James Bond Tackles Most Difficult Task Yet: Saving Book Publishing

James Bond is back. Again. According to a story in The Wall Street Journal, America’s favorite British secret agent will return in Devil May Care his 23rd new novel since creator Ian Fleming died 44 years ago.

So what’s different about this one? It may actually sell. Penned by Sebastian Faulks, it has an initial print run of 250,000 in the U.S. and 100,000 in the U.K. (The last Bond novel, The Man With The Red Tattoo only sold 13,000 stateside, but what were they expecting with that title?) Ironically, the current economic woes might help sales. “The downturn in the economy has prompted a demand for escapist fare,” Bob Wietrak, vice president of merchandising at Barnes & Noble, told the WSJ.

Whereas previous Bond novels modernized the character, Devil returns to traditional themes of the Cold War, heroin and characters with ridiculous names — in this case, Poppy.

Excerpts from the novel will run in the July issue of Vanity Fair.

After the jump, we’ve embedded the chase scene from the beginning of Casino Royale, which although almost completely unrelated to this post, is still worth 9 minutes of your day.

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