After gushing over Michael Gillette’s James Bond novel covers for Penguin I have to admit I’m rather disappointed in Random House/Vintage’s “classic” array of Ian Fleming’s 14 spy works, which are due for paperback publication in the UK on September 6.
The typographical treatments for Casino Royale, Moonraker, Diamonds Are Forever, From Russia with Love, and Thunderball is fairly interesting, though hardly dramatic. And the rest of those fronts ... well, they’re not the worst I have seen. But why doesn’t Fleming’s name even appear on these covers? Are the titles so familiar that they can now stand on their own, without the author or his protagonist being mentioned?
Perhaps the most interesting thing about these reissues is that, as The Book Bond notes, “a ‘dazzling array of authors’ will write introductions to the Vintage Classics, including Giles Foden, Sam Bourne, Andrew Taylor, Tom Rob Smith, Kate Mosse, and Len Deighton.” Let’s hope those contributors receive prominent credit for their work, even if Fleming doesn’t.
READ MORE: “Full Set of Ian Fleming Vintage Classic Covers Revealed,” by John Cox (The Book Bond).