Sunday, July 06, 2008

James Bond Books are Back Again

This year will be the 100th year of Ian Fleming's birth. To celebrate they intend to issue James Bond stamps, comics, and a series of new books on James Bond. Don't you hate it when anniversaries become commercialised? Ian Fleming Publications commissioned Sebastian Faulks to write a new Bond novel entitled Devil May Care. The book, released in May 2008, is credited to "Sebastian Faulks, writing as Ian Fleming".

After Fleming's death in 1964, subsequent James Bond novels were written by Kingsley Amis (as Robert Markham), John Pearson, John Gardner and Raymond Benson. In addition Charlie Higson has begun to write a series of books detailing the "Young James Bond". I find John Gardner's James Bond novels the best of the all.

Having read all of Ian Fleming's books, I find Sebastian Faulks' attempt to write as Ian Fleming pathetic. Fleming was not a good writer and his James Bond books were rather dull. The movies are actually much better than the texts. Hence for Faulks to try to write as Fleming is laughable. I would have preferred Faulks to write as himself and the novel, Devil May Care may then be a better book. Also to locate the time of the novel at the height of the Cold war before the fall of the Shah of Persia, thus sort of picking up where Fleming left off is frankly boring. Following Fleming's style, the story is slow moving and have the dubious honour of a book where I fell asleep twice while reading it. Not that anyone cares but it is a record for me. Frankly I will rather wait for the coming James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace.

Books on James Bond by Ian Fleming

1. Casino Royale (1953)
2. Live and Let Die (1954)
3. Moonraker (1955)
4. Diamonds Are Forever (1956)
5. From Russia with Love (1957
6. Dr. No (1958)
7. Goldfinger (1959)
8. For Your Eyes Only (1960)
9. Thunderball (1961)
10. The Spy Who Loved Me (1962)
11. On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1963)
12. You Only Live Twice (1964)
13. The Man with the Golden Gun (1965)
14. Octopussy and The Living Daylights (1966)

James Bond Publications Limited

The James Bond Internation Fan Club

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