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Casino Royale was the product of a midlife crisis. Fleming was a notorious playboy in his youth, and he wrote Casino Royale , his first Bond novel, long after his glory days as a spy for British Naval Intelligence. Dreading the humdrum of old age, Fleming channeled his lingering thirst for adventure into his novels. Ian Fleming at his estate in Jamaica, Goldeneye.

The Life Of Ian Fleming - Creator Of James Bond

Photograph by Getty Images 2. Fleming feared his novels were fluff and that his society chums would deride them. If one has a grain of intelligence it is difficult to go on being serious about a character like James Bond. Ian Fleming and his wife Anne.

The 10 Biggest Bond Revelations From Ian Fleming's Private Letters

Photographs by Getty Images 3. Fleming gave his urbane hero the most run-of-the-mill name he could think of. Although the name James Bond has since become synonymous with high intrigue and danger, Fleming intended to give his protagonist an everyman appeal. The real James Bond was actually an ornithologist, and Fleming snagged the name after reading his book Birds of the West Indies.

The real James Bond. Photograph by Wikipedia Commons 4. Fleming never intended for Bond to be an infallible superhero. In the finale, duels with the stern-faced Russian villainess Rosa Klebb. Though he nearly defeats her, she manages a fatal blow: kicking Bond with a poisoned blade concealed in her shoe. The novel closes with Bond collapsing on the floor as poison overwhelms him, shocking readers the world over.

How had an ostensibly infallible figure fallen so easily? Photograph by Getty Images. It may shock to Bond fans to learn that the world of espionage Fleming romanticized was not actually all that exciting. Like any job, it was one of routine and drudgery. Writing to a man named W. Casino Royale was an absolute revelation upon its release. Its depictions of sexual excess, violence, and high-octane drama were worlds apart from the reality of post-war Britain, which faced austerity measures and entrenched Victorian attitudes.

Though neither a straight biography of one or a study of the other, For Your Eyes Only offers up a bit of both as it looks at the intersecting lines of fact and fiction between the writer and the character.

Diamonds Are Forever by Ian Fleming

Feb 05, L. Good, erudite overview of a very interesting writer and human: Ian Fleming. As usual Macintyre is a keen writer of spy history and gets to the details quickly. I could have read a much longer book with a bit more information but the reason it was written and that it was concise makes it a great read.

THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN TYPEWRITER by Bloomsbury Publishing - Issuu

I was mesmerized by how interesting Ian himself was; not knowing his true role during WWII and how much it actually revealed itself in Bond and the books he wrote. Any Bond fan that enjoys the books Good, erudite overview of a very interesting writer and human: Ian Fleming. Any Bond fan that enjoys the books should read about the man that wrote them and this is a great place to start. Oct 02, Jukka added it Shelves: ben-macintyre.

This book gets at Fleming's background, motivations and thoughts behind the creation of the Bond books. This book deals primarily with the Bond from the books, not the Bond of the screen. The written material of the book is relatively short pages? Unfortunately a large percentage of the photos are of the film Bond, or there as mere filler, which seems to me to miss the mark. I did enjoy many of the photos, like the one of Fleming with apron cooking at the stove pg, , Fleming with his wife Ann pg , Fleming at the card table pg 9 , or the picture of Fleming's home on the beach in Jamaica -- 'Goldeneye' pg , as well as many of the historical background shots.

The contrast between Fleming and Bond leads to an interesting analysis of both Fleming the author, and 's and 's culture that read and connected to the fourteen James Bond books. The book also considers the innovations that Fleming brought to popular fiction. This is an interesting touchstone for those seeking a greater understanding of the appeal of the Bond series, or similar books.

The choice of topic and the approach are somewhat new for Macintyre, and i quite enjoyed his presentation. Apr 10, Tracey rated it liked it Shelves: bio-memoir , e-text , libraryread-idm , pop-history. As I embarked upon the adventure of reading the Bond novels in publication order sparked by attending a James Bond film festival , I thought I should try to find out more about the man behind the legend.

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This book, written to support a Imperial War Museum exhibition, examines the life of Ian Fleming in terms of his James Bond novels. It's not quite a full biography, although there are references to his childhood and his marriage, but the focus is on the men and women Fleming interacted w As I embarked upon the adventure of reading the Bond novels in publication order sparked by attending a James Bond film festival , I thought I should try to find out more about the man behind the legend.


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It's not quite a full biography, although there are references to his childhood and his marriage, but the focus is on the men and women Fleming interacted with and how his personal history informed his fiction. The book seemed very well-researched and the writing was engaging; in fact, I picked up Macintyre's Operation Mincemeat: How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory which involved Fleming in a side, support role after reading about the plot in this biography. Unfortunately, I read For Your Eyes Only on Kindle, and therefore didn't get to enjoy the illustrations; however, if I come across a decently-priced hard copy, I just might have to add it to our Bond film book collection.

May 30, Gwen rated it really liked it Recommended to Gwen by: browsing at the library. Shelves: biography-memoir. A light, breezy book on the historical background of James Bond written for the Imperial War Museum's exhibition.


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Having read some of Macintyre's other work on WWII espionage, it was nice to see the information used to explain James Bond's lasting cultural influence. However, not having read any of Fleming's James Bond series, I'm now intrigued by the source material--if "George Lazenby [the James Bond] is laconic, humourless and perhaps closest to Fleming's Bond" Loc. I particularly enjoyed Macintyre's cultural analysis of Bond: "This is because Bond is post-war British fantasy, a psychological salve for an imperial power in slow decline Bond is not a spy, in any realistic way, but a political fixer, the embodiment of the hope that Britain still plays a vital part out there, although unseen, in what is essentially an Anglo-American alliance against the evil villains.

Aug 23, Alen rated it really liked it Shelves: non-fiction , biography.

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Quick and interesting read! A book that works on several level. It locates Fleming to the historical period of his growing up, his participation in second world war, as well as time of his writing Bond novels, which was basically the last decade of his life. It shows his connections with British spy establishment is, for me, a completely new light, where Fleming was more than, as it has been customary to describe, just on the fringes of main events, as in just a passing contact with main players Quick and interesting read!

It shows his connections with British spy establishment is, for me, a completely new light, where Fleming was more than, as it has been customary to describe, just on the fringes of main events, as in just a passing contact with main players. It also depicts the process of writing, with a special attention to technological advances of the time, and cultural references to luxury products that Bond and, obviously, Fleming have been fond of, like food, clothing, cars, etc. Finally, there is a detailed list of legacies left in today's modern culture by one of the most iconic fictional characters, and one of the most under appreciated writers of the last hundred years.

Apr 21, Kay rated it really liked it Shelves: biogr-memoir , espionage , popular-culture , nonfiction. Marking the centenary of Ian Fleming's birth, this is a lively tribute to both the author and his creation, James Bond. Ben MacIntyre transforms what could have been a fairly innocuous coffee-table tome into an intelligent examination of the parallels between Fleming's life and his fictional hero.

He makes a convincing argument that considerable writing craft and marketing canniness lay behind the Bond books. Some of the most fascinating aspects of the book were how Fleming consciously fashion Marking the centenary of Ian Fleming's birth, this is a lively tribute to both the author and his creation, James Bond. Some of the most fascinating aspects of the book were how Fleming consciously fashioned a brand-laden and luxurious world of adventure which was ambrosia to a drab post-war world, recycling bits of anything that he found useful to fashion a fictional world so appealing in its good-vs-evil mythos that it permeates modern outlooks on espionage.

An insightful look into the creation of one of the most iconic and instantly-recognisable figures of our times and his enterprising creator. The account shows how much Bond was an extension of Fleming's own life and times when his country was sliding down into the ranks of second-tier powers and how these works try to portray a reversal of this decline. Adding to the analysis of these fantasies expertly served, it goes on to dissect the accompanying fare - cars, guns, food and liquor and of cour An insightful look into the creation of one of the most iconic and instantly-recognisable figures of our times and his enterprising creator.

Adding to the analysis of these fantasies expertly served, it goes on to dissect the accompanying fare - cars, guns, food and liquor and of course the girls Also a couple of chapters - unfortunately too brief - about the film depictions of the works Jun 07, Doug Cooper rated it it was amazing. This was a cool book. What interested me the most is the choice of gadgetry and how Flemming came up with his villans.

Not everyone was happy to be the inspiration a Bond character. The cool factor of this book is that it's not like reading a book. There's text, sort of like you'd find in a magazine, and a load of pictures. If you haven't read the books you w This was a cool book. If you haven't read the books you will miss a few details. Jul 03, Joel rated it really liked it Shelves: audiobooks. These books are well written. I was engaged the whole time. Bond is just one of those guys who you can't decide if he's a bad guy or a good guy, but you know he has class.

I was surprised to learn that this book was more of a collection of short stories rather than one series of interconnected events Dec 09, Brynne Thomas rated it really liked it. As a Bond fan who was swept away by Skyfall I tried to download some of the novels. Instead I found this fascinating, easy to read book. It frames Bond in the terms of Fleming and Fleming in the framework of Bond. This book gave me a historical context for the plots, villains, and the hero of these stories. Never before did I realize the deeper commentary being narrated by these films and books.

I can appreciate Bond in a whole new way now. Oct 16, Catherine Thompson rated it really liked it Shelves: biography , film-television. This book is neither a biography of Ian Fleming, nor an examination of the James Bond phenomenon, yet it's a bit of both. What Macintyre set out to do, as he says in his Author's Note, was look at where and how fact and fiction intersect related to Ian Fleming and his creation.

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It's well researched and well written, quite enjoyable. Jan 24, Erik rated it it was amazing Shelves: general-non-fiction , mystery-crime. There is a nice balance of subject and self here, i. A nice collection of essays for anyone interested in how JB was born. Great fun.

Very nostalgic. Good read with lots of interesting observations. Well researched and, above all, good fun. Makes me want to read all the Bond books and buy the DVD box set!!