Saturday, May 28, 2022

May 28: Ian Fleming, British spy novelist


Ian Fleming (1908-1964) was an English author. Like Arthur Conan Doyle and J. M. Barrie, virtually everything he did was forced to live in the shadow of his One Great Character, in this case: Bond, James Bond. (One exception is his children's book Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang, perhaps because of its "loosely based" 1968 film version, scripted by Roald Dahl and starring Dick Van Dyke when he was still a hot commodity.) Anyway, there were 14 Bond novels (by Fleming) and nine short stories; since Fleming's death, there have been nearly 50 Bond books by other authors, including John Gardner and Sebastian Faulks. Several of them are set in Bond's childhood. The character has long outlived his creator, who was himself a British naval intelligence officer during World War II. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the 27 film appearances of Bond, played by seven actors.


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