchemist bar manager Giuliano Morandin, who joined the hotel over 30 years ago. During Solo, James Bond drinks his Martini to a particular recipe: “ice in the shaker, add a slurp of vermouth, pour out the vermouth, add the gin, shake well, strain into a chilled glass, and add a slice of lemon peel, no pith”.

English breakfast at The Grill at The Dorchester is priced at £32 excluding discretionary service charge. For further information or to make a booking, please contact reservations on+44 20 7629 8888 or send an email to restaurants.TDL@dorchestercollection.com.

For ‘Breakfast with Bond’, available until 30 November 2013, book English Breakfast priced at £32 and quote ‘SOLO’ to receive a complimentary copy of the book. For tickets to the Saturday 28 September ‘Breakfast with Bond’ William Boyd reading priced at £69 per person, please quote ‘BOYD’. Seasonal room rates for bed and breakfast start from £315 including VAT, please quote ‘007 room service’ for complimentary use of the Ian Fleming Library, and Martini nightcap priced at £14 per person.

Solo will be released by Jonathan Cape in the UK on September 26, 2013 (Amazon.co.uk) and by HarperCollins in the U.S. on October 8, 2013 (Amazon.com).

Sunday, August 18, 2013

SPYMAKER: THE SECRET LIFE OF IAN FLEMING on DVD

The 1990 television movie, Spymaker: The Secret Life of Ian Fleming, is now available on DVD from the Warner Archives Collection.

This was the American answer to the British television biopic, Goldeneye, which starred Charles Dance as Fleming and came out the year before. From what I recall, Spymaker was the inferior movie, but it had a nice hook in that Sean Connery's son Jason Connery played Fleming. It also stars Kristin Scott Thomas and David Warner.

You can purchase Spymaker: The Secret Life of Ian Fleming on Amazon.com.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Golden typewriter at the International Spy Museum

The International Spy Museum just tweeted the following. Wow.

UPDATE: Thanks to Jason Whiton of Spy Vibe, we have some info on this. This is not the golden typewriter that Ian Fleming used to write his James Bond novels. That sold several years back at auction to an unknown buyer. Here's what we are seeing here:

COMING SOON TO SPY! A sneak peek of our newest artifact soon to be installed in our Exquisitely Evil: 50 Years of Bond Villains exhibit.

This golden typewriter belonged to Sir Peter Smithers, who during WWII, worked closely with Ian Fleming in British Naval Intelligence on a number of covert operations. Fleming so admired his friends’ golden typewriter that he purchased one for himself, and used it to write several novels.

Thank you Jason. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Plan ahead - SOLO UK paperback already on Amazon

The hardcover might still be 007 weeks away, but already the UK paperback edition of William Boyd's new James Bond novel, Solo, is available for pre-order on Amazon.co.uk. The release date shows as May 8, 2014. Publisher is Vintage.

Amazon.co.uk

Saturday, August 3, 2013

SOLO audiobook cover art


Cover art for the UK unabridged audiobook for Solo, the new James Bond novel by William Boyd, has been revealed on Amazon.co.uk. (For some reason these UK Solo images pick up extra grain and fog when I upload to my blog. View on Amazon for a better representation of this cover.)

As reported this week, the audiobook will be read by actor Dominic West, who at one time was actually in consideration to play James Bond #6.

The Solo UK audiobook will be released the same day as the hardcover edition, September 26, 2013. You can pre-order it now on Amazon.co.uk.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

AND NOW HERE'S THE FINAL U.S. COVER ART FOR 'SOLO'

Well this is a nice surprise. Not only did we get today the final UK cover art for Solo, the new James Bond novel by William Boyd, but Ian Fleming Publications has just revealed the final U.S. cover art from HarperCollins. I like them both!


Solo will be released by HarperCollins in the U.S. and Canada on October 8, 2013. You can pre-order from Amazon.com.

THE FINAL UK COVER ART FOR 'SOLO' IS HERE!


Ian Fleming Publications and Jonathan Cape have revealed the UK cover art for Solo, the new James Bond novel by William Boyd. Here is the full press release:

Cover revealed for new James Bond novel, Solo
Dominic West announced as voice of audiobook

As anticipation builds for the publication of the new James Bond novel, Solo by William Boyd, Jonathan Cape is delighted to reveal the official cover today, Thursday 1 August 2013. They have also announced that British actor Dominic West will be the narrator of the audiobook edition of Solo.

The cover, which has been designed by renowned Random House Creative Director Suzanne Dean, features a stunning retro-inspired die-cut design including, amongst other things, bullet holes. Dean took her inspiration from the 1960s setting of the book and design heroes including Saul Bass, who was also the inspiration for Random House’s Vintage Classics Ian Fleming series.

In true James Bond style, the primary colours and bullet holes of the dust jacket hint at danger, adventure and espionage – whilst removing the outer dust jacket playfully reveals a red hardcover printed with bullet burns and a gecko, a reference to James Bond’s African mission in the book.

Suzanne Dean, who has been praised by authors including Julian Barnes and whose other work includes the covers of Ian McEwan’s Atonement and Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, commented on her design:

‘A new Bond cover needs to do a lot of things at once. It needs to appeal to literary and commercial audiences, both fans of the original 14 Fleming books and film fans. It needs to reflect both the content of the novel and capture the reader’s imagination.

‘William Boyd has chosen to set Solo in 1969, and achieving this period feel was one of my core aims when designing the cover, whilst also ensuring that the book retained a fresh and contemporary lay-out. I didn’t want just to depict a cinematic image, but rather to try and reflect the essence of Ian Fleming’s original novels as well William Boyd’s own take on James Bond.’

A version of this cover will also be featured on the audiobook edition of Solo, read by Dominic West. West is perhaps best-known for his roles in the HBO series The Wire, BBC Two series The Hour and, most recently, BBC4’s biopic Burton and Taylor, where he played the title role of Richard Burton opposite Helena Bonham Carter. Richard Cable, Managing Director, Vintage Publishing, comments:

‘We are thrilled to have such a distinguished actor as Dominic West reading Solo. It’s the perfect combination of reader and text. Audio listeners are in for a real treat!

Click to enlarge

Suzanne Dean’s full statement on the design of Solo

‘A new Bond cover needs to do a lot of things at once. It needs to appeal to literary and commercial audiences, both fans of the original 14 Fleming books and film fans. It needs to reflect both the content of the novel and capture the reader’s imagination.

William Boyd has chosen to set Solo in 1969, and achieving this period feel was one of my core aims when designing the cover, whilst also ensuring that the book retained a fresh and contemporary lay-out. I didn’t want just to depict a cinematic image, but rather to try and reflect the essence of Ian Fleming’s original novels as well William Boyd’s own take on James Bond.

Inspiration came from my design heroes Paul Rand, Alvin Lustig and Saul Bass, all of whom were practicing in the sixties and whose style evokes a sense of the time. Saul Bass, a graphic designer and filmmaker, was perhaps best known for his design of film posters and motion- picture title sequences, including Psycho, The Man with the Golden Arm, and North by Northwest. He once described his main goal for his title sequences as being to ‘try to reach for a simple, visual phrase that tells you what the picture is all about and evokes the essence of the story’. Alvin Lustig rejected the typical cover design that summarised a book through one general image. His method was to read a text and get the feel of the author's creative drive, then to restate it in his own graphic terms.

I used the title of the book – Solo – as my starting point. In the book, Bond goes on an unauthorised solo mission, recklessly motivated by revenge. I had always been keen, since finding out the title, that there might be a way to use the two o’s within Solo and link it to the zeros in 007. I used the font Folio, a sans-serif font designed by Konrad Bauer and Walter Baum in 1957 which became popular during the sixties. It has a strong circular ‘o’ in its bold version, which formed an important feature within the design. In my design, the shadows thrown by the overlaying letters suggest hidden danger and tension, whilst the final ‘o’ in Solo suggests a door, or an escape route. The die cut holes in the dust jacket are an abstraction of bullet holes, and represent a pivotal part of the novel. The holes on the Solo cover reveal a flash of the red binding below; when you remove the dustjacket, the binding playfully reveals a gecko – a reference to Bond’s African mission in the book – and burn holes from the bullets, giving drama and an interactive expression to the whole package.’

I really like this cover and the design on the red boards (a salamander, eh?). And how cool is it to see the traditional Jonathan Cape logo back on the spine of a Bond book. Of course, I'm instantly reminded of the first U.S. edition of Ian Fleming's The Man With The Golden Gun, which also used cut out bullet holes as part of its cover design.


Solo will be released by Jonathan Cape in the UK on September 26, 2013. You can pre-order now on Amazon.co.uk.

Dominic West reads SOLO

Along with the revealing of the UK cover art, IFP and Vintage announced today that actor Dominic West will read the unabridged UK audiobook for Solo, the new James Bond novel by William Boyd due out next month.

"We are thrilled to have such a distinguished actor as Dominic West reading Solo,  says Richard Cable, Managing Director, Vintage Publishing. "It’s the perfect combination of reader and text. Audio listeners are in for a real treat!"

The 43-year-old West was actually one of the actors in serious contention to play James Bond #6 back in 2005. Here's a shot of him looking amazingly like Ian Fleming's James Bond.

The Solo UK audiobook will be released the same day as the hardcover edition, September 26, 2013. You can pre-order it now on Amazon.co.uk.

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