The opening of any James Bond movie gears up the Hollywood marketing hype. Leading up to the 2008 premier of the last blockbuster 007 adventure "Quantum of Solace", one T.V. movie channel rebroadcast its Bond movie marathon as liquor advertisers cashed in on the fictional spy's jet-set, cocktail lifestyle.
Like most James Bond motion pictures, the 2008 release-available on DVD- had no resemblance to the story that inspired it. And that's too bad for most fans of J.B. in print-of which there are millions around the world.
President John Kennedy was an avid James Bond fan.
The Camelot president had met Ian Fleming at a 1961 Washington, D.C. party and as soon as he publically discussed their meeting in Life magazine-with Fleming's humorous suggestion about deposing Cuba's Castro by forcing him to shave-off his iconic beard-the meeting created a run on James Bond novels across the U.S.
Fleming, at the height of his literary powers, died in August 1964 nearly a year after JFK was assassinated.
The published 007 stories, unlike many of the later celluloid versions, were jaunty spy tales set in exotic locales with verisimilitude. In several 007 capers, the reader can actually nail down the story to within a month or two of a particular year set in the 1950s or early 1960s. Bond's creator insisted on believability; after all, he had been a top British spymaster. Fleming served as assistant director of Naval Intelligence in the U.K. during World War II.
James Bond in print involved a lot of intrigue, sexy situations and intellectual fun to readers. The literary J.B. was imagined more as a mid-20th century version of British "ace of spies" Sidney Reilly than a Hollywood action hero.
Known mostly by hardcore Bond fans, Ian Fleming set two James Bond spy adventures in our region.