Apr 15, 2008

Double Or Die Now Available In The US

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!


For in-depth coverage on all things Young Bond, check out the Young Bond Dossier.

11 comments:

bish8 said...

This has become an excellent series, which gets better with each book. I've read through Hurrican Gold, the fourth book in the series, and Double or Die remains my favorite.

I still think the Alex Rider books are more fun, and certainly more like the movie Bond, but the Young Bond series is more literate and definitely gives us a character who you can accept growing into the Bond of Fleming's books.

Bish

FelixLeiter.com said...

It's nice to hear that 'Double or Die' has slipped out early! Unfortunately, I pre-ordered mine on Amazon and don't live near a Borders.

The last Young Bond book I read was 'Blood Fever' during its UK release two years ago so I can't wait to start reading 'Double or Die'!

Great site, Tanner!

Tim Lucas said...

Book publicists have got to be the laziest, most inexcusable species on the face of the earth -- and I speak from experience. Why do publishing companies even have such departments when they only spend their time on books written by authors who need no promotion?

Thanks for bringing this series to my attention. And I'm sure the author thanks you, too.

zencat said...

Thanks for the heads up, Tanner.

I checked out a Borders and two Barnes & Noble bookstores today and didn't spot any copies, so it appears scoring a copy early is a bit hit and miss.

Keep up the great work. :)

Tanner said...

Bish, you're right that the Alex Rider books are more like the Bond movies, and I certainly enjoy them, but I prefer Higson's books because they keep alive the tradition of the literary 007, too often overlooked thanks to the films! I also think they're just better written.

FelixLeiter (great blog, by the way), I'm sorry you don't have Borders nearby, but you haven't got long to wait for your Amazon order, at least! You're in for a real treat if it's been that long since you last read Young Bond! Blood Fever is still my favorite in the series, but Double or Die is a very close second for me. I'll be interested to hear your verdict...

Tim, that paradox of the publishing industry is INCREDIBLY frustrating! I'm very sorry to hear that it's so pervasive. (Bish, have you got the same complaint?) I'm glad to hear that I brought Higson's fine series to your attention with my blog for that very reason--if the publishers won't promote their authors properly, I like to do whatever I can as a fan! (Also one of the reasons I plug your truly amazing Bava book every chance I get! Hopefully some people who never would have heard of it otherwise will take an interest. There I go again...)

Tanner said...

Sorry to send you on a wild goose chase, Zencat. According to Borders' website (www.bordersstores.com), the Century City, Santa Monica and West Hollywood (where I got mine) stores should have it in stock in this area. I also checked their employee computer in the store (helps that they haven't changed the password in the 7 years since I worked there!) and saw that the company's own shelf date was listed as April 12, so they should definitely be popping up at Borders all over any minute...

Tim Lucas said...

I appreciate each and every plug I can get for the Bava book, Mr. Tanner... but believe me, the PR I got on the Bava book far exceeds any that I received for the two books I had published by the majors... and I published it myself, out of a suburban house in Cincinnati! When you sign with these major companies, they ask you if you'll be willing to do publicity -- and you say "Yes!" eagerly, imagining that they're asking if you would be willing to be sent around to pound the drum on your book's behalf, to do television and radio and newspaper interviews. But what they're really asking is, "Are you willing to DO publicity -- all by yourself?" You would think that a book affiliated with one of the most famous brand names in the western world (James Bond) would be given a little more respect and attention.

zencat said...

Hey, that search inventory feature is pretty nifty. Thanks Tanner.

I actually have a copy that I got from Disney, but I wanted to get a pic of the book in-store for my site. Hoping for a display of some kind...

Tanner said...

You'll be disappointed, Zencat, if you're hoping for a store display, I'm afraid. I think that falls into the topic that Tim's discussing of publicity that should be happening, but isn't, sadly. There wasn't a dump bin at Borders, nor enough copies of the book to fill one.

Tim, I laughed rather morosely at your "Are you willing to DO publicity -- all by yourself?" line, because that's the exact situation I'm in now with a comic book I have coming out!

bish8 said...

I have to agree with Tim. With nine books out from major publishers, I have yet to come across a publicist who new more about promotion than I did myself, or who was able to get me any publicity I didn't get the lead on myself.

Book publicist appears to be somewhat of an entry level position at most publishing houses. There are some professionals who you can hire, but for most 'mid-list' fiction writers the cost is prohibitive and not worth the return.

I'm in the middle of negotiating for my first non-fiction book and the waters appear to be a little different, but not much. Time will tell.

By the way, what comic book project do you have coming up. I'd enjoy helping to get the word out for you.

Righty007 said...

My copy will be delivered on Wednesday! :D