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We’re at F this week and I’ve gone a little outside of the obvious for my selection this week, F is for Fleming, Ian… the author of the James Bond stories.  Crime is a great big umbrella genre and a spy novel sits quite neatly underneath !

Ian Fleming was born in 1908.  During the Second World War he was recruited by the Director of Naval Intelligence, Rear Admiral John Godfrey, to become his personal assistant.  The exposure he had to operations and the men involved inspired him to write his first spy novel and Casino Royale was published in 1953, reticently by the publisher Jonathan Cape.  Three print runs were ultimately needed to keep up with demand and the legend of Bond, James Bond, was born.

The James Bond novels centre around a spy, 007.  I feel like I should explain the character and the premise of the books but of course they have been turned into films featuring the likes of Sean Connery and Roger Moore and currently Daniel Craig.  I wonder who hasn’t heard of James Bond.

In terms of publishing, the books are amongst the best selling books in the world and Ian Fleming considered one of the great post war authors.  There were 14 novels written by Ian Fleming including You Only Live Twice, The Man with the Golden Gun and Goldfinger.

A number of authors have taken on the mantle since the death of Ian Fleming.  I guess you could call that published fan fiction.  I think it is notable that they’re all men.

I’ve never read any James Bond and tend to avoid watching them.  They strike me as being the kind of stories that men fantasise could be real.  That they could be James Bond.

Perhaps you’ve read them and think there’s more to them?