Review: The Bluffer’s Guide to Bond

Although not expecting much from this slender volume, it turns out to over-deliver. A handy pocket companion for all Bond fans.

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Back in the 1980s I once bought a Bluffer’s Guide. It was fun, but very superficial.  Short. It covered modern art, just a sentence or two for each art movement.

Deeply shallow, as Douglas Adams might have said.

And so when I received a copy of The Bluffer’s Guide to Bond I was pleasantly surprised. It is rather more substantial than I was expecting.

The book dives into Ian Fleming’s stories, giving a basic but usable summary and points out where the films diverge from the books. It also features a section on Bond and Fleming and Bond Miscellany section for anything that didn’t quite fit elsewhere and a section titled Being Bond.

In fact, it’s full of info and titbits about everything all aspects of 007 and although I know quite a lot about the subject, there is plenty in this book I didn’t know.

You must have seen those list posts on some websites with titles such as “10 facts you never knew about Bond”. Then you read it and none of the so called strange facts is unknown to you at all. Well, this book isn’t like that.

Flipping through it I saw the first ever film to include “no animal was harmed” in the credits was Never Say Never Again. Not an EON Bond film, but a Bond film all the same. I didn’t know that.

Nor did I know how the publicist for Goldfinger finally overcame the American censor’s objections to the name Pussy Galore, who was requesting it be changed to ‘Kitty’. I didn’t know that either.

And I didn’t know Sean Connery and Robert Shaw didn’t get along while filming From Russia With Love.

Maybe you knew all those. But I’m pretty sure in a book of 117 pages you’ll find something to delight and amuse you.

You can buy The Bluffer’s Guide to Bond from Amazon UK and

David Leigh founded The James Bond Dossier in 2002. A fan of 007 since the age of 8, he is also author of The Complete Guide to the Drinks of James Bond. You can order a copy here if you don't own it already.

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