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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
47
4.7 out of 5 stars


on 1 September 2014
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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on 30 May 2015
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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on 9 September 2014
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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on 28 April 2017
a well produced and very readable book. with lots of interesting facts of Flemings lifestyle. there is good photographs and content, a great addition to my bond book collection
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on 30 July 2017
A biography of Fleming weighted towards his association with Jamaica, accompanied by much fascinating historical background about the island. Very readable and highly recommended.
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on 16 August 2014
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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on 19 August 2014
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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on 3 November 2014
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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on 29 September 2014
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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on 30 August 2017
Whoever designed that book cover should be shot
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