Thursday, February 08, 2018

Calling It a “Day”

So now we finally now: Anthony Horowitz’s second James Bond continuation novel—due out in the UK on May 31—will be Forever and a Day. As The Spy Command explains, that book will be “a prequel to Casino Royale [1953], Fleming’s first Bond novel” and will “explore the origins of the world’s most famous secret agent.” Like Horowitz’s initial foray into the Bond universe, 2015’s Trigger Mortis, this new thriller will include at least a modicum of previously unpublished material penned by Agent 007’s creator, Ian Fleming.

I very much enjoyed Horowitz’s opening Bond yarn, and if he can do as fine a job of capturing both the original character of Britain’s best-known fictional superspy and Fleming’s prose style (more or less) in Forever and Day, I’ll probably find reading his forthcoming novel no less satisfying. My only problem is with the book’s humdrum appellation. Forever and a Day lacks the verve and wit of previous Fleming titles such as Live and Let Die, From Russia, with Love, and You Only Live Twice. Trigger Mortis may have borrowed the name of a1958 Frank Kane novel (albeit unintentionally), but at least its moniker suggested the intrigue inherent in other Fleming titles. What of Forever and a Day? If you search the Amazon sales site for books with that same name, you come up with a variety of romance novels—not exactly a ringing endorsement of Horowitz’s choice.

The author might have considered putting a playful spin on the colloquial expression he’s employed as a title. But then, I guess that would have left him with something like Forever and a Death, which Donald E. Westlake already used on a novel—his last one ever published, as it turned out—that had its roots in a treatment for a never-made James Bond film. Or he could have gone with Never and a Day, which offers a bit of originality as well as humor, and alludes to the 1983 Sean Connery picture, Never Say Never Again (itself not originally a Fleming title). Oh, well. Better luck next time.

FOLLOW-UP: The Book Bond brings word that Forever and a Day “will be released by HarperCollins in the U.S. on November 6, 2018. Harper was also the U.S. publisher of Trigger Mortis.”

READ MORE:James Bond Returns in Forever and a Day by Anthony Horowitz,” by Nicolas Suszczyk (The Secret Agent Lair).

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