Casino Royale by Ian Fleming
There have only been a few constants in the world of modern British first editions and they tend to be the top storytellers. James Bond will never lose his appeal. The films are adored and every year sees a new wave of young collectors for his hardback and even early or special paperback editions. The 007 series are beautifully produced with all but the first few in matching Richard Chopping wrappers.
The first James Bond novel Casino Royale goes for £20-25,000 plus in fine condition but I can remember when it went for under a thousand.
We have a half shelf of first and early editions and associated items and homages by writers such as Kingsley Amis. I would put Fleming in our top five best selling 20th century British novelists. The others are Agatha Christie, John Buchan, P G Wodehouse and George Orwell.
I read Fleming when I was 13 and 14 and hungry for sex and adventure (armchair versions of course). I sometimes found the old Pan paperbacks in charity shops but some I had to buy some new.
If you want a sure-thing investment I don’t think that anyone ever lost money on Fleming. He also wrote some interesting books on Jamaica and gambling and of course, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Twenty years ago we had a book from his own library with his ownership signature in it. I think we sold it for over a £1,000.00.
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