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The Life of Ian Fleming

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  136 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
The biography of the man who created James Bond, one of the world's most famous and popular fictional characters. Fleming remained an enigmatic figure who disclaimed comparisons with his creation, but John Pearson - with access to Fleming's private papers - draws many parallels between the two. Pearson worked with Fleming for several years on "The Sunday Times".
Paperback, 480 pages
Published 1989 by Coronet (first published 1966)
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Larry Loftis
Dec 14, 2015 Larry Loftis rated it it was amazing
Excellent research and detail, although I was shocked to see that Pearson thought that Fleming modeled "M" on his (Ian's) mother!
Richard Bartholomew
In his 1996 biography of Ian Fleming, Andrew Lycett describes Pearson's account of thirty years before as a "lively" book which "suffered, through no fault of his own, from being too close to its subject, both in time and in perspective (the book was initiated by the Sunday Times for which both he and Ian had worked)… while his need to work closely with Ian’s widow Ann precluded serious examination of his subject’s emotional life."

This politely dismissive assessment understates the book's contin
Feb 26, 2015 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written by a colleague who worked with Fleming in the last years of his life. Not an incredibly uplifting ending either. Just as Fleming was about to enjoy the success of the Bond novels, he is hit by a plagiarism suite and ill-health in the form of a massive heart attack. Many think the latter was precipitated by the former. I had recently watched the BBC mini-series: Fleming and wanted to know more about his war work. )There are certainly many inaccuracies in the service of dramatic effect.) B ...more
Julian Walker
Jan 29, 2016 Julian Walker rated it really liked it
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
Gabriel Salter
May 23, 2014 Gabriel Salter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, nonfiction
People have asked or years how much of James Bond is an original character and how much is he Ian Fleming in disguise. In this book, John Pearson (who actually knew Fleming at one point) gives us a good look into the complex, occasionally very exciting, and at other times sad life Fleming lived. At the same time, Pearson discusses which events inspired Fleming to create James Bond and to what extent Bond was a fantasy of who Fleming wanted to be.
Interesting, fascinating, and you come back with
Jun 17, 2014 David rated it really liked it
Given that the author was an associate of Fleming, I certainly have reservations as to the fullness of this work of biography. However, it's still a wonderful story of an odd and complex man. The wartime life of Fleming is interesting. It's also quite notable to see how his rich imagination was so often at work. If the author is right, then Fleming also has some credit for the creation of the structure of the OSS, precursor to the modern Central Intelligence Agency. Book is well written and quit ...more
Patrick Di Justo
Jan 19, 2014 Patrick Di Justo rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
A heroic biography of Ian Fleming, carefully written to avoid some of the more sordid things we've come to know about him in more recent years. The book appears to have been written by a huge fan of the Bond novels, because there are frequent, nearly non sequitur references to little things in Fleming's life that show up as throwaway lines in later Bond adventures. (Best example so far: Fleming is running the operational branch of Royal Navy Intelligence from a basement room in Whitehall. He's n ...more
Steven Kent
Jul 08, 2009 Steven Kent rated it really liked it
A great and thorough look at the life of Ian Fleming. I think this book may be where the speculation began that the name M stood for "Mother."

Even without Bond Fleming had an interesting life. He served in British Intelligence during WWII and helped arrange one of the greatest and most daring escapades of the war. He was friends with William Stephenson--the man called "Intrepid."

He and John F. Kennedy were friends.
Jun 09, 2013 Allen rated it liked it
Never really enjoyed this book. Thought it would have been a lot more interesting, after all it is about the man who gave us James Bond, but it just never seemed to get going, and never covered anything in any real detail, just seemed very superficial. At least I found out where some the newer Bond movies titles came from.
Nov 12, 2012 Peter rated it it was amazing
Fascinating life story of a complicated man, the saga of how the media phenomenon which is James Bond was born out of the author's own life, and a great insight into how a writer draws on their own experiences both major and minor to give life to their creations.
Aug 07, 2011 Matt rated it really liked it
Just got past the photos fold... over half way.

finished. A good book that let's you understand the life and times of the man who created James Bond. He wrote Bond as the secret agent he wished to be himself and lived his fantasy life through Bond.
Kevin Anthony
Apr 26, 2011 Kevin Anthony rated it it was amazing
A fascinating insight of the creater of Bond, by an experienced author that worked with Fleming.
Paulo Levy
Jan 17, 2012 Paulo Levy rated it it was amazing
Very well written and a compelling story of the mans behind James Bond.
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John Pearson is a writer best associated with James Bond creator Ian Fleming. He was Fleming's assistant at the London Sunday Times and would go on to write the first biography of Ian Fleming, 1966's The Life of Ian Fleming. Pearson also wrote "true-crime" biographies, such as The Profession of Violence: an East End gang story about the rise and fall of the Kray twins.

Pearson would also become the
More about John Pearson...

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