Goldeneye: Where Bond Was Born: Ian Fleming's Jamaica

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9780091954109: Goldeneye: Where Bond Was Born: Ian Fleming's Jamaica


[Read by Roy McMillan]

Amid the lush beauty of Jamaica's northern coast lies the true story of Ian Fleming's iconic creation: James Bond.

For two months every year, from 1946 to his death eighteen years later, Ian Fleming lived at Goldeneye, the house he built on a point of high land overlooking a small white-sand beach on Jamaica s stunning north coast. All the James Bond novels and stories were written here.

This book explores the huge influence of Jamaica on the creation of Fleming's iconic postwar hero. The island was for Fleming part retreat from the world, part tangible representation of his values, and part exotic fantasy. Goldeneye also examines Fleming's Jamaican friendships his extraordinary circle included Errol Flynn, the Oliviers, international politicians, and British royalty, as well as his close neighbor Noël Coward and traces his changing relationship with Ann Charteris (and hers with Jamaica) and the emergence of Blanche Blackwell as his Jamaican soul mate.

Goldeneye also compares the real Jamaica of the 1950s during the buildup to independence with the island's portrayal in the Bond books, to shine a light on the attitude of the likes of Fleming and Coward to the dramatic end of the British Empire.

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About the Author:

Matthew Parker is the author of several works of nonfiction, including Monte Cassino: The Hardest-Fought Battle of World War II; the Los Angeles Times bestseller Panama Fever, which was a 2008 Washington Post Best Book of the Year; and The Sugar Barons, which was an Economist Book of the Year. He lives in London.

Review:

''A well-written look at Fleming's life, though the book is even better as an indictment of the anachronistic colonialism of the 1950s and the end of the British Empire.'' --Kirkus Reviews

''Without Jamaica, it is safe to say, there would have been no Agent 007. Matthew Parker sets the record straight in Goldeneye, his superb account of Fleming's Jamaica...Well researched, excellently written.'' --Financial Times (London)

''The book that James Bond obsessives have been waiting for - a beautiful, brilliant history of Ian Fleming at home at Goldeneye, all of sun-drenched, gin-soaked, bed-hopping colonial Jamaica outside the window and 007 at the moment of his creation. This is the big bang of Bond books - the world-weary romance, the impossible glamour, the sex, the travel, the legend, the longing for escape and adventure - it all starts right here.'' --Tony Parsons, British journalist and author of The Murder Bag

''Parker tells the exciting story of how the Bond novels were produced - and how strongly Jamaica influenced Fleming's direction in life...The depiction of Fleming's own life of luxury in Jamaica, meanwhile, is mesmerizing. The book is as charming as Bond himself, leaving us a greater understanding of the world's most famous spy, his creator, and the house in which he was conceived.'' --Publishers Weekly

''Best read sitting somewhere hot, sipping something cool...[A] brilliant addition to the cannon of Jamaican travel writing and 007-ology.'' --GQ

''Completely fascinating, authoritative, and intriguing.'' --William Boyd, Los Angeles Times Book Prize-winning author

''Fans of James Bond books and films, along with those intrigued by the man behind the spy will devour the captivating stories within these pages. Readers interested in Jamaica's relationship with Britain and America as the country moved toward independence will also appreciate the historical, cultural, and political realities and their context within Fleming's work.'' --Library Journal

''Parker draws a richly detailed portrait of Fleming and of the island that inspired the James Bond novels. The picturesque villa and the struggling young nation offered lush settings for the lucrative Bond film franchise. Parker's entertaining and well-researched biography dishes up a rich stew for fans of popular literature, travel writing, British and West Indian history, and filmmaking, all sauced with plenty of titillating celebrity gossip.'' --Booklist (starred review)

''An epic tale of human folly and endeavor, beautifully told and researched.'' --John le Carré, #1 New York Times bestselling author

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Matthew Parker
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