News Tank reports that William Boyd has revealed new details about his upcoming James Bond novel while speaking to an audience at the Telegraph Hay Festival:
"He is a middle-aged man, a middle-aged spy, and that’s one of the things that interests me", Boyd talked about the James Bond in his novel which will be published in 2013 autumn. In the novel set in 1969 Bond will be a 45-year-old man.
Also, this time, Bond’s love affairs will be less exotic. "And similarly with love affairs – in my novel they will be entirely believable." proclaimed the new creator of Bond.
"I’m a realistic novelist and what interests me about Bond is the human being. There will be no mountains filled with atom bombs or global plagues, no gadgets, no superpowers or preposterous enemies – there will be an entirely believable psychopath, not a preposterous psychopath.", added the acclaimed novelist who was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1982 for his novel An Ice-cream War.
The novelist finds the literary Bond far more interesting than the film hero who for him is "a sort of cartoon”. The novelist said, “The literary Bond is a much more troubled, complex, nuanced figure." In his novel, Boyd may keep both M and Moneypenny, but not Q, the scientist who invents strange gadgets.
Overall, the novelist is very serious about the project and at the same time keen on enjoying the freedom allowed by the Ian Fleming estate. "I’m taking it extremely seriously but I’m going to have a lot of fun as well.", divulged William Boyd.
I have my fingers crossed for this, big time. I like what he's saying so far. Couldn't stand Carte Blanche.ReplyDelete
This looks promising.ReplyDelete
But I'm still cautiously optimistic.
Has Boyd read a Fleming novel?? OTT villains is what Bond is all about!!ReplyDelete
That is true. Doctor No is way out there.Delete
But then the villains in Casino Royale, Live and Let Die and (especially) From Russia with Love are all fairly credible. Dr.No (both character and novel) is Fleming at his most outlandish, yet even Bloefeld/SPECTRE in the later entries are much more grounded than their film counterparts. I think it's a positive sign that the author is being encouraged to play to his own strengths rather than pretending to be something he's not (which is partly where the last two went awry in my opinion).Delete
This book will get ripped from the "fans" just like the rest of them have been since Fleming's death. It doesn't matter how good or bad it may be. Shame really.ReplyDelete
I think you might be right about that, Count. There are those who just love to hate on the continuation novels. Even when they haven't read them.Delete
I am afraid that the Bond novels are becoming like the movies; They have no soul. They just steal the names and put them in a story. It doesn't sound like he has read any of the novels.ReplyDelete
Bond was not a "spy", and I have Kingsley Amis to back me on that.
I'm looking forward to it, particularly because he will bring Bond back to the Cold War.ReplyDelete
-Jason (Spy Vibe)
Would it be a Bond novel with a story line(or lines) as complicated as Le Carre's ?ReplyDelete
Not sure all the continuations "get ripped". The Amis and Pearson books, Wood's SPY and the early Gardners are held in reasonably high regard. Add to that Higson did a fine job with a terrifying prospect - BRC is a personal favourite - and I think there is potential for the new books to be looked at favourably.ReplyDelete
Sadly, the precedent for most, however, is poor writing, lack of understanding of Fleming and contempt for the entire project. Boyd has this negativity to overcome, but the success of his book lies in HIS hands....
"I think you might be right about that, Count. There are those who just love to hate on the continuation novels. Even when they haven't read them."ReplyDelete
Yes. Sad but true.
Ah, these are my favourite types of Bond articles.
I like the idea of him wanting to write a realistic Bond yarn. Nothing wrong with that every now and then. I rather like the idea. It may be more reminiscent of Fleming's wonderful short stories.
In terms of the love affairs, I really don't care if we get one or two books where Bond doesn't sleep with anyone either, not that I'm suggesting that this is what he's saying. If he does in Boyd's book, maybe the dame will be closer to Bond's age instead of 20 years his junior. What I really want is a good, gripping narrative with a protagonist who is entirely three dimensional and pretty close to Fleming's original conception. In CB, we couldn't have been further away from this.
Love the fact that we won't get any gadgets.
Just one thing, I'm not as keen on him mentioning that Bond is 45. If he says that he's in his 40's then this is fine. Going by the sound of Boyd's more realistic take on the character, he might very well mention his exact age though.
"The wonderful thing about the offer [to write a James Bond novel] is that they give you almost total freedom..."
If he put in his book a 100% faithful interpretation of Fleming's creation complete with the xenophobia and chauvenism, I wonder if the Fleming Estate would allow it.
what was wrong with bensons, bond.ReplyDelete
Yes, I have a soft spot for Zero Minus Ten. Doubleshot is bollocks, mind. In the end I think we generalise too much - all the writers have done good and bad, even Fleming. Golden Gun is bad and You Only Live Twice doesn't even read like a Bond novel. Gardner had hits and misses as did Benson. Am I the only person who quite liked Carte Blanche?ReplyDelete
I liked Carte Blanche, Gypsy. :)Delete
I find both TMWTGG and YOLT great reads.Delete
I enjoyed the story of Carte Blanch but didn't like the fact that Deaver almost completely changed Bond's character.
Benson wrote some imaginative, colourful Bond books but he was lacking in the writing skill department.
It's not a bad idea to shake things up occasionally. Even Ian Fleming tried it with short stories, twists, downbeat endings and cliff hangers leading from one novel to the next, he even wrote one book in 3rd person. So having a Bond set in a different universe as it were (as in Carte Blanche) does no harm, so long as they go back to basics eventually. The movies have many different Bonds (different actors, some films serious, some fantastical) that I think multiple literary Bonds could coincide happily.ReplyDelete