Ian Fleming’s James Bond books are being edited to remove racial references and offensive language and add a disclaimer. James Bond, aka Agent 007, has been with us since Fleming’s first book Casino Royale back in 1953. Since then, Fleming had published 14 books. This included short stories, which were compiled into books.
The movies themselves were just as iconic since the books were adapted into films beginning in 1962 with Dr. No starring Sean Connery as the famous MI6 agent. Several actors have played the role, namely George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and more recently, Daniel Craig. Craig’s first film as Bond is an adaptation of Fleming’s first book.
Ian Fleming’s books will be reissued this coming April to celebrate 70 years of James Bond.
James Bond Book Edited To Remove Racial References
This book was written at a time when terms and attitudes which might be considered offensive by modern readers were commonplace. A number of updates have been made in this edition, while keeping as close as possible to the original text and the period in which it is set.
Ian Fleming Publications Ltd, who holds the rights to the Bond novels, have made a review and looked into possible changes to recommendations. Examples were provided to the outlet, such as a line from Live and Let Die. Bond has a comment in regard to African criminals, saying:
pretty law-abiding chaps I should have thought, except when they’ve drunk too much
Which has been changed to:
pretty law-abiding chaps I should have thought
Another example was when Bond visits a nightclub. It was described as follows:
audience panting and grunting like pigs at the trough
Which has been changed to:
Bond could sense the electric tension in the room
This is not the first time that this has happened. Ian Fleming made edits to his book Live and Let Die in 1955. The edited version of the book was specifically made for the US release. Because of this, Ian Fleming Publications said:
We reviewed the text of the original Bond books and decided our best course of action was to follow Ian’s lead.
We have made changes to Live and Let Die that he himself authorised. Following Ian’s approach, we looked at the instances of several racial terms across the books and removed a number of individual words or else swapped them for terms that are more accepted today but in keeping with the period in which the books were written.
James Bond Books Reissued For A New Generation of Readers
The reissue of James Bond books might not sit well with some. Recently, some have criticised the changes being made to Roald Dahl’s books. This even included Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, with his spokesperson saying:
When it comes to our rich and varied literary heritage, the prime minister agrees with the BFG that we shouldn’t gobblefunk around with words. I think it’s important that works of literature and works of fiction are preserved and not airbrushed. We have always defended the right to free speech and expression.
Ian Fleming’s legacy is still strong today. New books made by various number of authors commissioned by Ian Fleming Publications have been sold. The changes being made to Fleming’s book are not for the old fans. But it does ensure that a new generation of readers can still appreciate the stories created by the author.
Daniel Craig finished his last bond film back in 2021 with No Time To Die. Currently, MGM is planning to reboot the franchise with a new actor. Nothing has been decided on who the new 007 will be. But there are several potential actors like Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Rene-Jean Page and Idris Elba.
What do you think of the changes being made to the James Bond books? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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