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Editor reviews

"Completely fascinating, authoritative and intriguing" (William Boyd) "The big bang on Bond books... Beautiful, brilliant" (Tony Parsons)

Summary

"The top 10 Sunday Times best seller"

Goldeneye: the story of Ian Fleming in Jamaica and the creation of British national icon, James Bond.

From 1946 until the end of his life, Ian Fleming lived for two months of every year at Goldeneye – the house he built on a point of high land overlooking a small white sand beach on Jamaica’s north coast. All the James Bond novels and stories were written here.

Fleming adored the Jamaica he had discovered, at the time an imperial backwater that seemed unchanged from the glory days of the empire. Amid its stunning natural beauty, the austerity and decline of post-war Britain could be forgotten. For Fleming, Jamaica offered the perfect mixture of British old-fashioned conservatism and imperial values, alongside the dangerous and sensual: the same curious combination that made his novels so appealing, and successful. The spirit of the island – its exotic beauty, its unpredictability, its melancholy, its love of exaggeration and gothic melodrama – infuses his writing.

Fleming threw himself into the island’s hedonistic Jet Set party scene: Hollywood giants, and the cream of British aristocracy, the theatre, literary society and the secret services spent their time here drinking and bed-hopping. But while the whites partied, Jamaican blacks were rising up to demand respect and self-government. And as the imperial hero James Bond – projecting British power across the world – became ever more anachronistic and fantastical, so his popularity soared.

Drawing on extensive interviews with Ian’s family, his Jamaican lover Blanche Blackwell and many other islanders, Goldeneye is a beautifully written, revealing and original exploration of a crucially important part of Ian Fleming’s life and work.

©2014 Matthew Parker (P)2014 Random House Audiobooks

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Enthralling!

Loved it. A bio of Flemming, Bond and Jamaica against the backdrop of the birth of the Jet Set , the decline of Empire, the independence of Jamaica itself. Bond is ever present and, like Flemming, emerges as a charming, charismatic and yet increasingly anachronistic relic from an age fading into memory. The narrative romps along and is brilliantly read. Goldeneye was Flemming's retreat where he discovered beauty, escape, drama and watch the world change into the modern era of today and this audiobook will give you chance to take a break and join him.

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Not A Likeable Man...

Very interesting look behind the curtain at the man behind Bond and to some degree the psyche that spawned Bond. A good biography of Fleming, warts and all. He’s ultimately not a likeable character for me although he must have been charismatic to draw to him his various conquests and long lasting friends. The back story of fading empire and rising calls for Jamaican independence is really interesting. Well worth the time to get an impression of the man and the times that created him.

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A new insight into the life of Fleming...

Great book, with a great narrator (excellent Noel Coward impression). Gives a new insight on where Flemings life was while he was writing each book. Turns out the parallels between Fleming and Bond were much closer than previously thought.

Highly recommended. Destined to become a classic Fleming book!