Wednesday, May 28, 2008

007 Runs Full-Throttle Through a New Book

It’s the big day: the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ian Fleming. Without Fleming, who died in 1964 at 56, we would never have had the debonair company of James Bond, the creative sadism of Goldfinger and Dr. No or the pet octopus named Octopussy. Without the benefit of Fleming, however, we’ve had Octopussy as a cinematic Bond Girl in 1983, part of a movie franchise that is miraculously resuscitated (most recently by Daniel Craig as Bond in “Casino Royale”) each time it falters, and a string of ersatz Bond books by fill-in writers. To this shaky bibliography we can now add “Devil May Care.”

Here’s what the new book’s title means: It means that the new book needed a title, and that everything else about it was an afterthought. Or so the book’s author, billed as “Sebastian Faulks writing as Ian Fleming,” makes it seem. Mr. Faulks-writing-as-Fleming does not fall short of the rest of Fleming’s posthumous output. Nor does he tinker with the series’s surefire recipe for success. What he delivers is a serviceable madeleine for Bond nostalgists and a decent replica of past Bond escapades. But if you didn’t pick up “Devil May Care” convinced that Bond was an enduring pop-cultural landmark, you would not come away with that conclusion.
This from The New York Times where you can read the full story online.

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