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James Bond: The Authorised Biography Hardcover – 4 Oct 2007

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Century (4 Oct. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846051142
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846051142
  • Product Dimensions: 16.4 x 3.2 x 24.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 693,009 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John George Pearson is a novelist and an author of biographies, notably of Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond, and of the Kray twins.

Pearson was educated at King's College School, Wimbledon, and Peterhouse, Cambridge, where he won a double first in history. He then worked for The Economist, BBC Television and The Sunday Times. He was Ian Fleming's assistant at the Sunday Times and went on to write the first biography of Fleming, The Life of Ian Fleming', published in 1966.

Pearson was commissioned by Donald Campbell to chronicle his successful attempt on the Land Speed Record in 1964 in Bluebird CN7, resulting in the book Bluebird and the Dead Lake.

Pearson has also written "true crime" biographies, such as The Profession of Violence (The most read book in Great Britain's Prisons), an account of the rise and fall of the Kray twins, who had hired him to write their biography in 1967. Over the next several years the brothers, who by now were in jail, wrote frequently to Pearson. He wrote two further books about the Krays: The Cult of Violence: The Untold Story of the Krays and Notorious: The Immortal Legend of the Kray Twins. In 2010 Pearson put up for auction more than 160 previously unseen letters and photographs from the Kray twins.

Another of Pearson's books, The Gamblers, is an account of the group of gamblers who made up what was known as the Clermont Set, including John Aspinall, James Goldsmith and Lord Lucan. Warner Bros. purchased the film rights to the book in 2006. Pearson's story of The Gamblers has now been made into a TV series called 'Lucan' starring Michael Gambon and Christopher Eccleston, to be aired on ITV1 in two parts on 11th and 18th December 2013.
Pearson's book Facades was the first full-scale biography of the Sitwell siblings Edith, Osbert and Sacheverell. It was published in 1978.

Pearson has also written five novels. Storm Jameson praised his first novel, Gone to Timbuctoo, as "an unusually good first novel, an exciting story, and a splendid setting in French West Africa. The writing is sharp and witty." Malcolm Muggeridge said, "This is an exceptionally brilliant first novel - exciting, wryly funny and perceptive."

For his next three novels Pearson did tie-in fictional biographies. Pearson also became the third official author of the James Bond series, writing in 1973 James Bond: The Authorized Biography of 007, a first-person biography of the fictional agent James Bond. However, Pearson declined an offer to write further Bond novels. Pearson then did fictional tie-in works about Upstairs, Downstairs (The Bellamys of Eaton Place) and Biggles.

John Pearson's new website has recently been launched: http://www.johnpearsonwriter.co.uk

Product Description

Review

Based on a simple but brilliant idea, meticulously and lovingly researched. Pearson writes wonderfully well about the charismatic Fleming. Essential reading for Bond maniacs. -- Daily Mail

It is always an intriguing experiment for one author to take on the popular creation of another - and it is one that is carried out with aplomb by John Pearson here in this sly, witty and hitherto rarely seen exercise. This 'authorised biography' is a clever, bittersweet disquisition on what becomes of our heroes. But more than this, it is also a shrewd running critical commentary on Fleming, going some way to explain the outbreaks of bleakness and sourness in the original novels, and also ingeniously explaining away a lot of their absurdity. It is an enjoyable exercise in having cake and eating it. -- Daily Telegraph

John Pearson's book fills the reader in on everything Ian Fleming left out. A quick fix of glamour and adventure. Pearson's book contains sex, sophistication and intrigue.
-- Financial Times

Riveting. Pearson has given the old spy real flesh and bones. The biography has some fine touches. Pearson brings Bond amazingly to life, expanding on adventures that were merely hinted at in the novels. In this age of teh emasculated male, Bond is a joy to behold. -- Daily Express

Book Description

The authorised biography of the most famous spy of all time - James Bond

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By John Cox on 23 Jan. 2006
Format: Hardcover
Most Bond fans are familiar with the James Bond continuation novels by Amis, Gardner, Benson, and Higson, but few are familiar with this one-shot continuation novel written by John Pearson in 1973. This book claims to be the "true" story of James Bond, secret agent and colleague of Ian Fleming, who gave a one-time interview to John Pearson while on leave in Bermuda in 1973. Pearson’s straight-faced presentation of how he came to meet the real 007 is the first highlight of many in this excellent James Bond novel. I mean biography. I mean…well, you know.
The book cuts back and forth between the author's adventures interviewing the sometimes uncooperative Bond in Bermuda and Pearson’s own retelling of Bond’s life story. Many of the events Pearson chronicles read like James Bond short stories -- and good ones at that! For Bond fans who have longed to hear tales of Bond’s early missions and his wartime adventures, you have it all here. Some of the stories have a bite that rivals Fleming. Bond’s mission to Stockholm to kill a former colleague is quite shocking, both in the events and the clean, clipped economy of the writing.
We also get looks at Bond’s failings and the periods between missions: James Bond forced to consider taking a job as a Harrods department store detective during a period of desperate unemployment; James Bond the social dropout living off his looks and wealthy women in island resort communities (Pearson reveals the events of “The Hildebrand Rarity” took place during one of Bond's beachcomber periods).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By drbarx on 6 Dec. 2010
Format: Hardcover
As a big fan of the Bond novels and films I find it hugely surprising to read so many negative reviews of this book. My personal impression was that it was a genuinely decent effort at trying to bring a sense of realism to the Bond character and his origins and a more than cursory explaination for his skills and character traits. I read Devil May Care a few weeks after this novel and that trully is awful. A gaudy pastiche of Flemming's writing and storytelling style.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By G. Michael Dukes on 15 Feb. 2011
Format: Hardcover
I have had a paperback version of this book for many years and have read it on a number of occasions. I have thoroughly enjoyed it every time and decided I would like a hard back version.
This is a well constructed novel giving the reader the background to Bond's early life and adventures. I have no hesitation in recommending it to any Bond afficianado.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Benny Flambards on 16 Nov. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book fills in all the gaps. A must for any fan of the Fleming books.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you like to imagine "but what if he were real" this book is for you. Fans of Bond will have a lot of fun picking up the clues and enjoying the plotline of a massive deception perpetrated by Ian Fleming. A whole new bond story in itself too.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What an excellent book! The author is a consummate storyteller and writer extraordinaire. Attention to detail and description is very 'Ian Fleming'. Would recommend to anyone who enjoys a good story well told.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Webb on 14 Dec. 2009
Format: Paperback
I love the character of Bond from Fleming's books. In this book Bond constantly acts and says things that I could never see him doing. I understand the spirit and context of the book, but it can't help jarring whever the author starts a sentence like, "What Fleming didn't understand about bond was..." I didn't find the JB depicted here particularly likeable. If you're really into the books this 'biog' will seem tempting, however, it'll probably just annoy. STOP GETTING BOND WRONG!
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