Wednesday, January 21, 2009

TALK OF THE DEVIL

Talk of the Devil is a collection of rarely-seen journalism and other writing by Ian Fleming. It belongs to a special edition of his complete works published in 2008 by Queen Anne Press to commemorate the centenary of his birth. The edition is intended to celebrate Fleming not only as the creator of Bond but as an accomplished and vivid journalist, distinguished bibliophile and literary publisher.


No uniform edition of Fleming’s complete works has appeared before. Talk of the Devil, the last of eighteen volumes, is edited by his niece Kate Grimond and nephew Fergus Fleming.

“In preparing this volume our goal has not been to assemble every overlooked scrap of Ian Fleming’s writing, far less to make a definitive collection of his journalism. Instead we have tried to create a book that does justice to its author. The contents have been selected for their rarity, their historical and biographical value and the glimpses they give of his opinions and enthusiasms. Our overriding policy has been that they should be of interest and entertainment.

A few items have never been published, others have already appeared in print - as, for example, the articles that Ian Fleming wrote during his long association with the Sunday Times. In the latter case we have followed the original typescript rather than the published version, and where good lines were edited out we have put them back in. The title is taken from a notebook in which Fleming listed names and phrases that caught his fancy. Talk of the Devil, which was an early contender for Diamonds are Forever, caught our fancy too.”

At more than 400 pages Talk of the Devil is the longest work ever to bear Ian Fleming’s name.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Moneypenny makes it to America

Samantha Weinberg's excellent series of Miss Moneypenny novels are at long last making their way to America. Book 1, The Moneypenny Diaries, is published by Thomas Dunne Books and can be purchased now on Amazon.com.

Weinberg's "Diaries" comprise a trilogy of novels, all three of which have been released in the UK. No word yet on when the next two books, Secret Servant and Final Fling, will make it across the pond.

Read my exclusive interview with Samantha Weinberg aka "Kate Westbrook" HERE.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Birthplace of 'Devil May Care'


"I have worked in this room for six years. I wrote novels called Human Traces, Engleby and Devil May Care here, and have nearly finished a new one, provisionally called A Week in December. The room is part of a small flat in Holland Park, in west London. It's at the top of a building so there's no noise from above. I come here from home, 15 minutes' walk away, from roughly 10 till six every weekday. I sometimes stay later or come in at the weekend as well, so I guess I must like it here.

It faces east and overlooks a garden square with a pink horse chestnut. The room is not as seedy as the picture makes it look, though I admit that the decor - if that's not too strong a word - is the subject of some hilarity to female interviewers. I don't care what it looks like, only how it works.

The desk belonged to a furniture dealer called Simon Horn. It's too low to get my knees under, so the middle drawer has gone and the legs are propped up by copies of Charlotte Gray in Danish. The chair I got via the Wellcome Trust; it's the same as those in their library and very good for someone with a chronically painful back. I inherited the curtains from the previous owner.

On the coffee table are books and notebooks relating to the novel in hand. The buff envelope at the front of the upper in-tray on the desk is the next VAT return. The temperamental phone/fax machine doubles, when it fancies it, as a photocopier.

On the wall I face are a small cameo of Tolstoy that I bought in his house in Moscow and a bronze relief of Dickens, half obscured by the computer screen, that was my mother's. For each book I invoke a sort of patron saint. For A Week in December it's Orwell, just visible at two o'clock from Tolstoy. The message of the old wartime poster next to him gives solid advice on a slow day. The bag was a Christmas present from my wife."

Sebastian Faulks - The Guardian


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