Looking back over the years, I guess I did most of my reading in the period from 1964 to 1972. This means I was between the ages of 13 and 21. Although his debut novel “Casino Royale” had been published way back in 1953, Ian Fleming reached his greatest heights of popularity around the time I speak of, although he passed away in 1964.
The US President, John F. Kennedy, an iconic world figure in the early 60’s was supposed to be a big Fleming fan and when this got about, his books received a huge boost in sales. James Bond, as a character, was a fascinating compilation, appearing in twelve novels and a few short stories, many of them subsequently made into movies. None of us Bond fans can forget the signature tune from those movies.
The world of spies, fast cars and adventure that Fleming built around Bond was extremely appealing to millions around the world and every book of his became a best seller. It is tempting to write sequels to your first story and create characters that appear over time in many books. Not many can do this as effectively as Fleming did. Bond became a household name across the world. The trademark introduction, ” My name is Bond. James Bond” was one of the many things that made him, and Fleming in turn for his readers, a cult figure.
Although so many years, indeed decades, have passed by, I still vividly remember characters from Fleming’s writings. I don’t speak of the women, who first come to mind, but of the lesser characters as well who made such an impact: people like Miss Moneypenny, Quarrel, Q, etc.
Should you be interested, and I would urge you to have a look, do check out the website for Ian Fleming, link already provided in the first paragraph of this post. Sure this has come up years after his death, but it is as comprehensive as he would have liked it to be. I also think he would have approved of the material put together about James Bond.
Fleming loved the Caribbean and did much of his writing there. I was interested to find that Ian Fleming is probably the only author who has an international airport named after him. The one in Oracabessa, the new international gateway into Jamaica is called the Ian Fleming International Airport.
I like to think Fleming would have lit another cigarette and nodded his head in approval.