FIRST EDITION OF THUNDERBALL, INSCRIBED BY FLEMING
FLEMING, Ian. Thunderball. London: Jonathan Cape, (1961). Octavo, original black cloth, original dust jacket. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $15,000.
First edition of Fleming's ninth Bond novel, warmly inscribed by the author, "To James, you have my best wishes, from Ian."
"Thunderball represented a new departure [for the Bond series], with the introduction of SPECTRE and of Ernst Blofeld, a commanding villain who was to reappear. This gave a measure of continuity to the later Bond novels… Thunderball worked well as an adventure story… the theme of the theft of atom bombs seemed pertinent and modern" (Black, 49, 55). As he had in From Russia, With Love (1957) and The Spy Who Loved Me (1962), Fleming considered permanently doing away with his super-spy character: "I shall definitely kill off Bond with my next book—better a poor bang than a rich whimper!" (Lycett, 364). Bond, of course, survives this adventure, which, due to credit and rights controversy, was adapted twice to the screen: under the present title in 1965 and as Never Say Never Again in 1983—both times starring Sean Connery; in the 1965 film Claudine Auger played Domino, while Kim Basinger played that role in 1983. Gilbert A9a (1.1). Biondi & Pickard, 42-47.
A bit of staining affecting pages 34-38, 238-43, chiefly marginal. Cloth near-fine with slightest rubbing to spine ends, faint stain to rear panel. Original dust jacket with minor expert restoration, quite bright and clean. Scarce and desirable inscribed by Fleming.