Read This! Reviews

The Man With the Golden Typewriter: Ian Fleming's James Bond Letters Book Cover The Man With the Golden Typewriter: Ian Fleming's James Bond Letters
Fergus Fleming
Non-Fiction
2015
391

"Fleming's output was matched by an equally energetic flow of letters. He wrote constantly, to his wife, publisher, editors, fans, friends and critics--and to the wife of the man whose name Fleming appropriated for his hero--charting 007's progress with correspondence that ranged from badgering Jonathan Cape about his quota of free copies--a coin was tossed and Fleming lost--to apologizing for having mistaken a certain brand of perfume and for equipping Bond with the wrong kind of gun. His letters also reflect his friendship with such contemporaries as Raymond Chandler, Noel Coward and Somerset Maugham."

From Michelle's post: His wartime antics, publishing career, the demise of his bachelorhood, and the many habits (women, cards, imbibing) that Fleming passed along to his greatest creation provide context for the contents of the letters, and, while I’m here, props should be given to Fergus for knowing how to pull out for display the salient points of a well-lived life.* Consecutive chapters lead with a note about the time period during which the letters were written, where in the world Fleming was writing from, but mostly about which Bond book(s) Fleming was typing up on that gold-plated Royal Quiet Deluxe Portable he had smuggled into England. (Customs and their pesky taxes. I tell you, it’s enough to drive a man towards asking a friend to do the dirty work.)

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