"HE MUST PLAY THE ROLE… THE MAN WHO WAS ONLY A SILHOUETTE": FIRST EDITION OF MOONRAKER
FLEMING, Ian. Moonraker. London: Jonathan Cape, (1955). Octavo, original black paper boards, original dust jacket. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. $9200.
Scarce first edition, second issue, of Fleming's third novel, in which Bond must foil the attempt of a British industrialist to destroy London with a nuclear weapon.
Considered by many to be one of the best of the Bond books, Moonraker afforded Fleming "an opportunity to wax lyrical about the England he loved—the 'panorama full of color and excitement and romance… [Fleming also] skillfully reintroduced notes of ambiguity and realism into the life of his globe-trotting hero… Noël Coward read Moonraker in proof in Jamaica and pronounced, 'It is the best thing he has done yet, very exciting… His observation is extraordinary and his talent for description vivid" (Lycett, 253-54, 269). Made into the 1979 film of the same title with Roger Moore as Bond and Lois Chiles as Dr. Holly Goodhead. The early Bond novels are quite scarce. Second issue, with "shoot" instead of "shoo" on page 10, penultimate line, and all other textual points called for in Gilbert A3a(1.2); sheets bulk at 19mm. Biondi & Pickard, 41-42.
Book with faint offsetting to endpapers, tiny bump to boards at fore-edge, near-fine; dust jacket with toning to spine (as often), front panel bright. A very attractive copy of an increasingly scarce early Bond title.