Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Devil May Care 80% Fleming, says Faulks

Centenary Bond novelist Sebastian Faulks has offered up more details about Devil May Care, the new (adult) 007 novel due out May 28, 2008.

Faulks says his new book is “about 80% Fleming” and admitted being surprised that he was the estate's choice.

“I was surprised but flattered to be asked by the Fleming Estate last summer if I would write a one-off Bond book for the Ian Fleming Centenary,” says Faulks. “I told them that I hadn't read the books since the age of 13, but if, when I re-read 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 re-reading, I was surprised by how well the books stood up.”

He added: “I put this down to three things: the sense of jeopardy Fleming creates about his solitary hero; a certain playfulness in the narrative details; and a crisp, journalistic style that hasn't dated.”

Faulks said he attempted to “isolate the most essential and the most enjoyable aspects of the books.”

He said: “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% Fleming. I didn't go the final distance for fear of straying into pastiche, but I strictly observed his rules of chapter and sentence construction.”

Devil May Care is set in 1967, when, Faulks says, “Bond is damaged, ageing and in a sense it is the return of the gunfighter for one last heroic mission. He has been widowed and been through a lot of bad things ... He is slightly more vulnerable than any previous Bond but at the same time he is both gallant and highly sexed, if you can be both. Although he is a great seducer, he really does appreciate the girls he seduces and he doesn't actually use them badly.”

As to locations, Faulks says the action plays out across two continents, exotic locations, and “several of the world's most thrilling cities.”

Devil May Care will be released by Penguin Books in the UK and Doubleday in the U.S.

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