A penny saved is ridiculous.

A penny saved is ridiculous.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A dossier on Bond

Most James Bond fans have at least a rough idea that there was a man named Kevin McClory who established in court that he was a co-creator of the story that eventually became both the 1961 James Bond novel and 1965 film known as Thunderball. That particular claim seems reasonable to myself and many other Bond fans.

Of course, Mr. McClory took things a step further and also claimed that he was the father of the cinematic James Bond we all know and love, that Ian Fleming's original creation was just the same old stodgy spy character seen countless times before in countless thrillers before Mr. McClory shaped him up into the suave adventurer that lit up movie screens. That particular claim is more problematic to myself and many other Bond fans.

However one feels, Len Deighton's Kindle Single essay, James Bond: My Long and Eventful Search For His Father, is a fascinating look at that heady time when James Bond was first making the jump from reasonably popular novels to super popular films (which eventually lead to the novels becoming super popular, too). I especially enjoyed Mr. Deighton's colorful descriptions of Mr. McClory (who I now see as a real person with a passionate, real position, even if I largely don't agree with it), but I also liked learning a little more about the skills, charms, and personal foibles of Ian Fleming, Albert R. Broccoli, Harry Saltzman, and other notable personalities peppering the James Bond literary and movie landscape.

The paragraphs are a little long and the writing a little dense for what should have been a breezier, lighter reading experience, but the interesting subject matter cut through the thick verbiage and assured that this long essay- which can be completed in one to three sittings depending on your personal reading habits- was never less than a compelling glimpse into a period (beginning in the swinging sixties and extending into the early eighties) when the ownership of James Bond was a hotly-debated topic.

James Bond: My Long and Eventful Search For His Father is available on Kindle for $1.99, or is free to borrow for Amazon Prime members.

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