Charlie Higson's third James Bond novel, Double or Die, is now--finally!--available to purchase in the United States. It was published in January of 2007 in the United Kingdom, and succeeded there by a fourth novel, Hurricane Gold, before ever appearing on US shores. To make up for that inexcusable delay, American readers are treated to a much nicer, very atmospheric cover (courtesy of artist Kev Walker) and a hardcover first edition. Like the first two Young Bond volumes, Double or Die debuted in Great Britain as a paperback original--albeit a limited edition one, enclosed in a foil wrapper. There followed another, hardcover, slipcased limited edition in the fall--in signed and rare unsigned variants. The US publication is still the first trade edition offered in hardcover. It is the same size as the two previous American hardcovers, and adheres to the same design scheme as Blood Fever, even though that was published by Miramax/Hyperion and this is published by Hyperion/DBG.
I really hope that American Bond fans are all reading this series. As I've said many times, though the premise of James Bond's adventures as a boy may sound ludicrous at first, Higson is a first-class novelist who has crafted some really great Bond stories. His "James" (as he is called, instead of "Bond") may be a boy, but he is clearly the adolescent version of Ian Fleming's Bond. You can clearly picture this character growing into the man generations of readers know and love, particularly in Double or Die. Charlie Higson optimistically described Double or Die as a rebirth for Young Bond in the States, but I've seen no sign of that so far--no big marketing campaign, no book tour, no big push in bookstores or libraries, no newspaper giveaway of the companion Young Bond Rough Guide to London. Therefore, I feel that I have to do my part and urge whatever readers haven't yet checked out this great series to do so now!
Amazon lists an April 22 release date for Double or Die, but it has turned up in bookstores early, including numerous locations in the Borders chain. Pick one up today!
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