Website last updated: 29-10-2018

Review of The 007 Diaries (2018) written by Sir Roger Moore

By: Brian Smith
Published:
2018-05-26
The 007 Diaries Roger Moore book review
It has been a real treat these last few years reading Sir Roger Moore's books. There was his autobiography – My Word Is My Bond – followed by Bond On Bond, his unique look at fifty years of the cinematic 007. Last Man Standing came next, a collection of humorous recollections from his 71-year career in films and television in Britain and Hollywood. Last year saw the publication of Moore’s thoughts on old age, life in general and the joys – and frustrations – of modern technology. Everything from SIM cards to self-scanning checkouts! Originally called Roger Moore On Getting On… (and on… and on… and on), it was released posthumously, poignantly retitled À bientôt… Sir Roger was a great raconteur, his ability to tell a story up there with his friend David Niven. In his later years he kept as busy as ever with his UNICEF work, his writing, and touring An Evening with Sir Roger Moore where he would be interviewed on stage by Gareth Owen, his right-hand-man for sixteen years.

Out of print for forty-five years, The History Press has now republished Moore’s first book as The 007 Diaries, his account of filming Live and Let Die (1973). Originally published by Pan in 1973, Roger Moore as James Bond 007 was the first, and to date only, account of shooting a James Bond film written by the man playing 007.

The book is part ‘making of’, part showbiz gossip and part observational humour (some of it unintentional, such as Moore’s description of Bond’s digital watch) but most of all charming and intimate. He talks candidly about the pressures of being Bond, not playing the role but being the actor playing the role. Even early on in the shoot on the Louisiana bayous he comments that there are more journalists than mosquitos. He takes a good-natured dig at Harry Saltzman, who would more often than not take money from him playing gin rummy. Moore claimed that breaking even felt like winning when playing against Harry.

Stories range from the seemingly mundane - such as having Typhoo tea delivered to his New Orleans hotel room or receiving a note from Richard Attenborough via his daughter-in-law, Jane Seymour - to anecdotes of the stars, directors and producers he has worked with. There is name-dropping on an astronomical scale as Moore recalls parties with the likes of Kirk Douglas or Michael Caine. Yet Moore was as down to earth as they came, and his stories of the unit caterers, clapper loaders and various other members of the Live And Let Die team are told with the same fervour as those legends of the silver screen. On one occasion, when unit photographer George Whitear’s driver overslept, Moore himself drove out to his hotel to pick him up.

Even though some of us may have the original paperback, it’s lovely to see one last volume of Roger Moore in print. One cannot help but hear his smooth tones narrate the diary in one’s head. The book is a fascinating insight on the making of Live And Let Die and a superb complement to his other books. This new hardback edition includes is a foreword from David Hedison, a postscript by Gareth Owen and a note from the Moore family. There is also a beautiful selection of photographs new to this edition. A must have for the Roger Moore bookshelf.


David Hedison Roger Moore Jane Seymour Live and Let Die
Photo above: David Hedison, Roger Moore & Jane Seymour in a publicity still for Live and Let Die. Photo by George Whitear. © 1973 Danjaq S.A. & United Artists Corporation. All rights reserved.

Review by Brian Smith. Copyright © 2018 From Sweden with Love. All rights reserved.

Editor's Note:
Available books written by Sir Roger Moore:

>My Word Is My Bond (paperback)
>Bond On Bond (paperback)
>Last Man Standing (paperback)
>À bientôt… (hardcover)
>The 007 Diaries (hardcover)

For more information about Sir Roger Moore's life and career, visit the official website at www.Roger-Moore.com

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