I love the Young Bond books. The mixture of high adventure, danger, daring and international intrigue always keeps me on the edge of my seat.
However, I never thought I’d be going on adventures like Young Bond himself. James is so smooth, his transition from Eton schoolboy to Agent 007 must have been perfectly natural. I’m not cut out for it, for LOADS of reasons.
Firstly, I’m too dotty. I’d be too likely to drop the briefcase, lose the microchip or forget the secret password. Secondly, I’m too conspicuous – you don’t see anyone from Eton or MI6 in red polka dots and swirly petticoats, do you? (Or do you. . . perhaps that’s the genius of their disguise?) Lastly, and probably most importantly, I don’t like Martinis (they make me shaken AND stirred).
So when Puffin HQ called on the red phone, I was nervous. A Top Secret assignment, involving a perilous journey, a contact in Kensington and a mysterious parcel? Cor!
Well, I’m always up for a challenge and it was with set jaw and determined attitude that I set off to the super posh jewellers, Theo Fennell, to collect our actual gold copy of Hurricane Gold, the fourth in the mega-selling Young Bond series by Charlie Higson.
Yes, actual gold.
The hardback of Hurricane Gold was designed to look precisely like a gold brick, and with the fascinating Bond exhibition coming up at the Imperial War Museum, as well as the centenary of Ian Fleming’s birth this year, we decided that there would be no better way to celebrate Young Bond than with a real live gold copy.
The crafty master jewellers at Theo Fennell did an amazing job. The cover is embossed with the Hurricane Gold logo. The ‘pages’ really look like you could pick it up and read it (though you have to wear a pair of white kid gloves!). The front cover features a cunning hinge, opening to reveal an ebony inlay with the distinctive Young Bond target logo. As if that weren’t enough, the spine is embossed with Charlie Higson’s signature and the Puffin – our little Puffin, all grown up and sparkling in 24 carat gold!
I felt pretty important, I can tell you; bringing it into the office, opening up the leather and velvet case, I really did feel like a Bond girl. Even if I was a bit out of puff (it was the hottest day of the year, and it’s not a light thing to be carrying around!).
I hope this amazing artefact gives you a good reason to see the exhibition. There’s plenty more to see besides, including a Young Bond trail to follow, as well as material about the new adult Bond by Sebastian Faulks, Devil May Care, and all of the Bond films and novels that you know and love.
I think I have hung up my adventuring boots for now, but keep your eyes open for a flash of bright colour disappearing round the corner at the Imperial War Museum . . .