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For the uninitiated into Ian Fleming's world....
on June 10, 2008
As one who studied Fleming's work extensively as a graduate student and later publishing a thesis on the writer's impact on pop culture of the period, I must admit I was a bit skeptical about yet another bland and redundant Bond "coffee table" book for the masses. Happily, this is not the case with "For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming and James Bond" by Ben Macintyre, written on the centenary of the author's birth. Highly readable and enjoyable and chock full with full-color photos of props used throughout all 21 Bond films, this book is a comprehensive survey of not just of Bond's impact on fiction and the cinema, but a real in-depth analysis of the man who breathed live into one of popular culture's most endurable icons.
Much is written about Fleming's childhood, adolescence, education at Eton, relationships with family (brother Peter, noted travel writer), his military career, his closest friends (Ivar Bryce and Noel Coward), his love-hate relationships with wife Ann, and the author's affairs with numerous beautiful women which oddly resemble Fleming's fictional alter-ego. For those who wish to learn more about Bond and the writer who created him, this tome is a great springboard into the Bond phenomenon which has spanned over forty years.