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From Sherlock Holmes to James Bond: Starting a John Gardner Collection

By Audrey Golden. Nov 20, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: James Bond, Bond Dossier

At first glance, Sherlock Holmes and James Bond may not appear to have much in common. Sherlock Holmes, the detective of 221-B Baker Street in London, originated in the late nineteenth century in the fiction of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. James Bond, much differently, didn’t come into being until 1953 as the British Secret Service agent in Ian Fleming’s fiction. Yet if you’ve found yourself interested in the ever-evolving story of Sherlock Holmes on the BBC or the various ways in which James Bond has been reimagined in fiction and cinema, you might be especially interested in learn about the writings of John Gardner. In addition to penning other detective and spy fiction, Gardner’s books include numerous novels that continue the narratives of Sherlock Holmes and James Bond. He wrote three novels that center on Professor Moriarty (the famed nemesis of Sherlock Holmes) in the 1970s and sixteen James Bond novels between the 1980s and 1990s.

If you’re interested in Sherlock Holmes or James Bond and are thinking about starting a new collection, why not consider John Gardner? We have some suggestions for starting to shape an exciting collection.

     
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Raymond Benson, the First American Writer of James Bond

By Claudia Adrien. Sep 6, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: James Bond, Mystery, Suspense & Crime

Strong film screenplays provided the foundation for Sean Connery, Daniel Craig, and other actors to bring James Bondor 007to life. These movies have captured the imaginations of movie-goers for decades. Of course, many of the screenplays derived from original James Bond books and short stories. Ian Fleming was the first James Bond author, the originator of the series. However, there have been seven other authorized James Bond authors; the first American writer was Raymond Benson.

     
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Happy Birthday, Sean Connery!

By Brian Hoey. Aug 25, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: James Bond, Movie Tie-Ins

Today, “The Greatest Living Scot” (according to The Sunday Herald), turns 89. Just as much as author Ian Fleming, Sir Sean Connery brought James Bond to life and forever defined him as a character—so much so that Fleming eventually began writing details from Connery’s life into Bond’s backstory. Those of us here at Books Tell You Why who appreciate a good literary adaptation (read: all of us), can’t help but recognize the role that Connery played not just in bringing Bond himself to life, but to bringing the whole world of past and future literary superspies into the greater public consciousness. Without him, it’s hard to imagine a universe in which Tom Clancy and John le Carré entered the realm of blockbuster films. Connery himself even starred in the 1991 film adaptation of The Hunt for Red October (1984).

     
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Happy Birthday, Ian Fleming!

By Kristin Masters. May 28, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Biographies, James Bond

Today we celebrate the birthday of Ian Fleming, the legendary author who created James Bond. Seven different actors have played 007 in 26 different movie adaptations. The runaway success of Fleming's books can be attributed to the author's background as a journalist and naval intelligence officer. Fleming certainly drew on these experiences as he crafted classic tales of espionage and intrigue.

     
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Why Pierce Brosnan Would be Borges’ Favorite Bond

By Brian Hoey. May 16, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: James Bond

Argentine literary giant Jorge Luis Borges died in 1986 at the age of 86 having left a behind a legacy that any writer would envy. His being snubbed for the Nobel Prize in Literature is, in its way, more memorable than the victories of other writers (how many of us remember Jaroslav Seifert’s 1984 win?), and even at the time of his death, it was pretty clear that his short stories had a much better shot at literary immortality than most of his contemporaries’ work. Still, his death came several years before the release of 1995’s Goldeneye, which means that for all of his tremendous importance to 20th century culture, he was denied the chance to see Pierce Brosnan’s portrayal of the iconic superspy, James Bond. This is a shame, because Borges would have loved him. 

     
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John Gardner: James Bond Books and Beyond

By Leah Dobrinska. Nov 20, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, James Bond

Today is the birthday of John Gardner. Gardner, in most circles, is not so much of a household name as James Bond or Ian Fleming, but he was responsible for keeping the intrigue and excitement of the legendary spy and his author alive in the hearts and minds of fans for nearly two decades. Indeed, from 1981 to 1996, John Gardner penned 16 original James Bond novels. In honor of his birthday, let’s take a look at several of his titles.

     
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Raymond Benson: The Fourth Man behind James Bond

By Kristin Masters. Nov 17, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, James Bond, Movie Tie-Ins

Though the James Bond films were originally based on the novels by Ian Fleming, more recent movies are written in the spirit of Fleming's work. After Fleming's death, other writers have been invited to take up the James Bond mantle. First was Kingsley Amis, who wrote one Bond novel under the pseudonym Robert Markham. John Gardner penned the next 14 novels, along with two film novelizations. Raymond Benson was the next author to continue the Bond legacy, writing from 1996 to 2003.

     
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Remembering Legendary Author Ian Fleming

Everyone has a favorite super spya character whose cunning nature, quick thinking, or pure mental and physical strength keep us rooting for them long after their books, TV series, or films have reached "the end." Before common names like Jack Bauer, Ethan Hunt, and Jason Bourne dotted the super spy landscape, another famous spy arrested our imagination: James Bond. The dashing and debonair 007 was the creation of Ian Fleming, who has earned a reputation as a legendary author. Yesterday marked the anniversary of Ian Fleming's death. In his honor, we take a look back at his life and his inspiration for writing the iconic James Bond series.

     
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10 Books to Read This Summer

By Leah Dobrinska. Jun 22, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, James Bond

What is it about summer that makes it the perfect time to pick up a new book or to reacquaint ourselves with an old favorite? Perhaps it’s the longer days and warmer nights that give us the illusion that we have more time to spend reading for leisure. Maybe it’s a vacation on the horizon that will provide some uninterrupted down time to dig into a good book. If you’re looking for summer book recommendations, we’ve got you covered. From mysteries and thrillers to classics and young adult literature, our list has something for everyone. Here are ten books that make for perfect summer reads.

     
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Did You Know? Nine Facts About Ian Fleming and James Bond

By Kristin Masters. May 28, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, James Bond, Movie Tie-Ins, Book News

Born on May 28, 1908, Ian Fleming would go on to create the most enduring literary figure since Sherlock Holmes. Rare book collectors are fascinated with the legacy of Ian Fleming and James Bond. Here's a look at little known facts about Fleming and his world-famous protagonist.

     
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    How can I identify a first edition? Where do I learn about caring for books? How should I start collecting? Hear from librarians about amazing collections, learn about historic bindings or printing techniques, get to know other collectors. Whether you are just starting or looking for expert advice, chances are, you'll find something of interest on blogis librorum.

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