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Publisher's Summary

It is now 50 years since the premiere of Dr No, the very first Bond film, with Sean Connery introducing 007 as the glamorous secret agent who would become the single most profitable movie character in the history of cinema. But James Bond was invented by one man, Ian Fleming, a wartime intelligence officer and Sunday Times newspaper man who lived to see only the very beginning of the Bond cult. John Pearson's famous biography remains the definitive account of how only Ian Fleming could have dreamed up James Bond, for he led a life as colourful as anything in his fiction, which in turn became a covert autobiography. Charming, debonair, and a ruthless womaniser, globetrotting from wartime Algiers to beachside Jamaica, Fleming was as elusive and opaque as his imaginary creation.

In his new introduction, John Pearson examines the extent to which Fleming's character informs even the most recent movie portrayals of his hero, and how Bond himself has achieved immortality beyond his creator's wildest dreams.

©1967 John Pearson (P)2013 Audible Ltd

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jill
  • SANTA MONICA, CA, United States
  • 05-28-13

Excellent narration!

What did you love best about The Life of Ian Fleming?

I recently listened with interest to Peter McGowan’s narration, of the biography entitled ‘The Life of Ian Fleming’ written by John Pearson. The book gives a great insight into the Fleming family and the career path that led to the literary development of this fascinating author of the James Bond novels. Peter McGowan reads the book with great authority, clarity and warmth. He was clearly fascinated by the subject matter; and I look forward to listening to more audio books read by Peter.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Life of Ian Fleming?

His marriage to his wife and his life at "Goldeneye".

Which character – as performed by Peter McGowan – was your favorite?

Noel Coward

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

His story about reporting the trial in Russia.

Any additional comments?

I look forward to hearing more audio books narrated by Peter McGowan.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Portrait of a man living in his own world

What did you love best about The Life of Ian Fleming?

The book painted a picture of Fleming as a man who constantly romanticized his own life, and never let facts get in the way of a good story. It explains a lot about his sometimes-grounded, sometimes-fanciful writing.

What other book might you compare The Life of Ian Fleming to and why?

The Bond novels are the natural comparison. This book provides a lot of good background about the headspace of the author when they were written.

Have you listened to any of Peter McGowan’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I haven't heard this narrator before but he did a great job.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, the early parts about Fleming's life at boarding school was a bit slow. A bit later on I was listening in big chunks though.