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Thrilling Cities (Vintage Classics) Paperback – 4 Apr 2013


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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Classics (4 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099578182
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099578185
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 208,905 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ian Fleming was born in 1908 and educated at Eton. After a brief period at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, he went abroad to further his education. In 1931, having failed to get an appointment in the Foreign Office, he joined Reuters News Agency. During the Second World War, he was personal assistant to the Director of Naval Intelligence at the Admiralty, rising to the rank of Commander. His wartime experiences provided him with a first-hand knowledge of secret operations.

After the war he became Foreign Manager of Kemsley Newspapers. He built his house, Goldeneye, in Jamaica and there at the age of forty-four he wrote Casino Royale, the first of his novels featuring Commander James Bond. By the time of his death in 1964, the James Bond adventures had sold more than forty million copies. Dr No, starring Sean Connery, was released in 1962 and the Bond films continue to be huge international successes. He is also the author of the magical children's book Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

The novels of Ian Fleming were immediately recognised as classic thrillers by his contemporaries Kingsley Amis, Raymond Chandler and John Betjeman. With the invention of James Bond, Ian Fleming created the greatest British fictional icon of the late twentieth century.

(The picture is reproduced with the permission of the copyright owners, Ian Fleming Publications Limited and the Ian Fleming Will Trust)

Product Description

Review

"An accomplished travel writer" (Scotsman)

"He gathered material for his novels like a voracious travelling magpie: the people and places Fleming experienced on his Thrilling Cities tour in 1959 would [furnish] much of the backdrop and research for the five Bond novels and seven short stories that would follow" (The Times)

"Fleming was a fine travel writer, too (check out Thrilling Cities), and we quickly come to know and appreciate the locales in the book as we do the characters" (Daily Telegraph)

"Fleming describes food precisely and enticingly" (Independent)

"[Fleming's] penchant for fast cars, stylish hotels, expensive alcohol and bizarre encounters brings a whiff of excitement to the narrative, which is vivid, shocking and exuberant by turns" (Good Book Guide)

Book Description

Join the creator of James Bond on an adventurous tour of the world's most exciting, exotic and sinful cities.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amon Avis on 2 April 2013
Format: Paperback
While Fleming's fictional creations (007 and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) have long been famous, his forays into non-fiction tend to be overlooked. He was the Foreign Manager of Kelmsey Newspapers (then owners of the Sunday Times) 1945-1960, employing a worldwide network of correspondents in much the same way as M used agents in the 007 books.

In 1959 Fleming visited 8 cities in the USA and East Asia on a round-the-world air ticket, and in 1960 a further 6 on a European road trip, writing up his experiences as a series of articles. All were collected (unedited) in 1963. These weren't mere "wish you were here" reportages, but vignettes from a worldly thriller writer who had an eye for the sexier, seedier, faster, quirkier and generally more interesting side of life.

They're similar to the (more successful) 007 short stories written about this time in painting vivid portraits of a place and time. The author's instinct for the eccentric is on top form: we get gangsters and casinos in the USA alongside Hollywood expats in Switzerland and dung beetles in Italy. Grim realities (the drug abuse in Macau) are not shirked and we get the real story behind the Madison avenue billboards and holiday brochures, demystifying Las Vegas, the decline in USA train travel and the room service rip-off.

The emphasis is unstuffy, be it where to get the best meal (rarely the most expensive), how to make a small win in a casino or Fleming's amusing foibles (nicking menus from hotels, suitcase stuffed with freebie presents for friends). While several attractions are unchanged and are well worth a visit to this day (oceanography museum in Monaco, archaeology museum at Naples) much more has changed.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A fascinating read. One of the things that make the Bond books so interesting is Fleming's description of the locations, food, etc. This style carries over into Thrilling Cities and makes it much more enjoyable to read than most travelogs.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent set of essays by ILF as he goes on a number of excursions, fully expensed by The Times. The observational pieces are fascinating as are a number of stories related which without this work would probably be long forgotten.
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Fleming brings wonderful insights into all the places he visits and although it all happened years ago, it's a fundamental part of understanding the world at that time.
This was a gift for my wife and a very successful gift.
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By Catherine Brown on 21 Aug. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book extrenely interesting for some of the cities but not all of them . It's full of interesting facts though from a bygone era. I'm glad I bought it and it's certainly an insight into James Bond.
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