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on 7 June 2017
If you like Bond, Pearson and Fleming this is a must read.
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on 9 November 2010
This is a good book. What I like about it is that Pearson seems to have done his homework. He draws a lot of connections between Fleming, the boy, son and brother and husband, the Secret Service man, the writer, the playboy, the athlete and the alcohol drinking and cigarette smoking socialite, and the subject of his books - James Bond (named after an ornithologist writing of birds of Caribbean - one of Fleming's favourite books). Pearson selects and renders his anecdotes well, and I really got a sense of the development of Bond and Flemming - the character and the man - each bleeding into the other.
There's a great emotional aspect to the book also - Pearson gets beneath the cool facade, delving into Flemming's insecurities and inner motivations - in a very human and humane manner. In many respects, this is quite a moving book. It was six months ago that I read it, and I still think about it, frequently, and refer to it from time to time in conversations with friends; yes, it's full of interesting facts that when shared with others never fail to impress!
I recommend it, for the Bond enthusiast, and those interested in Flemming, and for those interested in the relationship between authors and their characters - authorship - the way in which authors sometimes live their life, by chance and/or intentionally, in a manner that seems to facilitate and feed into their written subject.
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on 29 January 2016
Published shortly after the novelist’s death this is a well written and engaging story of Ian Fleming.

Carefully exploring the factors in his life which created not only the man himself but also his most famous creation, James Bond, Pearson sheds light on Fleming’s driving passions, successes and failures in an engrossing narrative.

Of all the books on Ian Fleming, this was recommended to me as the best and I have no reason to doubt that having read it.

This is a very rewarding and satisfying read on a complex individual.
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on 29 September 2010
I have been a James Bond fan since I was a teenager over 40 years ago. I have read all the books 4 times now. I have just finished them all again. I thought it was time to get to know the author better and purchased this book.

The book has done what I wanted it to do. On that basis I can recommend it to others.

The question I have asked since is: 'Do you have to be a Bond fan to enjoy it?'. The word 'Anarak' keeps nudging at me.

Ah well, I love his books and some of the films. Now I know quite a lot about Mr Fleming himself thanks to John Pearson.

Not sure it has done me any good though, I think I preferred the mystery.

Nothing wrong with the book it does it's job very well and reads fine.
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on 6 November 2013
An enjoyable read. Contains a great deal of insight into the world and psyche of James Bond's creator in relatively broad strokes by an author who knew Ian Fleming personally. Entertaining and amusing in places and as with a lot of books perhaps a bit 'dry' in others.
Fleming lead a very active and interesting life but seems was never completely satisfied or ever quite reaped the full fruits of his labours. Even though Bond was clearly not completely based on any one real-life individual (such as Ian Fleming himself or WWII operatives such as Forest Yeo Thomas) I'm of the view that when Fleming died the literary James Bond died with him. Ian seems to have been a strong character in some ways. Set backs such as a plagiarism law suit and increasing health problems did not prevent him from writing some of the finest instalments in the series, i.e. On Her Majesty's Secret Service and You Only Live Twice.
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on 22 July 2012
A fascinating account of Fleming's life: bit like a Bond Novel. Fleming attended Eton with his elder brother but developed something of an attitude, excelling at athletics and truancy, finally leaving under a cloud. No University yet, but a spell at Sandhurst where he hated the discipline and resigned after a year. Private tuition in Austria followed, where he learned to ski, had a good time and treated the local girls with the same casualness as James Bond.
Ian flunked a Foreign Office exam but did report freelance for Reuters on the mid 30's Moscow industrial spy trials. Then a period in London when the club life developed and finally his contacts allowed him entry to the Intelligence Service at the start of the war. After WWII he write the Bond books.
Well written and researched, easy to read, holds your interest.
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on 22 November 2012
I am 66% through this book - no page numbers - and enjoying it, but the download is seriously irritating. There are so many spelling mistakes as to make my teeth stand on edge every time I come across one. This book must never have been proof read or simple things like 'bis' instead of 'his' or 'ber' instead of 'her', 'bidethir' instead of 'their', T' instead of 'I' would not occur so many, many times and oooh so many, many more errors would have been spotted. It is a wonderful account of Ian Fleming's life and very interesting but totally spoilt. If anyone else intends to download this book to their kindle please be prepared for the poor quality. I can rate the book quite highly as I am enjoying it and it is a fascinating account about an extraordinary person. I would recommend anyone to read this but not in digital form.
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on 30 August 2015
A wonderfully indepth and intimate picture of Ian Fleming. A beautifully written and well researched biography of a fascinating man, his life and times.
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on 8 November 2016
Utterly fascinating biography and very well written. Amazing to learn just what Fleming did even before he began to write! Highly recommended read.
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on 1 June 2016
I thoroughly enjoyed this well written book by John Pearson who gave a very interesting insight into the life of Ian Fleming.
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