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1 AUGUST 2013
COVER FOR SOLO - THE NEW JAMES BOND NOVEL

By: FSWL team
Published:
2013-08-01
Cover revealed for new James Bond novel, Solo - Dominic West announced as voice of audiobook. The new novel will be published on September 26, 2013.

1969. A veteran secret agent. A single mission. A licence to kill. James Bond returns.

OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE: (August 1, 2013)
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!

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.


Editor's note:
• The new James Bond book by William Boyd will be published in hardback, ebook and audio editions on 26 September 2013 by Jonathan Cape, an imprint of Vintage Publishing, in the UK and Commonwealth, and by HarperCollins in the US and Canada

• William Boyd will take part in a number of public events around publication, including:

On Thursday 26th September international bestselling author William Boyd will launch Solo, his thrilling new James Bond novel at a major event. Boyd, in conversation with GQ literary editor, Olivia Cole, will discuss Ian Fleming and his experience of writing about the world’s most iconic spy. Introducing the event will be special guest, Lucy Fleming, Ian Fleming’s niece.

On Monday 30th September William Boyd will be in discussion with David Robinson, Literary Editor of The Scotsman. This will be a truly special evening with Solo cocktails and the opportunity to get a signed copy of the novel.

• Vintage Publishing, a division of Random House, relaunched Ian Fleming’s entire James Bond backlist in print and ebook format in the UK in September 2012.

• 2013 is a significant year for Bond, marking 60 years since Ian Fleming’s first James Bond novel, Casino Royale, was published by Cape in 1953

Ian Fleming Publications Ltd is the Fleming family-owned company that owns the copyright in the Bond books.

• Vintage Publishing, a division of Random House, relaunched Ian Fleming’s entire James Bond backlist in print and ebook format in the UK in September 2012.

For other posts about William Boyd's Solo on From Sweden with Love, click here.

About the Bond Books:
• Over 100 million Bond books have been sold (and over half the world’s population has seen a Bond film!)

• Ian Fleming wrote 14 James Bond books: Casino Royale (1953), Live and Let Die (1954), Moonraker (1955), Diamonds Are Forever (1956), From Russia with Love (1957), Dr. No (1958), Goldfinger (1959), For Your Eyes Only (1960), Thunderball (1961), The Spy Who Loved Me (1962), On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1963), You Only Live Twice (1964), The Man with the Golden Gun (1965), and Octopussy and The Living Daylights (1966)

• Fleming’s other works include the children’s favourite, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1964), which was made into a film and stage musical, The Diamond Smugglers (1957) and a collection of travel writings called Thrilling Cities (1963)

• The Ian Fleming centenary was celebrated on 28th May 2008 with the publication of Devil May Care by Sebastian Faulks

Charlie Higson is the author of The Young Bond books which are published by Puffin in the UK

• Samantha Weinberg, writing as Kate Westbrook, is the author of The Moneypenny Diaries published by John Murray in the UK

• Other previous authors of official James Bond novels include Kingsley Amis, John Gardner, Raymond Benson and Jeffery Deaver

Other literary James Bond news featured From Sweden With Love:
>John Gardner's James Bond novels released as eBooks (June 2013)
>The title for the new James Bond novel by William Boyd is Solo (April 2013)
>William Boyd's James Bond novel announced as 'The New Mission' (February 2013)
>Amazon Publishing to publish James Bond backlist in North America (April 2012)
>James Bond returns home (March 2012)
>Ian Fleming bibliography announced (February 2012)
>Ian Fleming Publications appoints Curtis Brown (June 2011)
>John Gardner's James Bond titles re-issued (June 2011)
>Carte Blanche: UK Publication events (May 2011)
>Carte Blanche: International publishers (May 2011)
>John Gardner's James Bond novels to be reprinted (March 2011)
>Project X is Carte Blanche (January 2011)
>James Bond novels launch as eBooks in the UK (November 2010)
>New James Bond novel: Project X (May 2010)
>Thrilling Cities re-issued (July 2009)
>The Diamond Smugglers re-issued (July 2009)
>James Bond theme tune search (February 2008)
>Sebastian Faulks: New James Bond continuation author (July 2007)
>Voting process for Young Bond 3 title ended (November 2006)
>Vote for Young Bond 3 title (October 2006)

Photo above:
UK hardcover for SOLO, a new James Bond novel by William Boyd. © Ian Fleming Publications Ltd. All rights reserved.

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