James Bond novels – the Vintage publishing house has acquired the rights to publish all 15 of the Bond novels written by Ian Fleming.
The deal covers all countries worldwide, with the exception of the US and Canada and not only includes the traditional paper format but for the first time hands another publisher the right to publish Fleming’s work in digital e-book format. It will be the first time that Ian Fleming’s Estate has agreed to let an independent publisher have the digital rights to the Bond novels as until now they have published the e-books themselves.
The deal means a return to its roots for the Bond series of novels as Casino Royale, the first novel in the series, was published in 1953 by Jonathan Cape, a sister imprint of Vintage. The first edition books are still highly collectable and a first edition copy of Casino Royale sold in January this year for £28,000 at the Oxford Book Fair, making it the most expensive item sold during the whole event. The original print run of the novel was for only 4728 copies so these investments are likely to continue increasing in value.
The Bond novels were not that popular when they were first released and only really took off in the 1960’s after President J F Kennedy told reporters that his favourite novels were the James Bond books. Kennedy had met Ian Fleming at a party in Washington and promised the author that he would read one of his books.
JFK turned into a huge fan of James Bond and in an interview with Life magazine he said that ” Russia With Love” was one of his favourite novels of all time. The movie of “From Russia With Love” is believed to be the last movie that President Kennedy ever saw, shown to him in a private screening held for him the day before he travelled to Dallas in November 1963.
The Bond books will be published by Vintage in both their Classic and standard paperback range as well as in e-book format. The novels are expected to be released from this summer, in advance of the new Bond movie, Skyfall, which is due for release in October this year.
The MD of Vintage, Richard Cable, said of the new deal: “Bond, James Bond. Ian Fleming’s famous Secret Service agent 007 remains one of the most iconic of all literary creations, and continues to thrill new and existing readers alike. We are excited to welcome Ian Fleming’s books to the Vintage list for the first time and to reunite him with Jonathan Cape, the original publisher of his work. We are hugely looking forward to working with IFPL to relaunch the list in 2012, a year which marks the 50th anniversary of the first James Bond film, Dr No, and sees a new 007 adventure hit the big screen.”
The landmark figure did seem to be causing him some problems as he struggled to get this final century having twice been out in the 90’s since scoring his 99th century against South Africa in March last year. He will be mighty relieved as well as very proud and no doubt all of India will be celebrating the latest achievement of a man who has almost godlike status in their country.
Tendulkar’s 100th International century outs him way ahead of anyone else in the all-time list. His nearest rival is Australia’s Ricky Ponting who has a total of 71 international centuries to his name, but with his current form and at the age of 37-years old he is extremely unlikely to approach Tendulkar’s record.
Tendulkar started his Test career at a very early age and his first International century came in a Test match against England at Old Trafford in 1990 when he was just 17-years old. His 100th International century came with a single clipped to square leg against Bangladesh.
As you wold expect the 100th 100 milestone has brought praise from many of Sachin’s colleagues and all of his International rivals as well. England Test captain Andrew Strauss said of the milestone: “It is an amazing feat by an amazing cricketer.”
“Sachin is a player by which all others are measured over the last 10-15 years, and for him to go out and get a hundred hundreds is an amazing achievement without precedent – it’s unlikely to be achieved again.”
“It shows a rare combination of an amazing skill, huge application, great drive and desire and keeping a calm head when there are huge expectations on his shoulders.”
“He is the batsman I’ve most enjoyed watching during my time in the game.”
Cricket is such a huge part of Indian culture that Tendulkar’s achievement even got praise from Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who said: “He has made India proud.”
“Tendulkar’s long career has been a triumph of class, character and courage. I wish him many more innings and feats to continue inspiring the youth.”
Much like the Donald Bradman’s legendary Test average of 99.98, Tendulkar’s 100 International centuries is a record that is unlikely to be ever surpassed.