Thursday, October 25, 2007

Faulks used Benson's Bedside Compainion

A terrific profile of Sebastian Faulks published in today's Washinton Post has revealed a few juicy new tidbits about his process of creating Devil May Care.

First off, Faulks reiterated that he "hates thrillers, hates thrilling films, they're just not thrilling." The Post revealed that the idea for Faulks to write the Centenary Bond novel "originated with his agent, Gillen Aitken, who sits on the board of Ian Fleming Publishing."

In preparation, Faulks said that he re-read the Fleming books and studied Fleming's style. "It's a journalist's style: short sentences, a lot of active verbs, no semicolons." On how he researched Bond's character he summed it us as being "Pretty easy, you just read the books."

But perhaps the most interesting revelation is that Faulks named Raymond Benson's The James Bond Bedside Companion as a research tool, especially in regards to the cars of Bond. "You look in the index, under 'car' -- it's not that hard."

Benson, who penned six original James Bond adventures between 1997 and 2002, first broke into the Bond publishing world in 1984 with The James Bond Beside Companion. An updated version of the book was released in 1988. In my opinion, it is still the best Bond reference book, being one of the only books to cover both the literary and cinematic 007.

Well chosen, Mr. Faulks.


  1. I should think so too. Bloody good book, that one.

  2. Undeniably Benson's finest work.

    While it is possible he was not accurately quoted, shouldn't Faulks be searching FLEMING for such information, the primary source, rather than relying on secondary sources such as Benson's book, crib sheets, even?

    The info is in Fleming. Taking short cuts just smacks of laziness.

    I do hope Mr Faulks isn't out just for a fast buck.

  3. Interesting point, David (and thanks for having a look at my new site).

    In all the interviews with Faulks, there seems to be a sense of amusement (embarrassment?) on both his part and the interviewer that he wrote a James Bond book. Faulks like to say how he dashed it off in six weeks, that it was a lark. As a Bond fan, I don't like hearing this. But all these interviews are about his new novel so they are aimed at his core readership. Maybe it's just intellectual cover for him. The proof will be in the book.

  4. Well, Zen, for now I am prepared to put it up there with "Daniel Craig can only drive an automatic" kind of stuff: I thought Craig was slumming it doing Bond, it proved he was far more dedicated than that.

    I hope Mr Faulks is similarly inclined.

  5. Agree. And I believe it would be impossible for a man like Sebastian Faulks to not give a novel his all. It's his art.


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