Tuesday, January 1, 2013

LEN DEIGHTON goes in search of James Bond

What's this? A James Bond book by Len Deighton? Well...kinda. This is a non-fiction work by Deighton about the creation of the James Bond character. James Bond: My Long And Eventful Search For His Father is available as an eBook only. Here's the description:

The James Bond we know and mostly love was a creation as much of the movies as of the books by Ian Fleming. Len Deighton, author of the classic espionage novel 'The Ipcress File', knew both sides intimately. An acquaintance of Ian Fleming’s (who had praised Deighton’s debut novel in the 'Sunday Times') Deighton was also close to the man who was to become Fleming’s nemesis – Kevin McClory, a veteran of the British film industry.

The history of Bond’s development under the arc lights becomes, in Deighton’s expert hands, a saga-like story of inflated egos and poisonous vendettas, exotic locations and claustrophobic courtooms, all involving household names. As an eye witness to the protracted disputes that complicated Bond’s depiction both on screen and on the page, Deighton is in a unique position to tell what he saw. Candid, comical, always steely-eyed, this hefty slice of cinematic memoir reads with all the high-powered pace of a Len Deighton thriller.

Len Deighton is the bestselling author of more than thirty books of fiction and non-fiction. He is perhaps most famous for his spy novel 'The Ipcress File' which was made into a film starring Michael Caine.

Makes one wonder whether IFP could persuade Deighton to pen an actual James Bond novel in the future?

Purchase James Bond: My Long And Eventful Search For His Father by Len Deighton on Amazon.com (U.S.) and Amazon.co.uk (UK).


  1. I like the idea of Deighton writing a Bond novel, but he's no Spring chicken. If I were running IFP, I'd have Len Deighton parked in front of a computer screen asap. Or better still, a typewriter. It's more Cold War.

  2. I wonder if he'd do it? Gardner did, of course, and he was about as anti-Bond as Deighton and le Carre were in the Sixties. Reading this e-book, it doesn't seem to me like Deighton likes 007 anymore now than he did then, even if he clearly respects his creator(s - as LD concludes). Faulkes didn't seem to like Bond, and I definitely didn't like his Bond book, but Len Deighton is one of my very favorite authors (the Bernard Samson cycle is a must-read for any spy fan!), and I would certainly love to read his take on Bond even if he doesn't like him. For that matter, I'd love to see le Carre's too--though there's zero chance of THAT ever happening! I think the best place to get some of these titans to pen Bond would be if IFP put together an anthology of short stories.

  3. Ooh, Le Carre would have Bond metting with cut-outs and doing dead drops. And you could forget about 007 driving faster than 60kph.
    They did an anthology of Philip Marlowe stories back in 1988 to mark the 100th Anniversary of Raymond Chandler's birth and some of the stories were absolutely fatastic, written by the leading crime writers of the '70s and '80s. And a nice touch was that each story was set in a particular year, going from 1939 right up to the year of Chandler's death in '59.
    And I agree about the Samson books, although I've only read the Game, Set & Match trilogy.
    And the less said about "Devil May Care", the better. Man, I hope William Boyd gets it right, next year.

  4. Yeah, that Marlowe anthology is exactly what I had in mind! I've wanted to see a Bond collection along those lines ever since that came out.

    1. It would be a great way for IFP to 'road-test' various authors for future continuation novels.

  5. Maybe Charlie Higson could finally do an adult Bond short. Or, opposite end of the spectrum, a really ancient 98-year-old Bond reminiscing. (No "A View to a Kill" jokes, please.)


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