Thursday, December 31, 2020

A Golden Bounty, Indeed

By Fraser Massey
James Bond fans have not had a great year. The next 007 movie, No Time to Die, saw its release date repeatedly postponed—currently it’s set for early April 2021. And the greatest of the cinematic Bonds, Sean Connery, died at the end of October—just six weeks after the passing of the film world’s only Mrs. Bond, Dame Diana Rigg (who, as the Countess Tracy di Vicenzo, married James in 1969’s big-screen adaptation of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service).

However, 2020 has concluded with some heart-warming evidence, for fans of Ian Fleming’s king of spies, that the original books are still greatly treasured.

The latest list of Most Expensive Sales of the Year generated by Canada-based secondhand online books retailer AbeBooks features among its top 10 a signed first edition of Fleming’s 1959 novel, Goldfinger. This copy of the seventh Bond adventure, in its original dust jacket and in “fine” condition, was had for £19,345 ($26,354).

AbeBooks’ list was topped by the sale of a 1936 first edition of James Joyce’s Ulysses, which went for £34,635 (£47,182), but it also featured other works that might interest thriller fans. An unread copy of Michael Crichton’s 1995 Jurassic Park sequel, The Lost World, signed by director Steven Spielberg and cast members from the film version, scored the same price as the aforementioned Bond novel, £19,345 ($26,353). And a 12-volume collection of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series of post-apocalyptic gunslinger fantasy yarns—all signed by the author—fetched £17,100 ($23,294).

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