Friday, May 31, 2024

Ian Fleming: The Complete Man: My Washington Times 'On Crime' Column On Nicholas Shakespeare, The Author Of The New Biography Of The Creator Of James Bond

The Washington Times ran my On Crime column on Nicholas Shakespeare and his new biography of the late, great thriller writer Ian Fleming. 

You can read the column via the below link or the below text:


 BOOK REVIEW: 'Ian Fleming: The Complete Man' - Washington Times 

I’ve been an Ian Fleming aficionado since my teens, so I was pleased to read “Ian Fleming: The Complete Man,” the new biography by Nicholas Shakespeare (seen in the below photo).

I contacted Mr. Shakespeare and asked him why he wrote the biography.


“When I was approached to write a new authorized biography of Ian Fleming, the first since 1966, my initial reaction was hesitation,” Mr. Shakespeare replied. “Could I face spending so long in the company of a melancholic cad and creator of the cold killing machine, James Bond? This incomplete image was my only image of Fleming.

“Before rejecting the proposal, I did some background research, and I found to my surprise that Fleming, the sardonic bounder, was kinder than I’d hitherto imagined. Again and again, the many women he’d had affairs with looked back on him with fondness, describing his kindliness as his chief characteristic. This was not a quality I’d associated with James Bond.


“There is much more to Fleming than Bond, a character he created almost as an afterthought in the last twelve years of his life, when the most interesting part of it was essentially over.


“To simplify horribly, there would be no James Bond had Fleming not led the life he did, but if Bond had not existed, Fleming is someone we should still want to know about.”


How would you describe Ian Fleming?


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