Sunday, October 16, 2011

The ROLE OF HONOR paperback you want

The 1984 early export paperback
Here's a paperback from my collection that I've always had a thing for. This is a 1984 early export edition of Role of Honor released to international markets at the same time as the UK and U.S. hardcovers. It's a mass market paperback that sports a cover design very close to what was used on the U.S. paperback released a year later, but with a few key differences.

What I've always liked about this edition is it's the Role of Honor paperback I always wanted. Call me anal-retentive, but as the License Renewed, For Special Services, and Icebreaker paperbacks all matched the color of their respective hardcovers, I expected Role of Honor would and should be yellow.

However, the paperback that was ultimately released in the U.S. was a dark gold or bronze (images below). Still nice, but it broke the theme. So when I first uncovered this edition at the late great Mysterious Bookstore in L.A., I was thrilled to finally have a yellow Role of Honor paperback to put on my shelf.

Another difference is the 007 silhouette is a bit larger than what was featured on the standard paperback. I've always thought this particular 007 silhouette was one of the best of the batch. These cover silhouettes were featured on the Fleming reprints in the '80s and later recycled on some of the Raymond Benson paperbacks, but for some reason this superior silhouette only appeared on Role of Honor.

The Role of Honor international paperback is tricky to find, especially without a faded spine. This is the same affliction that effects the U.S. hardcover (maybe that was the reason for the color change?). But if you have my madness (and if you're reading this blog, you probably do), this is the Role of Honor paperback you want.

The 1985 first U.S. paperback (left) and the 1987 reprint (right).


  1. I have a nice hardback library club edition with its yellow dust jacket. but I remember those ugly bronze-gold pbs.

  2. I always think the bond silhouette looks exactly like Brosnan, its uncanny!

  3. Ha! I have exactly THAT paperback. So living on the continent does have an upside... ;)

  4. Nice! I've got the first paperback of this one.

  5. Was wondering about the colour change myself the other day. Nice.


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