One of the many books to cover 007’s 50th anniversary, but certainly the only one told from Bond himself. Much of what’s in this book has been covered time and again in other books of this nature, but there are two things you won’t find in those other books. The first is Roger Moore’s rather unique perspective, and the second is his personal brand of dry wit, which seems as intact as ever. If you get the audiobook as I did, Moore reads the book himself, which is as it should be. He sounds older, but he’s still young at heart, and it comes across. He may not like to badmouth anyone (i.e., Grace Jones), but for some reason his refusal to say anything negative comes across as an even bigger slap to the face than an actual insult. I have no clue how he does that, but it works for him.
As Moore’s first outing as Bond was the first 007 I saw (on TV), this is exactly the retrospective I was looking for. Hearing his take on things on all levels of production was enlightening and most grin-worthy. He dispels some of the myths (his cigar budget), confirms others (his rewriting scripts for Desmond Llewellyn to make his lines even harder to say), and offers many other anecdotes along the way as only he can. Where else are you going to hear how an explosion helped to propelled him from a chair and burned three holes where there should only be one? These things are all designed as dressing for the real meat of the book, wherein Moore gives his opinions on absolutely everything: the cars, the women, the villains, the gadgets, the production crew, the history of the franchise, and even his fellow Bond actors… which he said he’d never do. But as Connery learned, never say never. Moore covers that too.
There’s a bonus interview at the end of the audiobook that was recorded for the book’s publicity tour that’s a great companion bit to the book itself.
All in all, this is one 007 fans should have. Some of what Moore has to say are bits he’s said before in other interviews, but this saves you the trouble of tracking down decades worth of interviews and offers far more besides. It’s not as in-depth as I would like, but it’s fun to hear Moore reminisce about the things he was there for and explain the things he wasn’t.