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Goldeneye: Where Bond was Born: Ian Fleming's Jamaica by [Parker, Matthew]
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Goldeneye: Where Bond was Born: Ian Fleming's Jamaica Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Review

A wonderful biography. If you like Bond, you ll like this book."

Against a backdrop of the island s evolution from colonialism to independence, Matthew Parker tells the story of Fleming s Jamaican retreat, of the psychological fallout of the end of the British Empire and of how Bond parachuted in to offer solace in the form of escapist fantasy. With Goldeneye now a luxury resort and the public appetite for Bond movies undiminished, Parker s book is an astute reminder of the price we pay for fantasy."

This is no guilty pleasure. It s a straight-up delight of a biographical narrative that crisply illuminates Bond, Fleming and the era when the sun was setting on the British Empire and dawning on the jet age. Parker is out to explain an era, a writer and a remarkable character. Mission accomplished"

Parker s entertaining and well-researched biography dishes up a rich stew for fans of popular literature, travel writing, British and West Indian history, and filmmaking, all sauced with plenty of titillating celebrity gossip."

Fans of James Bond books and films, along with those intrigued by the man behind the spy will devour the captivating stories within these pages. Readers interested in Jamaica s relationship with Britain and America as the country moved toward independence will also appreciate the historical, cultural, and political realities and their context within Fleming s work."

The soil from which Bond sprang is as virile as the spy himself. In exploring Jamaica, the island where Bond was born, Parker casts the entire canon in a refreshing almost tropical light. Through exhaustive research and interviews, Parker assembles an intricate portrait of not just Fleming, his coterie and his Goldeneye villa, but of Jamaica and the post-War remnants of the British Empire."

The iconic image of bikini-clad Ursula Andress stepping out of the Caribbean sea in the first James Bond movie Dr. No is the stuff of fantasy. Now, Parker tells the story of the equally fantastic life of Bond creator Ian Fleming on the beaches of Jamaica, where he spent two months of every year from 1946 to 1964 at Goldeneye, the villa he built on the island s northern coast, hobnobbing with celebrity residents Errol Flynn, Noel Coward and Lawrence Olivier. Read it while drinking a martini shaken, not stirred."

The author parallels Fleming''s life with postwar events that planted the seed for the Bond character. He summarizes each of the Bond books as they reflect Cold War history e.g., the Suez Crisis, the independence movements and increasing economic turmoil. A well-written look at Fleming''s life, though the book is even better as an indictment of the anachronistic colonialism of the 1950s and the end of the British Empire."

As much a testament to Jamaica as it is to Bond. The perfect book to understand the roots of one of the world s most legendary cultural icons."

Sparkling. Full of great quotes and salacious gossip. The Commander would be pleased.

A sophisticated history of how Fleming s character developed. This is the beginning of the story of how Fleming and Jamaica, that desultory duo that generated Bond novels, first made contact."

A completely fascinating, authoritative and intriguing book especially for anyone interested in Ian Fleming and the James Bond phenomenon.--William Boyd, author of 'Any Human Heart'"

The book that James Bond obsessives have been waiting for a beautiful, brilliant history of Ian Fleming at home at Goldeneye, all of sun-drenched, gin-soaked, bed-hopping colonial Jamaica outside the window and 007 at the moment of his creation. This is THE BIG BANG OF BOND BOOKS the world-weary romance, the impossible glamour, the sex, the travel, the legend, the longing for escape and adventure it all starts right here.--Tony Parsons"

Supremely enjoyable. Matthew Parker has created a completely new picture of Fleming, Bond and the role of Jamaica in the making of the legend.--John Pearson, author of 'The Life of Ian Fleming'

What makes Parker''s book particularly fascinating is the way that, as a result of close and intelligent reading, he teases out how Fleming drew on the island, its culture and its post-war development for much of the atmosphere and incidental detail in the Bond series.

Entertaining. Parker makes a convincing case that Jamaica is crucial to a proper understanding of the man and his work.

Fascinating. Less a dry narrative of sandal wearing chaps paying over the odds for their Morland cigarettes than a studious array of thoughts and insight.--Mark O Connell, author of 'Catching Bullets, Memoirs of a Bond Fan'"

One of the attractions of Matthew Parker s book is that he not only reminds us of the origin of the Bond novels, but he fills in a lot of background about Jamaica both its political path to independence and its later development as a tourist destination. Those seeking a world of sea, sunshine, girls, rum, tobacco and self-indulgent luxury will find it evoked here and it is this they will remember, not the Spartan house Fleming built."

You might think there is nothing new to say about Ian Fleming that every detail of his life has been obsessively picked over by biographers. Matthew Parker, though, has produced a book a illuminating as it is intriguing. Written in a quick-fire, atmospheric prose style that clearly owes something to Fleming s own, it cracks along with all the urgency of a Bond novel."

An amazing portrayal of British racial and colonial attitudes in the 1950s and 60s.--Andrea Levy, author of 'Six Stories and an Essay'

The evocation of the writer''s voluptuous existence in Jamaica (and the unspoilt island itself) is nonpareil. Parker''s record of a key period in the life of the writer makes a fascinating read.

Persuasive, well researched and entertaining.

Matthew Parker s account of Fleming s experiences among the island s dissolute late-colonial visitors from film stars and royalty to the secret services shows how a combination of a jet-set crowd and the exoticism of the setting inspired the James Bond books, all of which were written there."

An enjoyable, sun-soaked, alcohol-sodden addition to Bond literature.

The author parallels Fleming's life with postwar events that planted the seed for the Bond character. He summarizes each of the Bond books as they reflect Cold War history e.g., the Suez Crisis, the independence movements and increasing economic turmoil. A well-written look at Fleming's life, though the book is even better as an indictment of the anachronistic colonialism of the 1950s and the end of the British Empire."

What makes Parker's book particularly fascinating is the way that, as a result of close and intelligent reading, he teases out how Fleming drew on the island, its culture and its post-war development for much of the atmosphere and incidental detail in the Bond series.

The evocation of the writer's voluptuous existence in Jamaica (and the unspoilt island itself) is nonpareil. Parker's record of a key period in the life of the writer makes a fascinating read.

Throughout Matthew Parker s account of Fleming s post-war sojourns in Jamaica, and how they shaped his fiction, we can imagine Bond himself looking on and feeling a perverse stab of envy. Parker tells a wider story; that of an island and its people at a turning point in their history. Parker s highly readable account of Fleming s Jamaican life is lessThunderball and more Jean Rhys s Wide Sargasso Sea. Bond himself might have been a touch jealous."

Hugely enjoyable and deliciously gossipy.

An outstanding survey packed with insights key to understanding Ian Fleming's world and how it translated to his famous James Bond character and scenarios, as well as a cultural and social survey of Jamaica's evolving importance in the world.

The first book to explore the north-shore estate where the author and former intelligence officer Ian Fleming spent two months each year and wrote all the Bond books. The purchase of his tropical lair, the retreat from society, the way Fleming spent the latter half of his life there these are all apparently telltale signs of a man who just can''t handle getting older. What Parker''s new book shows is how much that crisis latched itself onto James Bond, and how the defiant fantasy he provided against decline both restored Fleming and gave life to an immortal franchise."

Parker gives us insight into how this exotic local nurtured Fleming''s writing, as well as a glimpse at some of the interesting guests he entertained there, and a look into colonialism and the crumbling British Empire. This is Bond''s real origin story.

Book Description

THE TOP 10 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER

'Supremely enjoyable... Matthew Parker has created a completely new picture of Fleming, Bond and the role of Jamaica in the making of the legend’ John Pearson, author of The Life of Ian Fleming

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 12557 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Cornerstone Digital (14 Aug. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 009195410X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091954109
  • ASIN: B00JRD3YJK
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #172,952 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book is about Ian Fleming' s last 10 years, Goldeneye his holiday home in Jamaica and the creation of the $6 billion dollar man. Fleming was a complex man who lived his life according to his own rules. He bought and fell in love with Goldeneye which became the haven he needed to enable him to write all of the Bond books. In this period of his life he witnessed the decline of the British Empire, the tension of the cold war and the increasing influence of America. The book covers the history and development of Jamaica during these years, world events as well as the friends, celebrities and lovers who visited Goldeneye. Matthew Parker covers in detail how these events affected Fleming and inevitably shaped Bond. James Bond's existence if Fleming had not been introduced to Goldeneye is probably as unlikely as the Beatles if McCartney had not been introduced to Lennon. Matthew Parker must have thoroughly enjoyed researching and writing it as much as I did reading it. Highly recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An excellent book. Like Andrew Lycett's biography of Fleming and Robert Sellers' "The Battle for Bond", it really adds to our knowledge of Fleming. What was very striking for me was how the structure of the book, going from one year's trip to Jamaica to the next emphasised both the desperately sad decline in Fleming's health and in the state of his marriage. It educated me about Jamaica and gave me a lot of fresh insights into the Bond books. Mr Parker is to be congratulated. A seminal work.
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Format: Hardcover
IN 1946 a naval intelligence aide called Ian Fleming made good the promise to himself to live in Jamaica, swim a lot and write books after the war was over. So he built a spartan little home, eventually installed a typewriter – and the rest is the brilliant history of the world’s most loved spy...Bond, James Bond.

For a couple of months every year Fleming took off to his for him idylic hidey-hole in the Caribbean, which had been named after a wartime plan he’d dreamt up for defending Gibraltar. The place had no hot water or glass in the windows or cupboards, but it was inspiring enough to be the birthplace of Bond, a true British pirate whose roots can be traced back to the great buccaneers of old who dominated the region.

This rather marvellous book reveals much about the Bond stories and their links with Jamaica, and a huge amount about Fleming and his lifelong love of the place, as well as high-level friends, dodgy love life and sheer unconventional, enviable style.

Put it on the shelf next to your Bond books.
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Being both a working class woman and a child of the 90s I would have been appalled to have lived in the 1950s. My life is immeasurably superior today then it would have been in a world of sexism, rationing and poverty. But oh to have been a man with money back then! Never have I wanted a sex change and a time machine quite as badly as I did whilst reading about Fleming's life at Goldeneye.
The endless parties, the sun, the sand, the wildlife, the flowers, the swimming, the famous men and women that he knew and loved. It was a place that only the Empire, a deep wallet, a privileged upbringing and a rich imagination could have created and it would have been glorious to experience it in its heyday. I'm sure that some feminists will down vote me for saying that but I don't care; the best that Western history has to offer has been almost universally dominated by rich white men, and no amount of righteous indignation will change that. All we can do is to try and make sure that our sons and daughters never have to experience such inequality in the future.
As an aside this is by far the best Fleming biography I have read. It is fresh, engaging and well-written. This should be your first point of call if you are as much in love with Fleming as I am.
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This book brilliantly weaves geography, politics. history, sociology and the life of Ian Fleming into a book that remains faithful to its subtitle while never feeling too narrow in its scope. Matthew Parker's research is impeccable and right from the start of the book you feel you're in capable hands. The detail is amazing and the photographs are usefully spread throughout the book and enhance the text. If you love Bond I don't think you can fail to love Goldeneye.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was hoping for a book that gave a little more insight to Fleming's work routine, perhaps early drafts and how the Bond books were shaped while in Jamaica and even after he left Jamaica and though this book didn't quite offer this info it offered so many other things that I can't not give it the full 5 stars.

This is writing of a wonderful standard. It's research that needs commending and above all it's entertaining, informative and highly recommended. Well done Parker!
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Format: Hardcover
Love Bond? Enjoy a good biography? Like a bit of history? There's something for everyone in Matthew Parker's most accessible offering yet. Goldeneye brings out the juxtaposition of the bright, sunny Caribbean setting of Ian Fleming's books with the altogether much darker attitudes (no doubt prevalent at the time) towards race, class, gender, family and colonial politics expoused by his famous creation and a very different (and more believable) character emerges than can be found in the cartoon-like movie adaptations. A fascinating backstory to one of the best known fictional heroes in the world.
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