I'd like to put this book on the 00 radar. Haven't completed it, so it's not fair to review it. But for now: any 00 will have much fun with this one. The premise is that without Fleming's love of Jamaica, there would likely not be James Bond. Jamaica's beauty, romance, ghosts (real or imagined?), bloody past awakened Fleming's love of boyhood adventure stories. Some points: it never hit me squarely on the head that all of the Bond villains were foreigners. Drax was of course a mole. Bond has something disparaging to say about nearly all groups; the group that gathers a few points with him are blacks, but even there he's patronizing.
In Jamaica Fleming's character became more congenial (two months out of the year); this could have contributed in part to his housekeeper Violet Cummings to remark in a Daily Gleaner interview, "The Commander was the finest man I've ever known." (paraphrase). I would also wager that the character of May originated in the real Violet -- no-nonsense, straight talking, but clearly highly respectful of her boss. I don't know what she said about Fleming's wife, Anne, who wrote to her friends about their "slaves." There are an astonishing number of photos ... even many in color. A large one with Connery in the middle, his arm around a Fleming friend, Blanche, his other arm around Noel Coward. Coward has his hand on Connery's knee. While Coward was gay, this photo seems just like new friends who like each other (both have wide grins). I did look in the index to read a later page on Connery: Fleming had misgivings about him as Bond until they were at a party and a woman told Fleming that SC was super attractive.
Finally (for now), have to remark about a full face photo of Fleming as a young man. He doesn't resemble all that much the older Fleming. Here, he looks like Bond; of course the author included it for that reason.
Fiction and Nonfiction Book Discussions and Reviews
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- Favorite Bond Movie: OHMSS YOLT GOLDFINGER LALD FYEO GOLDENEYE
- Favorite Movies: OUR MAN FLINT THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD/ERROL FLYNN CASABLANCA ZORRO FILMS / TV SHOW
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You move very well for a dead man, Mister Bond
Kill Bond! Now!!!
Kill Bond! Now!!!