Wednesday, January 27, 2010

007-The Spy I Love

I don't know about most people, but when I hear mention of the word "spy", the name that comes to mind for me is the ultimate fictional agent James Bond, created by the author Ian Fleming. Mr. Fleming was born in 1908 in Mayfair London to Valentine Fleming (don't you just love his father's name?) and Evelyn St. Croix Rose. Ian was educated at several fine institutions in England and Germany and on the eve of World War II in the European theater, he became the personal assistant to Rear Admiral John Godfrey, director of Britain's Naval Intelligence. Mr. Fleming was involved in several secret plans to topple the German war machine, including planning and gathering intelligence information for 30 Commando, a specialized commando unit, and he was able to use all of his skills and knowledge of intelligence into a successful writing career.

The first James Bond novel was Casino Royale, published in 1953, which was twice made into a film-- in 1967 with Peter Sellers and in 2006 with Daniel Craig. The second film can be found in the library catalog and can be placed on hold if you are not able to find an available copy. It is interesting to find that several of the Bond books were written in the 1950s and 1960s, but it was many years before some of the titles were made into big-screen films.

Several of the Bond novels can be found in the library system. Doctor No, Goldfinger, Thunderball are still available at some of the branches, and there are several reprints and e-book copies available through the digital download section of the webpage. In addition to the novels and films, there are also several other titles that explore the world of James Bond. There are The Moneypenny Diaries by Kate Westbrook, a fun, fictionalized account of the world of James Bond, Devil May Care by Sebastian Faulks (billed as the new James Bond novel) published in 2008 and there is even a Young Adult novel called Silverfin: A James Bond Adventure by Charlie Higson. Some great non-fiction titles that delve deep into the Bond franchise are: The Science of James Bond: From Bullets to Bowler Hats to Boat Jumps, The Real Technology Behind 007; The Man Who Saved Britain: A Personal Journey into the Disturbing World of James Bond; and James Bond by John Cork and Bruce Scivally, which is a great book about the legacy of this enduring and well-loved British agent.

While Mr. Bond may not be a favorite of some, he will always be a part of me, brandishing his quick wit and intelligence, his love for the ladies, but yet enveloping himself with the grim determination to finish the mission and the martini, shaken, but not stirred.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm smitten with James Bond too. My favorite actor for the role of 007 is Roger Moore. I love to have a "Bond-fest", watching several movies in a row.