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Book review: The Bluffer’s Guide to Bond by Mark Mason

By: Pontus Forslund
Published:
2015-09-12
The bluffers guide to bond
The Bluffer's Guide to Bond (2013) – A review by Pontus Forslund (translation by Anders Frejdh)

The Bluffer's Guide are a collection of books reminiscent of the Rough Guide and Dummies series. The purpose of this series is to provide the reader with enough knowledge to excel in a conversation on subjects such as cats, golf, wine and quantum physics. Writer Mark Mason has written one on James Bond.

The format and scope is easy as is the tone. Mason writes entertainingly and personal which complements the format, but the reader is privy to Mason’s own wry opinions. Seasoned Bond fans will smile comparing the views to their own; the novice is likely to buy Mason's reasoning outright.

Mason’s angle on Bond is that Fleming's novels are far superior to the films. For me it is just the opposite, but Mason's writes a convincing argument that literary Bond stands higher than the cinematic version.

The details in the bigger picture raise the book to another level. It's fun to read about Bob Holness radio interpretation of James Bond in Moonraker 1956, Alice Cooper’s song for The Man with the Golden Gun, Pierce Brosnan's tuxedo clause and the pub in Scotland that serves dishes like Scaramanga Scampi, For your Pies only and Her Majesty's secret sandwich to name a few trivia tidbits.

Some myths pass through unchecked and there are some minor errors. For example, 1953’s Casino Royale is not the only Bond novel adapted for the screen twice. The 1961 novel Thunderball was made in 1965 and remade as Never Say Never Again in 1983.

The only Swedish related feature in the book is a quote from Bond girl Britt Ekland who supposedly once said:

"I said I don't sleep with married men, but what I meant to say was I don't sleep with happily married men."

The book is generally good but a little inconsistent. Mason should, however, be commended for having managed to squeeze in a lot of information and trivia on few pages. Mark Mason's The Bluffer's Guide To Bond is an impressive, smart, concise primer to budding Bond fans everywhere.

© 2015 From Sweden with Love. All rights reserved.

Editor's Note:
To those who want to buy the book with 25% discount can do so by visiting the page below and enter the code "bondfan007" upon check out.

http://bluffers.com/bluffers-guide-bond/

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