The Book of Bond
Author: Lt.-Col. William (‘Bill’) Tanner
Release: November 7, 1965
Tagline: or Every Man His Own 007
Publisher: Jonathan Cape
Genre: Fiction, Humor
Synopsis: A detailed guide to the lifestyle of 007.
Declassified by Agent Palmer: “The Book of Bond” is An Intriguing Book from a Bygone Era
Quotes and Lines (by Section)
My recommendations are in the highest possible degree authentic, i.e., they constantly refer to the published adventures of 007.
The most reliably rewarding of all 007 activities. You may fail dismally to make the slightest impression on anybody by your alcoholic performances and still have acquired much valuable knowledge, not to speak of the pleasures to be enjoyed on the way.
Your daily intake should stay around half a bottle of spirits. This is adequately devil-may-care without being sodden.
Your position here is being a gourmet while pretending not to be. You notice and enjoy what you eat – nobody grudges that to a man who might be dead next week – and in fact you know everything worth knowing about food, but have no time at all for the memorable-meal approach.
Never invite anybody, least of all a girl, to a meal at your flat. This would mean having to take full responsibility for the selection and condition of the fare, apart from letting people see something of the way you really live, which must remain for ever a mystery. When you take a girl home for the night, insist on breakfasting at a hotel.
Show no knowledge whatever of how food is actually prepared. You have never cooked a meal in your life. What you eat is provided either by the Scottish treasure who housekeeps for you, or by a girl, or by a restaurant. In your world a meal appears, is devoured, and vanishes.
Never take tea, either meal or beverage. Attack the latter as a ‘flat, soft, time-wasting opium of the masses’, associated with midemeanours like scone-eating, owning a Morris Minor and having children called Ethel or Ron. Another cheap way of asserting your individuality.
Smoking a lot shows you are on the right side and is one more of those instant ways of demonstrating your adventurousness. But don’t overdo this: never use tobacco before breakfast, for instance. Treat it as a pleasure, not a habit.
Ideally, you should be, or should aim at seeming to be, between about thirty-seven and thirty-nine. If under fifteen, you would probably do well to put off for a bit any attempt at 007ship. Over-sixty-fives should settle for counterfeiting ex-membership of the 00 Section or for playing M instead.
Many of us show facial relics of childhood fights or alcoholic falls. If you have one of any size, highlight it with one of those white pencils women use for parts of their eyes.
Failing this, search your face for old acne pits, boil craters, etc. Highlight these too. Explain that ‘when these so-called bullet-proof windscreens go, they really go’, and matter how lucky you were to have got in the way of only a few small splinters.
Decisive, authoritative, ruthless, ironical, brutal, cold and taciturn are some of the descriptions to go for. A tall order for one face…
A puanchy 007 cannot exist.
Most aspiring 007s are pretty hopeless at games and sports and also chronically unfit. This is true of most people in any group. But then most people don’t have to put up a show of athletic prowess and of fitness. The solution to the problem, as to others examined in this manual, is to know what to say you do and to knock on the head any question of being seen doing what you say you do. As always, never discuss anything. Confine yourself to isolated, unanswerable remarks.
The keynote here is to avoid anything gaudy or flamboyant or obviously expensive.
Unnecessary ornament of any kind, in fact, is inclined to be suspect.
Note: Any reasonable robust rear bumper will do to incapacitate a halted Triumph TR 3 driven by a girl and thus effect an introduction.
“Although, characteristically, you know everything worth knowing about where you’ve been, you haven’t been everywhere. You go where you’re sent, as you can smilingly remind anyone who looks surprised at your ignorance of St Tropez or Copenhagen or Bethnal Green. Your grazetteer is not a bulky affair.”
‘The leader of a band of gipsies once told me he’d always give me a job – taming his women and killing for him. A great compliment to a gajo.’
‘Sorry, to a what?’
‘Sorry, to a foreigner. Turkish word.’
Approach via either ‘The nicest thing ever said to me’ or ‘If ever I get the sack from the Service’ or both.
‘My education was mostly in Latin and Greek. No help in ordering a cup of coffee in Rome or Athens.’
‘A friend of mine who’s head of French Counterintelligence once said to me, “I enjoy strong sensations.” I am like him.’
‘For me, the right ingredients of an exciting adventure are physical exertion, mystery, and a ruthless enemy.’
Smile when you say this. Done too straight it might cause an embarrassed snigger.
‘Before a man’s forty, girls cost nothing. After that you have to pay money, or tell a story. Of the two it’s the story that hurts most. Anyway, I’m not forty yet.’
You can adjust the ‘forty’ a little if required, but on no account stretch it beyond sixty-five.
If caught in a theatre, explain you’re only there because the man you’re following is too.
No part of the character of a 007 is more important than his status as the scourge of the casinos and the hammer of the big London bridge games.
M (for the older reader)
When 007ship begins to strike you as too expensive, too strenuous, or (above all) too juvenile a pursuit, the time has come to make the switch to Mship.
‘I’m always suspicious of sunburnt men in England. Either they’ve not got a job of work to do or they put it on with a sun-lamp.’
What you say is less important than how you say it. Always speak abruptly, angrily, contemptuously, roughly, sharply, shortly, sourly, and/or testily.
Girls (for the 007-chaser)
You, the attractive and intelligent girl who has traveled thus far through these pages, will not have done so without forming an accurate as well as admiring picture of the 007 in your mind. These notes are intended to supplement the knowledge you have already acquired and give it a practical turn.
Having been educated up to 00 level standard, you are in a position to exploit any exploitable situation, to wring the maximum 007-value from it.
These days, the lone researcher in any line of inquiry tends to be at a disadvantage. The big discoveries emerge from co-operation, the big results are arrived at by groups. In our field, competition and rivalry are peculiarly unproductive.