Avakoum Zahov versus 07

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Avakoum Zakhov vs. 07 (Bulgarian: Срещу 07) is an espionage novel by the Bulgarian author Andrei Gulyashki first published in 1966 and translated into English in 1967 (Sydney, Australia: Scripts. Paperback. 1967). This English translation is out of print and very hard to find.

In Avakoum Zahov vs. 07 Avakum Zakhov was meant to meet with and pit his wits against James Bond. The book has been described as a revenge for the constant targeting of Russian and Bulgarian people as the evil characters in Bond novels and films. In the book Bond was defeated by a communist hero, much to the dismay of the Bond copyright holders. Consequently, Glidrose Publications threatened Andrei Gulyashki with a lawsuit and forbade him to use the name James Bond or the number 007. Zakhov's adversary became a nameless British spy, 07.

Avakum Zakhov's mission in Avakoum Zakhov vs. 07 was not to kill James Bond (or 07), but to protect the Soviet scientist Konstantin Trofimov. 07's mission was to kidnap the Soviet scientist and steal the secrets of his invention (a kind of a powerful "ray").

07 wins the first round: while the professor attends a symposium in the Bulgarian city of Varna, 07 manages to kidnap him and his secretary Natalia, and to take them to a ship headed south. Zakhov is in hot pursuit and manages to sneak onto 07's ship under a false identity. At the end of the story, 07, Zakhov, the professor, and Natalia find themselves shipwrecked on an icy island near Antarctica. 07 is awaiting help from the U.S. icebreaker Franklin, while Zakhov is awaiting a plane from the Soviet polar station Mirny.

There are some minor discrepancies between the Bulgarian original and the English translation, and a significant one at the end. In the English version, the book ends with a hand-to-hand fight between the two superheroes, and 07 is pushed into the icy precipice, presumably to his death.

In the original, the two adversaries exchange threats, but do not touch each other. The plane from Mirny arrives, while Franklin is still a few hours away. While Avakoum and Konstantin Trofimov's secretary Natalia are busy getting the professor into the plane, 07 manages to disappear. Although morally defeated and unsuccessful in his mission, 07 remains alive, and even free.

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