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For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming and James Bond Hardcover – April 29, 2008
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From School Library Journal
Adult/High School—This thoroughly researched, intelligently written, and beautifully presented book explores in detail the connections between a super-successful writer and his marvelously engaging creation. Fictional characters, even one as exotic, sexy, and talented as Bond, seldom emerge from the pure, unaltered imagination of the author. Bond has deep roots in Fleming's life, in the places where the author lived and visited, the people he knew and worked with, and in the family, social, and love life he experienced. Macintyre also investigates the real-life roots of other major characters, such as Miss Moneypenney, M, and supervillain Ernst Stavro Biofeld. He examines the plot origins of several of the stories, as well as the real-world gadgets and gizmos that show up so famously in the books and movies. Where does the "Bond girl" come from? And what should we make of Bond's life of luxury? These and other questions are answered here, revealing Macintyre's convincing reverence for and fascination with the intertwining worlds of these figures. The volume is lavishly illustrated with black-and-white and color photographs.—Robert Saunderson, Berkeley Public Library, CA
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“[A] marvelous tribute…He examines, among other things, the probable genesis of Bond's name (an ornithologist) and his spycraft (a number of exotic and intrepid agents, entertainingly described). He looks at the sources for Bond's taste in women (Fleming) and attitude toward them (Fleming) and at the effect of the Bond-of-the-movies on the Bond-of-the-books (significant).” ―Katherine A. Powers, Boston Globe
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Top customer reviews
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.
Why? Because most of us grew up with James Bond, loved the books and movies, the women (Ah, the women!) and the super secret agent's bold action when he saves the world, flirts or seduces some ladies with some interesting names, and who seldom gets shaken or stirred.
Better still, with this volume we get get some great photos and art work to better illuminate the flow of the chapters, whether it's his family background, military wartime service, success as a writer (failure as a stockbroker), and, well, everything we associate with the films.
Good stuff here about an interesting author by a talented writer as well.
By chance I came across this intelligent and insightful volume. I would recommend it for a fun read with interesting insights into "why" Bond so captured the reading public in the UK and around the Globe.
After reading the James Bond books, one realizes how Ian really treated
Bond (not very nicely), and how different the books are from the movies.
Great book for James Bond (Ian Fleming) fans.