The much-awaited new Bond novel entitled Carte Blanche was launched on May 25, 2011, in London at St Pancras International. To be published by Hodder & Stoughton in the United Kingdom on the next day, the first copies of the book by bestselling American writer Jeffery Deaver were delivered in a stunning display by the Royal Marines Commandos coupled with abseiling, a beautiful Bond girl on a motorcycle and a fast vehicle.
Deaver arrived at The Champagne Bar, which is the longest bar in Europe, at St Pancras International riding a special Carte Blanche red Bentley Continental GT with a Bond girl in black leather.
The scene could have been taken from a James Bond book. However, it was by air that the writer received the premier copy of the novel, wherein four members of the Royal Marines Display Team went down from the roof of St Pancras International to the concourse below it.
They held copies of the book and handed them over to the writer in the presence of Ian Fleming’s family members and guests. The novels were then placed under lock and key and sent to an undisclosed location. The novel’s plot will remain a secret until the day the book is published. Despite the secrecy surrounding the novel, it has been said that each portion of the book launch had specific relevance to the new book. The creator of the original James Bond stories, Ian Fleming, would have been 103 on May 28, 2011.
Bentley revealed that it is releasing a special edition model with a case inspired by both the Bentley Continental GT and Dubai’s deserts. These are not chosen at random as in the book Carte Blanche, the Continental GT is the preferred car of James Bond while Dubai is one of the regions that Bond finds himself in.
Since the interior of a Bentley makes use of a high quality material, it is not surprising that the book is covered in white Nappa leather and much like the GT, the white leather trim is contrasted by the Pillar Box red edging. Stamped on the front are Bentley’s familiar wings, the title of the book, and the name of the author.
The same have also been foil-blocked on the book’s spine. In manufacturing a Bentley, the process usually involves handcrafted methods and this is seen in the pages especially with the way it is trimmed and cut. Printed on the luxurious ivory paper is the text that comes in black and red with the endpapers on red leather. Similar to the other details in this special edition, the colors used were taken from the company’s own range.
The book itself is placed on the bottom of the anodized aluminum in black. This was done so as not to make any markings in its white leather. The case itself makes use of polished aluminum which is the same as that of the GT’s exterior. This results in the case having a smooth and sleek shape. Just like how the car has been sculpted, the metal skin brings to mind the signature outline of the GT. It also gives it the appearance that’s as if the car is rising from the sands of the desert.
With Bentley known to be a brand that only delivers high levels of quality, an actual auto supplier was commissioned to create the case in order for it to meet the same high standard. The case was in fact manufactured using a machine that was specially commissioned for the task at hand. According to Brett Boydell, Bond has been known to destroy but at the same time save and even create. It was these particular elements that he needed to express when it came to the design, Boydell says.
As an added twist, with Bond being given a Carte Blanche, the book is designed to have a die-cut bullet hole that goes through its pages. Within these pages is a one 9 mm bullet that has been polished and marked with its own unique number to make sure that each copy is indeed distinct.
Boydell reveals that with this, the reader is sure to be excited to learn that there is a bullet placed in the center of the page. In addition, he adds, even with the bullet, the text has been placed in a way that it will not distract the reader. Boydell continues and says that he hopes the book will not only be exciting to read but also just as thrilling to hold or even look at.