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James Bond: My Long and Eventful Search for His Father (Kindle Single) by [Deighton, Len]
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James Bond: My Long and Eventful Search for His Father (Kindle Single) Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Kindle Edition, 18 Dec 2012
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Length: 33 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 187 KB
  • Print Length: 33 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AQKE5S2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #89,413 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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3.8 out of 5 stars
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In the year which saw the cinematic James Bond reach new heights (the record-breaking "Skyfall", the Olympics, the merchandising, etc.), the BBC Radio 5 weekly movie show hosted by Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo asked listeners to nominate their "best Bond Villain". All the usual suspects were named (though probably not shamed): Blofeld, Goldfinger, Scaramanga, Rosa Kleb, Dr No, as you might expect; but one wag suggested "Kevin McClory". Who? You might well ask, but you don't have to puzzle for too long as the incomparable Len Deighton reveals the role played by that extraordinary figure in the birth of the movie-version of the iconic Bond over 50 years ago. Was the cavalier film producer McClory really the true, if not only, begetter of the cinematic Bond, or was he an Irish wide boy who pursued Ian Fleming and then the Bond franchise through the courts in search of - well one isn't quite sure: fame, fortune, revenge, recognition?
'James Bond: My Long and Eventful Search for his Father' offers a behind-the-scenes tour of the battlefield that saw James Bond brought to the big screen, a process which began in 1958 with the development of a script for what was to become known as "Thunderball" and was planned to be the first Bond film, but which, for legal reasons, turned out to be the fourth in the series in 1965, though to this day one of the most profitable ones. But the battles did not end there, and this short, sharp, pistol-whip of a book follows the story of legal wrangles and remakes ("Never Say Never Again") and planned remakes ("Hammerhead"/"Warhead") and then more legal wrangles. It is a labyrinthine tale and those uninitiated in the rules of the guerilla warfare which govern film-making need a solid guide to lead them through the maze.
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It's been seventeen years since Len Deighton last published a complete book: Charity, the last of the Samson triple trilogy. Now, at the tail-end of 2012, he's back, and that's great news.

Len returns to the world of the published author with a fascinating tale of how one of cinema's iconic figures came to be. In a year that has seen the 50th anniversary of Ian Fleming's James Bond and the release of Skyfall to universal acclaim, he has chosen to look at the origins of this most famous of screen characters and make a further contribution to the Bond mythos. It reads like a long article that one might read in The Sunday Times Magazine or an essay in The Literary Review. As someone who was acquainted with Ian Fleming and Kevin McClory, the film producer who is one of the important figures who has a significant part in the development of the Bond mythos through his work on early drafts of From Russia With Love and subsequently on Never Say Never Again (the Thunderball remake), Len provides an unrivalled insider's view of the development of Bond as the character moved from page to screen.

Len was an insider and witness to much of what went on as the character made this transition to cinema. It is his attention to detail, and his capacity to recall in detail many of the meetings and anecdotes which, story by story, gives this book a ring of authenticity. The book goes on to recount the efforts to get Bond onto the big screen, and it is here that the story becomes interesting as it looks at the myriad elements behind Bond's creation - on screen and on the page - which have kept writers, fans and fiction historians entertained and intrigued. It provides an extensive re-telling of the whole story which has been document elsewhere by other authors and Bond fans in great detail.
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By Coincidence Vs Fate TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 Jan. 2013
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It's been many years since we've had anything from Len Deighton, so I was really looking forward to reading his account of the Screen Bond and all the court cases and arguments over his Silver Screen presence. I wasn't disappointed, it's a fascinating insight. The only disappointment for me was the length - it's incredibly short, but having said that it's incredibly well written. Highly recommended.

Great to see Len back.
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This is an old man gossiping in a bar, but the content is interesting to James Bond fans. I didn't know there had been a long-drawn out legal battle over who held the rights to James Bond's screen character. It's a cautionary tale for authors.

Ian Fleming created the original James Bond in his first novel (of the series) Casino Royale. No-one was much interested in making it into a film, though Fleming thought it had real potential. In the end the only one to show much interest was a film-maker called Kevin McClory - a creative, shambolic, larger-than life Irishman - he was going to marry Elizabeth Taylor until she jilted him for Mike Todd! Kevin told Fleming that there would have to be a completely new film script and in discussion the two of them came up with the plot of Thunderball (no record of who suggested what) and McClory employed a screen-writer, Jack Whittingham, to write the script - and Jack seems to have created much of the detail. Len Deighton credits him with creating the James Bond character we've come to identify, but I'm not sure I totally believe this.

Fleming went off and wrote the book of the film, with the idea of releasing it at the same time. But the film was delayed because McClory couldn't raise the funds and so Fleming published the book first. McClory sued him for breach of copyright, claiming it was all his idea and that began the long and expensive legal battle that ensued. The court case was about rights to Thunderball, but Deighton's thesis is that it was much wider than this and that Whittingham and McClory actually created the screen persona of James Bond - the dangerous, suave, gun-toting sex bomb, who is very different to the `sad-eyed Bentley driver' of Fleming's original in Casino Royale.
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