The James Bond Bedside Companion by Raymond Benson was first published in 1984 and covers all aspects of the Bond phenomenon. From Ian Fleming’s life to the writing of the books and the film series, The James Bond Bedside Companion also includes sections on the character of James Bond, weapons used and injuries sustained.
Although updated in 1988 and out of print for several years, the book was reprinted in 2001 without being updated. Due to his work on The James Bond Bedside Companion and demonstrating himself to be an authority on all aspects of James Bond, Benson was commissioned to continue the book series following John Gardner’s departure. After accepting the commission he rightly thought it inappropriate to update the critical judgements on the books or films.
While the section on Fleming naturally lacks the detail of Andrew Lycett’s comprehensive biography, it still makes an interesting read, and the reviews of the books and films are a must for any serious Bond fan. The main criticism of the book is that typeface is a little uneven in places and the numerous black and white photos are of poor quality. Also, there are a number of typos and the text could do with some tightening up in places. All in all the book is crying out for a collaborating author to produce an updated edition of what would surely become the definitive guide to James Bond – if it is not that already.
The book is again out of print, although it was recently re-released for Kindle.