Dec 30, 2012
Len Deighton Writes About James Bond in Brand New E-Book
The Deighton Dossier posted a very exciting announcement last week about a brand-new e-book by Len Deighton about Ian Fleming, Kevin McClory and James Bond! Now let's just take apart that sentence for a second. The first amazing nugget of information for spy fans is... Len Deighton has written a new book! Okay, okay, it's an e-book, and only a short one at that (Amazon calls these short titles "Kindle Singles")... but it still marks the first new publication from one of the world's foremost spy writers in nearly seventeen years! (The final Bernard Samson novel, Charity, came out in 1996.) Then the second amazing thing in that sentence is that this e-book finds one of my very favorite spy writers, Deighton, writing about another, Fleming! Historically, Deighton was part of the group of espionage novelists including John le Carré and John Gardner who came along in the Sixties writing books that were direct reactions to, or perhaps even rebellions against, Fleming's James Bond novels. Deighton's unnamed spy, star of his first several novels (immortalized on film by Michael Caine as Harry Palmer), was the polar opposite of 007—and very intentionally so. While Deighton no doubt respects Fleming, his creation and the popularity it brought the genre he writes in, his overall aversion to Fleming's fiction seems not to have abated over the years. But very little is said about Fleming overall. Instead, Deighton's Kindle Single James Bond: My Long And Eventful Search For His Father deals with the cinematic 007. And Deighton had far more involvement with that incarnation of the character, some of which he reveals here for the first time. With Harry Saltzman, who produced the Palmer movies, he made some small contributions to the script for From Russia With Love. And for Kevin McClory, who Deighton knew well, he contributed to one of the many incarnations of Warhead, the film that eventually became Never Say Never Again. This e-book makes a great read, and is very informative. Since Deighton knew some of the figures involved better than others, a somewhat slanted opinion is to be expected. Based on my own research over the years, I'm not sure I agree with all of his conclusions (but then I wasn't there and he was!), but I'm still thrilled that he wrote them up and published them for us to read. I highly recommend this e-book to fans of Bond and Deighton alike... and therefore to all spy fans. It should be noted that you don't need a Kindle device to read these books. There's a Kindle app available for many smart phones, and a reader for PCs as well. So there's no reason not to spend the $1.99 on Amazon!