The Man with the Golden Typewriter by
Ian Fleming's James Bond Letters

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...a lengthy court battle over the origination of and rights to Thunderball, for example, is barely evident. That said, there is still so much here to amuse and inform, not least the tender relationship Fleming maintains with William Plomer, his editor at Cape, and Bond completists will delight in the subtle tweaks to early manuscripts.
-Guardian

Synopsis

On August 16, 1952, Ian Fleming wrote to his wife, Ann, "My love, This is only a tiny letter to try out my new typewriter and to see if it will write golden words since it is made of gold." He had bought the golden typewriter as a present to himself for finishing his first novel, Casino Royale. It marked in glamorous style the arrival of James Bond, agent 007, and the start of a career that saw Fleming become one the world's most celebrated thriller-writers. And he did write golden words. Before his death in 1964 he produced fourteen best-selling Bond books, two works of non-fiction and the famous children's story Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang.

Fleming's output was matched by an equally energetic flow of letters. He wrote constantly, to his wife, publisher, editors, fans, friends and critics--and to the wife of the man whose name Fleming appropriated for his hero--charting 007's progress with correspondence that ranged from badgering Jonathan Cape about his quota of free copies--a coin was tossed and Fleming lost--to apologizing for having mistaken a certain brand of perfume and for equipping Bond with the wrong kind of gun. His letters also reflect his friendship with such contemporaries as Raymond Chandler, Noel Coward and Somerset Maugham.

This entertaining and engaging compilation traces the arc of Fleming's literary career and details the inner working of James Bond. Set against the backdrop of his Jamaican retreat Goldeneye, and a troubled marriage, Fleming's letters are filled with wit, humor and occasional self-doubt. They reveal an intimate portrait of a man, an era and a literary phenomenon.
 

About the Author

Ian Fleming's nephew, Fergus Fleming is the author of several nonfiction books, including Barrow's Boys, Killing Dragons, and Ninety Degrees North.
 
Published November 3, 2015 by Bloomsbury USA. 401 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The Man with the Golden Typewriter
All: 5 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Above average
on Oct 04 2015

...In that regard, the relationship of art to Fleming’s real life is fascinating. Essential for fans of the James Bond books. And who isn’t a fan?

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Publishers Weekly

Good
on May 14 2016

His nephew, Fergus Fleming, provides generous contextual commentary on the fascinating missives. Readers will enjoy watching Fleming interact with his editors, fans, and famous friends...

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NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Jennifer Senior on Nov 23 2015

...to anyone who has ever worked on a book — writing one, editing one, marketing one, publishing one — or, heck, even just read one, this volume is a giant stalk of catnip.

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Simon Garfield on Oct 27 2015

...a lengthy court battle over the origination of and rights to Thunderball, for example, is barely evident. That said, there is still so much here to amuse and inform, not least the tender relationship Fleming maintains with William Plomer, his editor at Cape, and Bond completists will delight in the subtle tweaks to early manuscripts.

Read Full Review of The Man with the Golden Typew... | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Nicholas Lezard on May 31 2016

In short, this is a book that is far more interesting and entertaining than you might have thought; you don’t have to be a Bond nut to enjoy it.

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