Customer Reviews


20 Reviews
5 star:
 (10)
4 star:
 (6)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Short but successful attempt to explore where Fleming's world ended and Bond's began
A book written to accompany an exhibition at the Imperial War Museum to celebrate the centenary of Ian Fleming's birth, it is, according to author Ben Macintyre, neither a biography of Ian Fleming nor a "Biography" of James Bond, but "a personal investigation into the intersection of two lives, one real and one fictional".

There certainly are many elements of a...
Published on 16 Jun 2008 by Nicholas J. R. Dougan

versus
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars lots of conjecture, slim on facts
Interesting for only those who havent read the numerous Fleming autobiographies and/or Bond books where the contents of this book are covered in much more detail.

It's a slim volume and only really of interest to those just wanting the most basic of details about the Bond books/films and Ian Fleming.

Must agree with the 1 star reviewer about the...
Published on 16 May 2011 by An avid reader


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Short but successful attempt to explore where Fleming's world ended and Bond's began, 16 Jun 2008
By 
Nicholas J. R. Dougan "Nick Dougan" (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
A book written to accompany an exhibition at the Imperial War Museum to celebrate the centenary of Ian Fleming's birth, it is, according to author Ben Macintyre, neither a biography of Ian Fleming nor a "Biography" of James Bond, but "a personal investigation into the intersection of two lives, one real and one fictional".

There certainly are many elements of a biography of Fleming. We learn of his father's death, when he was just nine, on the Western Front, and of his relationship with his domineering mother Evelyn, referred to by him and his brothers, interestingly, as "M". Fleming's search for a career that combined high earnings with a relaxed lifestyle, his compulsive womanising, his taste for the good things of life, but also his war service in naval intelligence, are all covered, as a backdrop to the elements of Bond's character. The many actual people who may have contributed to Bond as well as Fleming, including his late father, Valentine Fleming, his brother Peter, also involved in intelligence work, a variety of commandos and Special Forces types like Fitzroy MacLean, and a similar treatment to the other principal characters in the books, like M and Miss Moneypenny. The way that Fleming adopted names from acquaintances for other characters is fascinating: he was almost sued by the architect Erno Goldfinger for the misappropriation of his one.

While Macintyre comments primarily on the books, he also brings in the films. I suspect that part of the reason for this was that it gave the book (and the exhibition) much more material to display, but on the whole inclusion of film material is not intrusive and allows Macintyre to point out the differences. For example, while there was a Q-Section in the books, and an Armourer, Major Boothroyd (named after one of Fleming's correspondents, who persuaded him that a Beretta was no suitable pistol for a secret agent), it was only in the films that these were combined into the character "Q".

If you have read one of the biographies of Ian Fleming (and Macintyre, by the way, recommends those by John Pearson and Andrew Lycett) then this book may seem a little thin. If, like me, you have not, then this book is an excellent, easy to read starting point to looking behind the character of James Bond to the man who created him. Macintyre succeeds, in this short but excellently illustrated book, in showing us where Fleming's world ended and Bond's began.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars lots of conjecture, slim on facts, 16 May 2011
By 
An avid reader (Newcastle upon Tyne) - See all my reviews
This review is from: For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming and James Bond (Paperback)
Interesting for only those who havent read the numerous Fleming autobiographies and/or Bond books where the contents of this book are covered in much more detail.

It's a slim volume and only really of interest to those just wanting the most basic of details about the Bond books/films and Ian Fleming.

Must agree with the 1 star reviewer about the cover note, it states that this is a biography of both Bond and Fleming, however, the author states in his first paragraph that this book is neither! - bit naughty of the publishers.

An interesting read but I found nothing new about either Fleming or Bond and I suspect that most people with the most basic knowledge of either subject will be in the same position.

Lots of 'perphaps' and 'maybes', very slim on actual facts.

A decent starting point but nothing more.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For the uninitiated into world of Fleming....., 29 July 2008
By 
Kenneth M. Pizzi (San Mateo, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
As one who studied Fleming's work extensively as a graduate student and later publishing a thesis on the writer's impact on pop culture of the period, I must admit I was a bit skeptical about yet another bland and redundant Bond "coffee table" book for the masses. Happily, this is not the case with "For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming and James Bond" by Ben Macintyre, written on the centenary of the author's birth. Highly readable and enjoyable and chock full with full-color photos of props used throughout all 21 Bond films, this book is a comprehensive survey of not just of Bond's impact on fiction and the cinema, but a real in-depth analysis of the man who breathed live into one of popular culture's most endurable icons.

Much is written about Fleming's childhood, adolescence, education at Eton, relationships with family (brother Peter, noted travel writer), his military career, his closest friends (Ivar Bryce and Noel Coward), his love-hate relationships with wife Ann, and the author's affairs with numerous beautiful women which oddly resemble Fleming's fictional alter-ego. For those who wish to learn more about Bond and the writer who created him, this tome is a great springboard into the Bond phenomenon which has spanned over forty years.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The reailty behind the legend, 24 July 2008
By 
Amazon Customer "fact275" (California United States) - See all my reviews
A kazilion authors have attempted to connect the real life of Ian Fleming to his famous fictional creation. Macintyre does an excellent job of summarizing the life of Fleming and the inspirations both in his personality and in his experience that led to the famous mythical world of 007.

As you would expect of an Imperial War Museum production, there are excellent photos from the archives as well as artifacts from the James Bond movies.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Read for Fleming Fans, 21 May 2009
By 
A. Foxley (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming and James Bond (Paperback)
Tying in with a major exhibition at the Imperial War Museum, Ben MacIntyre's 'For Your Eyes Only' represents a fascinating insight into the origins of the world's most famous fictional secret agent, exploring the life and career of author Ian Fleming, and the likely inspirations for the character's adventures, allies and adversaries. Fleming's wartime exploits in Naval intelligence, although not necessarily as outlandish as Bond's, are among the most fascinating aspects of the book, for example. More fun and accessible than many other books on the subject, I'd recommend this for anyone who has enjoyed 007s literary exploits, and who would like to learn more about their background.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Readable, 17 July 2010
This review is from: For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming and James Bond (Paperback)
Andrew Lycett and John Pearson have both written very creditable biographies of Ian Fleming (as well as a number of other authors on the same subject, who have failed to come anywhere near) but in this book, the highly talented Ben Macintyre has carried out his research very well indeed. He draws together the life of Fleming, the origins of Bond and shows the comparisons between the drabness of post-war England and the life lived by Bond, with his exotic meals, fabulous locations, exciting lifestyle and the top totty whom he encountered with bewildering regularity. With Fleming's racy, authoritative style of writing, it was inescapable that the Bond books would become best-sellers.

The author is a fan of Bond and his creator, as I am; Mr. Macintyre possesses a writing style which is both fluid and witty. I found this book informative, amusing and irresistible.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Feeble pretence of a book, 20 April 2011
By 
John Fitzpatrick (São Paulo, Brazil) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The cover calls this effort "The ultimate biography of Ian Fleming and James Bond" yet the Author's Note states in the second sentence that: "it is not a biography of Ian Fleming ...nor is it a `biography' of James Bond".

So much for honest marketing of a product. Well what is it then?

In fact, it is nothing more than a padded version of some newspaper articles marking the centenary of Fleming's birth. It consists of "chapters" starting with 001 and ending at 007, with titles like "Gadgets, Guns, Gizmos and Gear-Sticks" which presumably also came from the marketing department that imagines we readers are eight-year-old schoolboys from the 1950s with catapults in our pockets and socks hanging round our ankles.

It contains almost 250 pages of large type of which about 40 is filler material. There are even seven blank pages in my copy presumably in case of an emergency for readers who take it to the toilet and find out there is no paper left.

The writer scrapes the barrel to fill these pages and provides us with useless information such as the people who might have been models for Bond but were, in fact, not or what Fleming might have done during the war but actually did not.

He even raises the possibility that M might have been based on Fleming's mother and then drops that too.

Much of the material has been taken from old cuttings and there is nothing new or original. For example, even though every single actor who played Bond is still alive the writer has not interviewed one of them.

He seems embarrassed about some of the trivia and nonsense that appears and quite rightly so.

I have never heard of something being "perhaps apocryphal". Either it is apocryphal or it is not. However, one can understand him trying to guard his back when we learn that President John F. Kennedy was reading a James Bond book the night before he went to Dallas where he met his death at the hands of Lee Harvey Oswald who, believe it or not, was also reading a James Bond that very evening.

Can I have my money back?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars For Your Eyes Only, 4 Jun 2014
By 
D. J. Lay "deelay" (U.K.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming and James Bond (Paperback)
An easy read, but not as good as Ian Fleming in my opinion, but I guess it will sell well.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars another ben macintyre good read, 15 Mar 2014
By 
Geoff Jackson (OLDBURY, W Midlands, GB) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
having read a lot of other books by ben macintyre this is another I would recommend. it is well written informative
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Present for a James Bond fan, 22 Sep 2013
By 
Ms. Janice Harrison (Whitstable, Kent) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Brims with pictures that will appeal to anyone wanting to know more about the author and the making of some of the films.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming and James Bond
For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming and James Bond by Ben Macintyre (Paperback - 6 April 2009)
£7.19
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews