Saturday, 9 September 2017


I acquired the above paperback of FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE sometime in the early '80s (1980 or '81, I think).  It was a prop in a play by a local amateur dramatics group for which I supplied the occasional poster - and also my blue pinstripe suit for the lead actor to wear in this particular production.  The book was one of many gracing an on-stage bookcase in a living-room scene, and had been supplied by one of the amateur actors, a doctor whose medical career perhaps wasn't as fulfilling as it might be (I'm guessing).

As I collected BOND paperbacks with covers related to their movie incarnations, I asked if he would sell it to me, and he said I could have it once the play's run was over.  I've had it ever since, but never read it, mainly because I'd read the novel back in 1972 or '73.  I decided to start on it last night, figuring that, as I'd first and last read the story over 40 years before, I'd probably forgotten enough of it for it to seem new to me.  (Not the plot obviously, as I'm familiar with that from the movie. I'm talking about IAN FLEMING's writing-style and all the stuff that never made it into the film.)

The book is a 1963 edition, and is in such good condition that it seems more than likely to have been read only once when first purchased, 50-odd years ago.  I find that an amazing thought, and it's almost like stepping back into a vanished era - as if I'm once again in 1963 and have picked up the book only moments after the first person to read it put it down.  Of course, it also takes me back to the early '80s when I first laid eyes on the paperback, which makes it seem as if I've had two different lives associated with it.  Which reminds me of the title of another 007 novel - YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE - so maybe I have.

(Gosh, that was quite a neat wrap-up.  I must be getting better at this bloggy stuff.)  Anyway, thought you might like to see it as it's a nice-looking cover.

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