The mission: to bring James Bond back to life.

Discussion & Review Forum For James Bond Books Written By Sebastian Faulks (born 20 April 1953))

The mission: to bring James Bond back to life.

Postby Blowfeld » Sun Sep 09, 2007 10:38 pm

The mission: to bring James Bond back to life. The man: Sebastian Faulks
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James Bond is being brought back to life in a new novel.
James Bond is being brought back to life in a new novel. Sebastian Faulks, one of Britain’s most respected authors, is taking up where Ian Fleming left off at his death four decades ago.

The new novel, Devil May Care, commissioned by Fleming’s family, will be published on May 28, 2008, to mark the centenary of Fleming’s birth. The latest adventure is set in the Cold War and played out across some of the world’s most exotic locations.

Barbara Broccoli, co-producer of the Bond film franchise, said that she was so bowled over by the result that if someone had told her that the family had found an old manuscript of Fleming’s she would have believed them.

Faulks said that he was “surprised but flattered” to be asked to write the one-off book. He said: “I told them that I hadn’t read the books since the age of 13, but if, when I reread them, I still enjoyed them and could see how I might be able to do something in the same vein, then I would be happy to consider it. On rereading, I was surprised by how well the books stood up. “I found writing this light-hearted book more thrilling than I had expected. I tried to isolate the essential and the most enjoyable aspects of the books. Then I took that pattern and added characters and a story of my own with as much speed and as many twists as I thought the reader could bear. I developed a prose that is about 80 per cent Fleming. I hope that Ian Fleming would consider it to be in the cavalier spirit of his own novels.”

Faulks is best known for his French trilogy – The Girl at the Lion d’Or, Birdsong and Charlotte Gray – which has sold almost four million copies in Britain alone. Birdsong has been described as one of the most haunting works of recent fiction about the First World War.

Like Fleming, Faulks was a journalist – he worked for The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph and The Independent. Fleming worked for The Sunday Times and Reuters.

Although Faulks remains with his usual publisher, Random House, Devil May Care will be published by Penguin UK, which has the Bond backlist. Alex Clarke, the senior editor, said: “When we heard that Sebastian Faulks would be taking up the mantle, we knew instantly there could not be a more fitting celebration of the most iconic spy in literature and film. Not only has Sebastian picked up from where Fleming left off, but he has also brought his own exquisite prose to the cocktail party – and, in so doing, has written a tour de force that will thrill and satisfy every kind of reader.”

More than 100 million Bond books have been sold since Fleming wrote Casino Royale in 1953. He wrote another Bond novel almost every year until his death in 1964.

Faulks said: “In his house in Jamaica, Ian Fleming used to write 1,000 words in the morning, then go snorkelling, have a cocktail, lunch on the terrace, more diving, another 1,000 words in late afternoon, then more Martinis and glamorous women. In London I followed this routine exactly, apart from the cocktails, the lunch and the snorkelling.”

He is the sixth author to revive Bond since Fleming’s death. Kingsley Amis, under the pseudonym Robert Markham, recreated the character for Colonel Sun in the 1960s.

Corinne Turner, of the family-owned company Ian Fleming Publications, which owns the copyright to the Bond books, said that unlike the other authors Faulks had gone back to Fleming’s originals, writing Bond “exactly as Ian wrote him . . . as a special homage”.

“ Stephen watched her as she spoke, his dark eyes scrutinising her face. Azaire ignored his daughter as he helped himself to salad and passed the bowl to his wife. He ran a piece of bread round the rim of the plate where traces of gravy remained. Madame Azaire had not fully engaged Stephen’s eye. In return he avoided hers, as though waiting to be addressed, but within his peripheral view fell the sweep of her strawberry-chestnut hair, caught and held up off her face. She wore a white lace blouse with a dark red stone at the throat.

— Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks

“She gave little of her real personality away and he felt that however long they were together there would always be a private room inside her which he could never invade. She was thoughtful and full of consideration without being slavish and without compromising her arrogant spirit. And now he knew that she was profoundly, excitingly sensual, but that the conquest of her body, because of the central privacy in her, would each time have the sweet tang of rape. Loving her physically would each time be a thrilling voyage without the anticlimax of arrival. She would surrender herself avidly, he thought, and greedily enjoy all the intimacies of the bed without ever allowing herself to be possessed.”

— Casino Royale, Ian Fleming
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"Those were the days when we still associated Bond with suave, old school actors such as Sean Connery and Roger Moore,"
"Daniel didn't have a hint of suave about him," - Patsy Palmer
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Blowfeld
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