Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Happy Birthday, Ian Fleming!

The Writers Almanac: "It's the birthday of the man who created James Bond, novelist Ian Fleming, (books by this author) born in London, England (1908). He wanted to be a diplomat, but he failed the Foreign Office examination and decided to go into journalism. He worked for the Reuters News Service in London, Moscow, and Berlin, and then during World War II, he served as the assistant to the British director of naval intelligence.

After the war, he bought a house in Jamaica, where he spent his time fishing and gambling and bird watching. He started to get bored, so he decided to try writing a novel about a secret agent. He named the agent James Bond after the author of a bird-watching book. Fleming said, 'James Bond is ... the feverish dreams of the author of what he might have been — bang, bang, bang, kiss, kiss, that sort of stuff. It's what you would expect of an adolescent mind — which I happen to possess.'"

9 comments:

Fred Blosser said...

The Sebastian Faulks pastiche, apparently released today, drew tepid reviews in today's NY TIMES and WASHINGTON POST, but I'll probably pick it up anyway. Neither of the two reviewers appeared to be particularly disposed toward 007 to begin with.

In my mind, Fleming rests up there with Burroughs, Haggard, Hammett, and the other great storytellers who created a world and drew the reader into it.

Randy Johnson said...

Ian Fleming's comment was right on target. James Bond was everything "this" adolescent boy wanted to be when I was growing up. I'll probably pick the new Bond up also. I haven't missed any of the pastiches yet, including the two Christopher Woods" novelizations(Moonraker and The Spy Who Loved Me) and the John Pearson fictional biography.

Scott said...

I've got it on hold at the local library. I really enjoy the original novels and keep having to discard the movie images as I read them (see Moonraker; Diamonds are Forever). Just read the NYT reviews. Don't think he gets it.

I just read another blog that discusses the Young Bond series. Sounds promising. Here is that link: http://www.bookgasm.com/reviews/thrillers/bullets-broads-blackmail-bombs-even-spies-start-small/

Bill Crider said...

I have to confess that the only pastiche I've read is COLONEL SUN, back in the old days when it first came out. Maybe that soured me.

Fred Blosser said...

I'm surprised you haven't started a petition to have Paris cast as a Bond Girl.

Bill Crider said...

Surely they'll think of that on their own.

Bill Crider said...

Not that they could top Denise Richards.

Bentin said...

Just as importantly, May 28, 1908 is also the birth date of Ernst Stavro Blofeld. (We are given this information in "Thunderball.") It's bits like this that make me like Fleming all the more.

Bill Crider said...

A great bit of trivia. Thanks.