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For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming and James Bond
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For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming and James Bond (James Bond - Extended Series)

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  260 ratings  ·  21 reviews
'I am going to write the spy story to end all spy stories' One morning in February 1952, a journalist called Ian Fleming sat down at his desk and set about creating a fictional secret agent. James Bond was born and would go on to become one of the most successful, enduring and lucrative creations in literature. But Bond's world of glamour and romance, gadgets and cocktails ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 6th 2009 by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (first published April 7th 2008)
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May 31, 2014 Gwen rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Gwen by: browsing at the library
Shelves: biography-memoir
A light, breezy book on the historical background of James Bond written for the Imperial War Museum's 2008 exhibition. Having read some of Macintyre's other work on WWII espionage, it was nice to see the information used to explain James Bond's lasting cultural influence. However, not having read any of Fleming's James Bond series, I'm now intrigued by the source material--if "George Lazenby [the 1969 James Bond] is laconic, humourless and perhaps closest to Fleming's Bond" (Loc. 1743) then I've ...more
The book was well written and had very nice illustrations. It has nothing new to offer about Ian Fleming or James Bond. There have been so many biographies of both the real Fleming and the fiction character Bond (written as well as film) that not much new can be dug up. I enjoyed the book and would highly recommend it to someone not familiar with the character or its creator.
Quick and interesting read! A book that works on several level. It locates Fleming to the historical period of his growing up, his participation in second world war, as well as time of his writing Bond novels, which was basically the last decade of his life. It shows his connections with British spy establishment is, for me, a completely new light, where Fleming was more than, as it has been customary to describe, just on the fringes of main events, as in just a passing contact with main players ...more
Vikas Datta
An insightful look into the creation of one of the most iconic and instantly-recognisable figures of our times and his enterprising creator. The account shows how much Bond was an extension of Fleming's own life and times when his country was sliding down into the ranks of second-tier powers and how these works try to portray a reversal of this decline. Adding to the analysis of these fantasies expertly served, it goes on to dissect the accompanying fare - cars, guns, food and liquor and of cour ...more
For Your Eyes Only - Ben Macintyre
Somewhat like a dual biography, one side on the author Ian Fleming, and the other on the (fictional) spy James Bond. This book gets at Fleming's background, motivations and thoughts behind the creation of the Bond books. This book deals primarily with the Bond from the books, not the Bond of the screen.
The written material of the book is relatively short (100 pages?), but the book is filled with color photographs. Unfortunately a large percentage of the photos a
As I embarked upon the adventure of reading the Bond novels in publication order (sparked by attending a James Bond film festival), I thought I should try to find out more about the man behind the legend.

This book, written to support a 2008 Imperial War Museum exhibition, examines the life of Ian Fleming in terms of his James Bond novels. It's not quite a full biography, although there are references to his childhood and his marriage, but the focus is on the men (and women) Fleming interacted w
Catherine Thompson
This book is neither a biography of Ian Fleming, nor an examination of the James Bond phenomenon, yet it's a bit of both. What Macintyre set out to do, as he says in his Author's Note, was look at where and how fact and fiction intersect related to Ian Fleming and his creation. It's well researched and well written, quite enjoyable.
Marking the centenary of Ian Fleming's birth, this is a lively tribute to both the author and his creation, James Bond. Ben MacIntyre transforms what could have been a fairly innocuous coffee-table tome into an intelligent examination of the parallels between Fleming's life and his fictional hero. He makes a convincing argument that considerable writing craft (and marketing canniness) lay behind the Bond books. Some of the most fascinating aspects of the book were how Fleming consciously fashion ...more
Great fun. Very nostalgic.

Good read with lots of interesting observations. Well researched and, above all, good fun. Makes me want to read all the Bond books and buy the DVD box set(!!).
Doug Cooper
This was a cool book. It wrapped up Ian Fleming's life, his experiences in WWII, and his writing of the Bond books. What interested me the most is the choice of gadgetry and how Flemming came up with his villans. Not everyone was happy to be the inspiration a Bond character.
The cool factor of this book is that it's not like reading a book. There's text, sort of like you'd find in a magazine, and a load of pictures. (movie sets, moovie scences, props, etc. etc.)

If you haven't read the books you w
Brynne Thomas
As a Bond fan who was swept away by Skyfall I tried to download some of the novels. Instead I found this fascinating, easy to read book. It frames Bond in the terms of Fleming and Fleming in the framework of Bond. This book gave me a historical context for the plots, villains, and the hero of these stories. Never before did I realize the deeper commentary being narrated by these films and books. I can appreciate Bond in a whole new way now.
These books are well written. I was engaged the whole time. Mr. Bond is just one of those guys who you can't decide if he's a bad guy or a good guy, but you know he has class. I was surprised to learn that this book was more of a collection of short stories rather than one series of interconnected each one there is of course an attractive girl who falls for him...part of the effect that he has so much style.
Jon Choi
This book was published to coincide with an exhibition on Ian Fleming at the Imperial War Museum, and catalogs (with color photographs) artifacts from his life, the James Bond movies, etc. An interesting look at the interaction between Fleming's real-life experiences (and his interesting but desk-bound work during WWII) and Bond's fictional adventures.
Nice collection of essays on topics that are central to James Bond: Cold War, Gadgets, Girls, Food, etc. There is a nice balance of subject and self here, i.e. how Ian Fleming shows up as James Bond and how his life and social mores show up in the book. A nice collection of essays for anyone interested in how JB was born.
For you James Bond fanboys and fangirls, this book delivers juicy tidbits that you WISH were in those "Behind the Scenes" documentaries that often turn out to be "I loved working with so-and-so, s/he's the best." Learned a lot. Enjoyed it a lot.
A wonderful look through the life of Ian Fleming and those around him, who brought a sense of realism to the fictional? James Bond.
I am a bigger fan of literary biography than Bond, but I liked reading about where the ideas came from. @PerryMissner
Anthony Stell
Really funny and well observed. Love Ben Macintyre's style. Seemed a bit rushed on the last two chapters though.
Pat W
Ok but was more about ian fleming than about james bond. Got it for three bucks so i really can not complain.
Simon Dyer
Packed full of interesting facts and photos a must for any serious Bond fan.
Pers. Rev. Dec. 2008
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Ben Macintyre is an author, historian and columnist writing for The Times newspaper. His columns range from current affairs to historical controversies.

In July 2006, Macintyre wrote an article in The Times entitled "How wiki-wiki can get sticky", criticising the limitations of Wikipedia. He cited the self-regulation system as inadequate when literally "anyone" could add supposed "facts" to Wikipe
More about Ben Macintyre...

Other Books in the Series

James Bond - Extended Series (1 - 10 of 39 books)
  • Casino Royale (James Bond, #1)
  • Live and Let Die (James Bond #2)
  • Moonraker (James Bond, #3)
  • Diamonds Are Forever (James Bond, #4)
  • From Russia With Love (James Bond, #5)
  • Doctor No (James Bond, #6)
  • Goldfinger (James Bond, #7)
  • For Your Eyes Only (James Bond, #8)
  • Thunderball (James Bond, #9)
  • The Spy Who Loved Me (James Bond, #10)
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“In this, they echoed the views of a generation brought up to think of Britain as Great, but now doomed in peacetime to watch the American ascendancy, decolonisation, queues, bureaucracy, socialism and other perceived indignities as the Empire declined.” 1 likes
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