Less than three months before the premiere of the next James Bond film, Quantum of Solace, Penguin has released a trade paperback by the same title — although Quantum of Solace the book doesn't have much to do with Quantum of Solace the movie.
According to ION Productions, the film is largely a new story, starting one hour after the end of its previous, phenomenally successful 2006 adventure, Casino Royale.
The print Quantum of Solace is a compilation of all the short fiction by Bond creator Ian Fleming, brought together for the first time ever in a single volume. In the title story, Bond is the guest at a dinner party during which the host relates a disturbing tale about a cuckolded husband. The man's marriage is said to have suffered from an adequate measure of comfort — or "quantum of solace." When the title of his movie was announced, star Daniel Craig noted that Bond had lost the benefits of a relationship at the end of Casino Royale.
The book's nine stories are strong on plot, Fleming's forte. Characters from them appear in several Bond movies: the beautiful Russian cello player and sniper in The Living Daylights, the Secret Service art expert who accompanies Bond to a Sotheby's auction in Octopussy, the young woman committed to finding her parents' cold-blooded murderers and the Mediterranean drug smuggler posing as a friendly CIA agent in For Your Eyes Only.
This collection is a bargain for Bond completists. The stories were formerly available only in two separate books — For Your Eyes Only and Octopussy and the Living Daylights — at the combined price of $27; Quantum of Solace retails for $15.
In 2008, the 100th anniversary of Fleming's birth, many books by and about the author are being published. Quantum of Solace is certainly one Bond fans will want to check out.
Roberta Whipple is the administrator of the St. Pete Beach Library.