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‘The Mysteries of Conjugal Love Revealed!’ 18th century sex manual is a total hoot!
09.30.2014
03:14 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Books
History
Sex

Tags:
sex
18th Century


English caricaturist James Gillray‘s famous cartoon ‘Fashionable Contrasts’
 
If you’re not following John Overholt on Twitter, I suggest you get on it. As a Curator of Early Modern Books and Manuscripts for Houghton Library at Harvard, he Tweets about some strange, beautiful and often hilarious texts. Take The Mysteries of Conjugal Love Revealed an 18th century sex manual written by a French doctor, then translated to (“done into”) English by “a gentleman” (is a gentleman supposed to call himself a gentleman? Sounds a little excessively boastful to me.) Though the language is prissy, and the “information” wildly inaccurate, it’s important to remember that England was in the midst of a sexual revolution at the time, and books like this one represented a major move in cultural liberalism (for the upper classes, at least).

Still, let’s laugh at some particularly absurd excerpts!

We call the principle part of the Man’s Privaties the Virile Member, which the Ancients ranked among the number of their Gods under the Name of Falscines, to teach us what Empire it has acquir’d in the World: For no Charms or Enlightenments can equal it. If perchance a Woman perceives it thro’ some slight unfolding of the Garments, her Heart is at the same Instant inflam’d with a Passion, that is with Difficulty assuaged.

I feel like you might be giving yourself a little too much credit here.

The Privy parts of a Woman, by some called Nature, because all Men owe their Origin to them, are the cause of most of our Sorrows, as well as our Pleasures; and I dare say, that all Disorders, that every happen’d in the World, or do happen in this our time, spring form the same source.

I feel like you might be giving us a little too much credit here.

There is a part above the [Nympha?], longer more or less than half a Finger, called by Anatomists Clitoris,which I may justly term the Fury and Rage of Love. There Nature has plac’d the fear of Pleasure and Lust, as it has, on the other hand, in the Glans of Man. There is has plac’d those excessive Ticklings, and there is Leachery and Lasciviousnes establish’d;

I stopped after “half a finger.”

But ‘tis certain that Women have Testicles, spermatick Vessels and Seed, because they sometimes pollute themselves; and their Testicles, which are hollow instead of being solid, as Men’s are, contain several small Cellules, wherein a Humor is kept, that spurts up in the Face of those that cut them.

I don’t know what you’re doing, or with whom, or why there is “cutting” involved, but this does not sound like conventional heterosexual sex to me.

As soon as the Fancy is touched, and the small Fibres of the Brain shaken by the Thoughts of Love, there is an internal Sweat in our Privy Parts, and the Spirits which rush thither with Precipitation, force out a limpid Liquor of the Prostate which prepares the Conduit for the Passage of the Seed. But when one is join’d amorously to a Woman, the 2 small Bladders, most ready for evacuation, empty

Okay. Gonna start calling it “The Fancy”!

Chapter 6: What Hour of the Day one ought to kiss one’s Wife.

Well… they’re still English.
 
Via John Overholt and Harvard Library

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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The resistible rise of Stephen Fry and his plans for world domination
09.29.2014
10:23 am

Topics:
Books

Tags:
Stephen Fry

coversfrybookfool1.jpg
 
It would seem that fame, fortune and the adoration and seven-and-a-half million twitter followers is not enough for Stephen Fry. No. The well-loved, respected and overly indulged national treasure, etcetera, etcetera, wants his life (or at least the third volume of his autobiography More Fool Me) to become “a global story.”

Last week Penguin and the unstoppable ego that is Stephen Fry, launched YourFry a “global digital storytelling project” tied-in to the latest volume of the luvvie’s autobiography More Fool Me. The project will make available text, audio and photographic samples for developers and digital artists to create “whatever they like from apps and data visualisations through to animation and 3D models.”

According to Nathan Hull, digital product development director at Penguin Books, YourFry is:

....an interactive and collaborative project to reinterpret the words and life story of Stephen’s memoir, turning Stephen’s personal story into a global one.

We want to experiment, collaborate, open a conversation, learn and share—and we’re excited to see the creativity and energy of storytellers all over the world.

This is an interesting idea, but one that would (surely) be best served by some great work of fiction (fairy stories, Harry Potter, War and Peace) rather than Stephen Fry’s superfluous third volume of memoirs (how many volumes of autobiography does the privileged 57-year-old need?). The whole thing looks more like some desperate PR ploy to boost interest in this dud of a book.

More Fool Me is piss poor and reads like bits left out of the second volume The Fry Chronicles, where it would happily sit in an edited form under the chapter heading “C is for Cocaine.”

I spent the weekend reading Fry’s latest wankathon, and want to save you the bother of buying it, reading it or being scarred for life by its mediocrity. Save your money. Spend it on drugs, beer, a night out, or a suitably charming present for someone you love. For those still not heeding my words, here is a breakdown (almost) without spoilers.

Fry begins More Fool Me by recounting a recurring dream where he is arrested, tried and sent to prison. Whether it’s true or not, we only have Fry’s word. But its affect is to make the reader sympathetic to the author’s plight before he even begins his tale. Poor Stephen we think, as we then spend the next 50 pages reading a rehash of volumes one and two: Moab is My Washpot (which covered Fry’s life up to the age of twenty) and The Fry Chronicles (his life up to the age of 30).

The following 150 pages are mainly about his hedonistic years on cocaine (hardly revealing), hanging around the Groucho Club (who knew the place was so dull?) and meeting fellow celebrities (no, there is no juicy gossip as Fry loves everyone and anyway he claims he saving all the juicy stuff until after he’s dead). To be frank, there is nothing here of any merit, real interest or literary/cultural importance. The most talked about piece is Fry’s list of the places where he has snorted cocaine: Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, the House of Commons, the House of Lords, the BBC, a long list of gentlemen’s clubs, and a selection of newspapers and periodicals, etcetera, etcetera. I seriously doubt that Fry was the first to hoover up Colombian marching powder in any of these various venues, and he is unlikely to be the last.

The final section of the book is a sub-Adrian Mole diary from 1993, which would not look out of place in the comedy pages of National Lampoon or Private Eye.

Fry was known as “Sly Fry” at school, which is about right, for he is smart (cunning?) enough to ensure his readers are sympathetic, by cleverly disarming any criticism throughout the book with his unhappiness, his self-doubt, self-loathing and the fact that he is encumbered with the omniscient curse of knowing exactly how his readers think:

..I do hear what I consider to be the voice of the reader, your voice. Yes, yours. Hundreds of thousands of you, wincing, pursing your lips, laughing here, hissing there, nodding, tutting, comparing your life to mine with as much objective honesty as you can. The chances are that you have not been lucky with the material things in life as I have, but the chances are (and you may find this hard to believe, but I beg that you would) that you are happier, more adjusted and simply a better person.

(Oh, do fuck off Stephen.)

This is Fry being “sleekit” here, a great Scottish word meaning “sly, secretive, up to no good,” telling his readers that his life may have been charmed, blessed, beautifully plumped like goose-feather cushions on the Chesterfield of life, but in actual fact, he is to be pitied for he is not happy, and all this success, this excess has not made our little Stephen happy.

Well, tough. Deal with it. You have never suffered the privations, the illness, the violence, the utter despair most people face every day of their lives. You are damnably privileged, and should try and think about how you can help others rather than seek approval from their applause.

Maybe it’s time for some kind of intervention? What if all the causes of Mr. Fry’s addiction to fame and public adulation are confiscated, and he is made sit in the corner where he can have a good long hard think about other people for a change.

And if you are still not convinced, well, more fool you, though I’m sure you’ll be interested in the global mass worshiping of Saint Stephen on 1st October… details below.
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Illustrations from the new edition of ‘A Clockwork Orange’
09.23.2014
02:04 pm

Topics:
Art
Books

Tags:
A Clockwork Orange


 
Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange achieved its iconographic status through the lens of Stanley Kubrick—something you could argue is both a blessing and a curse when you remember that almost anytime you hear, “Oh I love A Clockwork Orange,” you can bet they’re invariably talking about the movie. That kind of legacy can be difficult to escape, but these illustrations from the Folio’s Society’s new edition of the book add a pretty fresh look—it’s dingier and more isolated than Kubrick’s vision, lacking the circus-like atmosphere, but maintaining the violent dystopian madness the film captured so well.

Watch the video to hear the illustrator talk process—he abstained from watching the movie while working, but still gives Kubrick a nod. The new edition will come in a gorgeous hardback and include the once-omitted 21st chapter and an expanded glossary of “Nadsat” researched from Burgess’s handwritten notes and letters to his editors.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Via Juxtapoz

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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’What Every Child Needs To Know About Punk Rock’ is a real children’s book that actually exists


 
The Ramones’ 40th anniversary celebration just happened at Bowery Electric last weekend, and the last living original member of the band died, aged 65, just a couple of months short of being able to attend. Punk rock is OLD, and yet, through generations, it persists. As ways for a kid to rebel go, punk has been extraordinarily durable and flexible. Its most basic and superficial tropes were long ago rendered cartoonish or outright mainstreamed, but the defiant outlook they express is eternal.
 

Eh, why not? It’d beat them turning Juggalo.

The very idea of punk as a staid cultural institution, let alone toddler-book fodder, might be met with wounded howls of opposition from some circles—as it should be—but again, 40 years. There are OG punks who are grandparents now. I have an 11-year-old Godson who spent his infancy decked out in Ramones and DK’s onesies. So as weird and implausible as a children’s book frankly explaining punk may sound at first blush, one could make a case that by now, it’s pretty well overdue. What Every Child Needs To Know About Punk Rock was released about a week before the Ramones’ 40th anniversary show, and it’s actually kind of awesome. I’ll let these spreads speak for themselves.
 

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The book is credited on the cover to “Brad and Marc.” Sounds pretty casual, but both of them are highly credentialed.  Marc is researcher and healthcare analyst Marc Engelsgjerd, and Brad is child behavior expert R. Bradley Snyder. The two have co-authored several books in this series, penning What Every Child Needs To Know About board books on a topics as trivial as pizza and coffee, and as serious as cancer and the economy. I can think of a few adults in pretty dire need of that last one.
 

Click to enlarge

Spreads reproduced with permission from Need to Know Publishing

Previously on Dangerous Minds
Napalm Death on children’s TV, 1989
Before Harry Potter there was ‘How to Make Magic’: A childrens guide to practicing the occult
Right-winger accuses ‘Sesame Street’ of corrupting America’s youth with self-esteem
Barbarian metal is for the children: Manowar on Nickelodeon

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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Strunk and White supremacy: Racist secessionist eggheads obsessed with spelling and usage


Take note, Tea Party: No spelling mistakes here
 
The League of the South is not your ordinary band of Southern racists. In describing the group, the Southern Poverty Law Center emphasizes its intellectual credentials—“Originally founded by a group that included many Southern university professors, the group lost its Ph.D.s as it became more explicitly racist.” Hmmm. It seems that the professorial roots of the group have never really gone away, no matter how small the group is today. The group’s mission is, per the SPLC, is as follows: “The league believes the “godly” nation it wants to form should be run by an “Anglo-Celtic” (read: white) elite that would establish a Christian theocratic state and politically dominate blacks and other minorities.” It turns out that the League of the South takes that “Anglo-Celtic” thing pretty seriously.

Buried on the group’s website is a series of pages on the theme of “Verbal Independence.”  They were written by Dr. James Everett Kibler Jr., and just by using periods to cap off the “Dr.” and the “Jr.” there, I’m annoying the good doctor mightily, for as he writes, seeking an unimpeachable Southern authority to justify his preference: “Mr Mrs Ms Dr Sr Jr Rev Esq—We do not use a period with these abbreviations. Interestingly, the great Southern writer William Faulkner always deleted the period in Mr and Mrs. ... We Southerners certainly thus have powerful precedent in adopting these forms used by the 20th century writer most celebrated worldwide. So, indeed, thank you Mr (no period) Faulkner.” Kibler is identified as the League’s “Cultural Committee Chairman.”
 

Dr. James Everett Kibler Jr.
 
So what kind of “style guide” does a committed racist write? Turns out, one that would not garner any attention whatsoever in the United Kingdom. That is to say, the bulk of Kibler’s guide is dedicated to such exciting prescriptions as spelling “color” with an extra “u,” replacing the “z” in “organize” with an “s,” and so on. Kibler even takes pains to insist upon single quotation marks in preference to double quotation marks and vice versa, just like they do in England. Kibler also includes a “special section” of words not covered by any rule, such as cheque, meagre, enquiry, and so on.

Once you get past the British-American style recommendations, the style guide degenerates into a series of ad hoc rules designed to retrofit a system of grammar around preexisting Southern phraseology, as in the paragraph that states that “mash” is too a perfectly acceptable synonym for “press,” as in telling someone to “mash three, please” in an elevator. (It took me a few moments to glean his meaning, actually, but I’m a nasty Northern type.) Amusingly, his irritation over this word apparently stems from incidents “in a Northern city (like Atlanta or Charlotte).” Burn! Take that, Atlanta!

One of KIbler’s longest entries is about the distinction between the words raise and rear. Now, I have to confess .... I’m an editor by trade, I’ve edited at least 150 books in my time as well as countless other pieces of printed matter. I’ve read style guides very much like that produced by Dr. Kibler (only with less racism). I’m a devotee of the Chicago Manual of Style. So all this stuff is very, very familiar to me. I do this for a living, I think about the differences between titular and eponymous, between further and farther, and much else.

All of that is preamble to this: confession: I have never seriously considered the words raise and rear as being of especial interest. Not so Dr. Kibler—he is very upset about raise and rear. Let’s give him the floor (note that the removal of apostrophes from single-syllable words accords with one of his rules):
 

A celebrated Pulitzer prize winning, South-hating author of my acquaintance once chastised me in an emotional outburst for my saying a certain black lady was raised near my home. ‘Like turnips!’ he blazed with righteousness, saying I had used a racially demeaning figure of speech like the ‘n-word’ or boy. Even after I got over my initial shock, I did not attempt to explain what most Southerners know—that we in the South are (if we are fortunate enough) all raised, both black and white, and not reared. And it is, indeed, no doubt, like turnips with us—yes, and also like cotton, okra, and beans—and with no shame in that! Any agrarian people well knows the image is a good one, for crops need the careful long process of planting, daily tendance, and then the grace of God over all—to yield up a successful crop. Raising requires great loving care and more than just biological growth. So out of our noble Southern agrarian heritage, let us keep our expression to raise, and foreswear to rear. And that will make certain we also keep the good old countryman’s phrase, ‘Boy, aint you had no raising?’ And we’ll know precisely what we mean. Because inherent in raising is good, courteous behaviour—good manners which must be taught in social situations by the family.

 
Call me crazy, but if touchy incidents involving race yielding a ringing sense of ressentiment constitute the core of your orthographical and grammatical agenda, it may be that you’re not really all that interested in spelling and grammar to begin with.
 

A League of the South billboard—again, no typos
 
Thanks to Mark Davis!
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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‘My Rules’: Glen E. Friedman book documents hardcore punk, hip hop, skaters and YOU NEED IT
09.18.2014
07:18 am

Topics:
Art
Books
Hip-hop
Music
Pop Culture
Punk

Tags:
Glen E. Friedman


 
I don’t normally write posts and say “you must own this!” but… you’ve gotta get this! Glen E. Friedman’s new My Rules (Rizzoli) is simply stunning. A real masterpiece! I was happier than a pig in shit when I got it in the mail a few weeks ago. It was a very pleasant—and unexpected—surprise indeed. I couldn’t wait to unwrap it out of its packaging and tear through it! The book is a glorious MONSTER, with huge color photographs and amazing B&W images. Hugeness is a major factor in its favor, and the hardcover is sort of “quilted” and textured in a manner unlike any book I’ve ever owned. As an object/publication, it’s… a simply stunning presentation of a photographer’s life’s work, one of the best you’ll ever see. An event! Who is there… what ONE photographer was around as many important scenes as Friedman? Hip hop, hardcore, skaters, he was there, he was in the midst of it and with this book you really get a sense of that. It’s not just a bunch of amazing photographs, the selection becomes a sort of autobiography of the person who documented all of these moments: He was there.


Darren “Buffy” Robinson - Fat Boys - 1985 - Venice Beach, ©Glen E. Friedman
 
Glen’s work splendidly captures historic moments in time. Moments of 70s skate culture, punk, post punk, hardcore, 80s hip hop and early-90s indie rock. Underground cultures that will never happen again (or at least not as cool as they were then!). I have to admit though, I got really nostalgic and almost a bit weepy while looking at these photographs. They reminded me of being young again. My youth. Something I ain’t ever going to get back. They drummed up memories of me hanging out with my childhood friends (some sadly deceased now) just kicking it in my parents’ basement playing records or driving around in my first boyfriend’s pick-up truck blasting Minor Threat. Fun times. Good times.

I love this book for so many reasons.


The Make-Up - 1995 - New York City, ©Glen E. Friedman
 

Think of any iconic image of Run DMC, Black Flag, Minor Threat, Public Enemy, and Beastie Boys, or the gravity defying revolutionary skateboarding legends Tony Alva, Jay Adams, or Stacy Peralta. It is almost certain that Glen E. Friedman was the man behind the camera. Since the mid-1970s as a young teenager, Friedman has been chronicling quintessential moments of underground and counterculture movements.

Glen E. Friedman’s My Rules serves as a history book for the three powerhouse countercultures—skateboarding, punk, and hip-hop. From the earliest days Friedman was present to capture the pivotal and defining moments in music and street movements that were largely unknown or ignored. The energy and rebellion comes through in these famous and some never-before-seen iconic images.


Moses Padilla - 1978 - West LA, ©Glen E. Friedman

As a side note: It was extremely difficult for me to pick the images for this post. I mean, they’re all so damned wonderful! ALL of them! Here are a few choice selections from My Rules below:


Jello Biafra - 1981 - Hollywood, ©Glen E. Friedman
 

Flavor Flav and Chuck D. - 1987, ©Glen E. Friedman
 

Junk Yard Band - 1986 - Washington D.C., ©Glen E. Friedman

More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Home movies of the Beats: Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Lucien Carr, Mary Frank and a gaggle of kids
09.16.2014
02:24 pm

Topics:
Books

Tags:
Allen Ginsberg
Jack Kerouac
Lucien Carr
Mary Frank


Shot from ‘Pull My Daisy’
 
This intimate 1959 footage of Kerouac, Ginsberg, Lucien Carr and his wife Francesca (with their three sons, Simon, Caleb and Ethan), and artist Mary Frank (and her children Pablo and Andrea) is fascinating for a couple of reasons. First of all, there’s just something captivating about seeing so many legends (especially the incredibly underrated Mary Frank) in such a domestic setting. You’d expect to see them drinking at the Harmony Bar in the East Village, you just don’t picture Kerouac with a kid on his lap while they do it. It’s hardly the louche atmosphere associated with the Beats.

Secondly, if I had to guess, I’d say this footage was probably taken by The Americans photographer Robert Frank—Mary Frank’s husband. I say this partially due to Mary’s presence, and partially because the crew’s amazing short film, Pull My Daisy was made the same year, directed by Robert Frank. You can a see similar stylistic approach in the filming, but unlike Pull My Daisy, the mood is totally organic, warm and endearing.
 

 
Via The Wallbreakers

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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DRUGS: Trippy photos from a ‘unique’ volume of the ‘LIFE Science Library,’ 1969
09.12.2014
11:13 am

Topics:
Art
Books
Design
Drugs

Tags:
Drugs
LIFE


The cover of Life Science Library: Drugs

Back in the 60s LIFE had a series of hardcover books—26 volumes total—called the LIFE Science Library that tackled many subjects like Mathematics, The Mind, Health and Disease, Time, Food and Nutrition and so on. One of the volumes printed in 1967 was simply titled Drugs and it gave the history of medicines and how drugs affect the human body. Now if you were to judge a book by its cover, the LIFE hardback cover on drugs looks pretty boring, right? I woulda walked right past it without a second thought! The thing is, if you’d open it up, it’s chock full of trippy eye-candy delights.

Why such a boring cover with such delicious psychedelic imagery on the inside?


 

 

 

 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Before Harry Potter there was ‘How to Make Magic’ a children’s guide to practicing the occult
09.09.2014
11:22 am

Topics:
Books
Occult

Tags:
magic


 
Blogging under the name cavalorn on LiveJournal, Adrian Bott has unearthed an absolute beaut from his childhood—a 1974 guide to the occult, written expressly for children, masquerading as a more innocuous manual on performing magic. The book was called How to Make Magic and was written by Sharon Finmark and David Wickers. It was part of a larger series of how-to books for children published by Studio Vista in the 1970s that covered a wide range; other titles included How to Make and Fly Kites, How to Build with Old Boxes, How to Make Flowery Things, How to Make Mobiles, How to Make Robots, How to Make Simple Boats. Fun for children! Who could object?

Obviously, the entire category of magic can’t help but straddle the categories of possible/impossible. That’s the whole point, isn’t it, to emulate the impossible? So to teach a child magic can always mean two things at once, to provide instruction about various sleight-of-hand maneuvers that will emulate the impossibilities of vanishing animals and so forth, or it can mean teaching a group of practices that are generally known as “black magic”: supernatural powers, ESP, divination, levitation, rituals, witchcraft…..
 

A nervous-looking tot tries his hand at divination….
 
Bott’s account of his childhood interactions with Finmark and Wickers’ book and of recently getting to know it again as an adult, is hilarious. He has a keen eye for the unsettling detail that gives the whole game away. As Bott points out, the friendly and innocuous-seeming cover features both a goat’s skull and a dagger—surely a sign that this book might be darker than parents realize….. As Bott writes, “The front cover of what’s supposed to be a children’s book features an altar setup that puts the likes of ‘Teen Witch’ to shame.” In the introduction, the book asks its readers, “Do you believe in magic? Perhaps you are one of those rare people gifted with real magical powers, as well as having a few baffling tricks up your sleeve” (emphasis added). Later the book suggests writing “a special chant to help create the right sort of atmosphere.” There are sections on making a magic wand, making a ouija board, and creating “ye olde magikal remedys.”

Here are a few pages from this awesome guide to the occult for children:
 

A rare color plate from the book—a homemade ouija board
 

Guide to crafting a “wiggleograph” to find ghosts
 

Making a black cat out of paper. Nothing amiss here, until you get to that corker of a final line: “Of course this is no ordinary cat but a ‘familiar’ sent by the Devil himself to lend a helping hand.”
 

Cast a spell on someone you would like to fall in love with you—yeah, a typical magic trick suitable for birthday parties…..
 
via {feuilleton}

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Cool minimalist cover art for the new James Bond 007 audiobooks
09.04.2014
07:43 am

Topics:
Books
Literature
Media

Tags:
James Bond
007


 
Good news for Bond fans from SpyVibe:

The Reloaded editions of Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels, read by prominent British actors, was re-released yesterday in the US by Blackstone Audio. The collapse of AudioGo last year had Bond fans clambering for out-of-print CDs and box sets, but Ian Fleming Publications was able to strike a deal with Blackstone to keep the recordings in circulation. Each 007 title is available in CD, download, and MP3 CD editions.

The “prominent British actors” reading the novels include the likes of David Tennent, Kenneth Branagh, Rosamund Pike (who acted in the Bond film Die Another Day), and Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville, among many others. The new audiobooks also sport some extremely cool geometric/abstract cover art. If the artwork looks familiar, it should—these abstractions were used by Amazon’s Thomas & Mercer paperback series of the Ian Fleming novels just a couple of years ago. In addition to issuing the new series, Blackstone is also keeping in print a series of Bond audiobooks from 2009, read by the acclaimed narrator and voice actor Simon Vance. That series had a cheesecakey, retro-kitsch cover design scheme, which we thought would be fun to A/B with the new ones—the contrast is awfully stark.
 


Octopussy
 
 


Casino Royale
 
 


You Only Live Twice
 
 


The Spy Who Loved Me
 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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