James Bond Encyclopedia: Updated Edition (2014) – John Cork and Collin Stutz

Bond, James Bond.

One of the most iconic lines in film history, and this week’s Book Shelf visit with DK Canada lets me revisit it in the most indepth way I’ve ever done.

I’ve shared some of my encounters with 007, my introduction to the classic films, my first attempt at getting a Bond book, but I don’t think I shared my first theatrical Bond experience, and consequently one of my enduring favourites, 1987’s The Living Daylights, Timothy Dalton’s first appearance as the famed secret agent.

It was the first time I saw a Bond film in the theatre, having been introduced to the rest of them via video, and to see it presented in such a venue, conveying such a huge scale; I was hooked more so than I had been before.

I picked up a number of reference books along the way, The James Bond Bedside Companion being the first. This one tried to balance the information on both the literary and cinematic Bond. A little later on, I picked up The Essential James Bond, which delved into the film world of Bond, but never as much as I wanted. If there was only something that took me through all the characters, all the weapons, gadgets, the girls…

DK’s book James Bond Encyclopedia does exactly that. Filled with detailed entries, the glossy pages are loaded with gorgeous photographs. Everyone and everything seen on the screen during a Bond film can be found within, from lesser known characters like Kerim Bey’s Girlfriend (Nadja Regin) to gadgets created by Q Branch that only show up in the background.

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The main body of the encyclopedia is bookended by some Bond goodness – at the fore of the book are profiles, and quick interviews with all the actors that have played Bond for MGM, Connery, Lazenby, Moore, Dalton, Brosnan and Craig. The latter part takes us briefly behind the scenes of the production of each film from Dr. No through to Skyfall.

At this point, you would be hard-pressed to find a more comprehensive or beautiful reference book that serves as a the perfect companion piece to one of the most successful series of films to ever grace the silver screen.

No matter who your favourite Bond is, or your least favourite film in the series, the book takes you through it all, exploring detailed corners you may never have even noticed on the screen.

The depths to which the authors plumb to get as much detail to the reader as possible is nothing short of amazing. This is obviously a labour of love for both the authors, and as such, it has a grand appeal and will be as essential to Bond fans as the Walther is to 007.

Having enjoyed this book as much as I have, I think it will be impossible for me not to work my way through the film series (again) with this reference tool at my side.

If you have a Bond fan on your Xmas list, this one is bound to be a winner, and it’s available now from DK Canada and DK Books!

Check it out, and remember, James Bond Will Return.

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