15 January 2008

Puffin 2008

To Puffin yesterday for a preview of their 2008 titles, with lots of exciting things on the way, it seems...

Picked up a copy of the new Kevin Brooks (yippee!), also a delightful picture book by Jeanne Willis and Gwen Millward called The Bog Baby (which Jeanne read to us); and many other goodies.

Among these others was a proof of the first official prequel to Anne of Green Gables (Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson) which for no good reason I object to in a vague purist sort of way, while still absolutely accepting that if I just give it a try I'll find (as promised yesterday) that it's wonderful, really well written etc. So given that I had just the same instinctive prejudiced aversion to Peter Pan in Scarlet, and then read it and thought it was utterly WONDERFUL (and indeed - whisper it... - possibly even better than the original...), I'll give this a try. As I will all the others in my goody-bag as soon as I can, and will report back.

Also at Puffin - Charlie Higson talked about his forthcoming Young Bond 5 (still titleless) and Ed Vere introduced us to his character Mr Big, a big, strong, very vulnerable, piano-playing gorilla... Looking forward to seeing that. I'm reviewing Ed V's Banana this week, btw, and think he's fab. You'll see a rave about his first book, The Getaway, in the Ultimate First Book Guide, where it's recommended by Kelly McKain.

(Puffin event also exciting because I bumped into the first disinterested person who'd seen a copy of the new UFBG and loved it! In balance, of course, Waterstone's today hadn't heard of it and looked it up and said vaguely, "Um, March?").


zencat said...

Hey Daniel,

I run a website devoted to Charlie Higson's Young Bond series and I'd love to know what he had to say about Young Bond 5. If you can remember any details, please send me an email via my blogger account.

Leonie said...

Hey, I'm so glad you went! Of course, I'm also very jealous that you had such fun :)

I'm trying to get work to unlock this site - fingers crossed it happens soon!

Daniel said...

Hi zencat -

Charlie didn't give too much detail about the new book - indeed, he's not done writing it yet... But did talk about some of the issues raised by the very fact of writing Bond prequels which are resolved in this fifth YB title.

The main point was about the paucity of information Fleming provides about Bond's schooldays (all appearing in an Obituary written by M when he's believed dead in 'You Only Live Twice'), including the facts that:

--Bond was at Eton, but only for two terms;
--was obliged to leave after some misdemeanour involving a maid, unspecified... and
--went on to Fettes (which, as Charlie pointed out, meant a move from David Cameron's old school to Tony Blair's...)

There are obvious problems with quite what he was able to make Bond get up to with the maid given that he's (I think) 13, and this book is for young readers, and so some of that is dealt with in this book (more of the 'emotional' stuff, he said); also some explanation of the discrepancy between Young Bond's dates and Fleming's 'two terms' claim.

Hope that helps - sorry not to be able to tell you any more!


zencat said...

Thank you very much for the info Daniel. I appreciate it.