News / Arts & Entertainment

James Bond Goes Solo in New Book Penned by William Boyd

Author William Boyd, (File photo).
Author William Boyd, (File photo).
Reuters
The latest James Bond novel is titled "Solo" and will see the world's most famous fictional spy go on an unauthorized mission at the height of the Cold War, the author of the book said on Monday.

The plot of the book focuses on Africa, but spans Europe and the United States, as it reveals a realistic, 45-year-old Bond based on the wealth of biographical detail taken from the original Ian Fleming novels, British author William Boyd said.

"Events conspire to make Bond go off on a self-appointed mission of his own, unannounced and without any authorization. And he's fully prepared to take the consequences of his audacity," Boyd said.

"He goes on a real mission to real countries and the world he's in is absolutely 1969. There are no gimmicks, it's a real spy story... there is a very precise reason why I chose that year," Boyd added, declining to comment further.

"Solo" will be published in Britain on Sept. 26 by Jonathan Cape - Fleming's original publisher - and available from HarperCollins, a subsidiary of News Corp, in the United States and Canada from Oct. 8.

While stressing the lasting influence of Fleming's work, Boyd described "Solo" as one of his books which happens to have Bond as a character.

The screen version of the suave spy remains a box office superstar, with "Skyfall" becoming the first official Bond film to take over $1 billion at the box office following its release last year.

Boyd is set to please fans of the original novels, not least as he already has two spy novels under his name, but also because he researched both Bond and his creator meticulously.

"Bond is not just a superhero. He has flaws, he has weaknesses, he makes mistakes. ... That was Fleming's genius," Boyd said at the London Book Fair.
"I am interested in the man, the human being... I had to invent a villain and various antagonists. I had to come up with two very interesting women for him (Bond) to meet and to have a relationship with. I had to populate that world with creatures of my imagination, not just the ones Fleming had."

Fleming wrote his first Bond novel, "Casino Royale" 60 years ago in 1953 and penned 13 more before he died 11 years later at the age of 56.

But to keep the literary James Bond brand alive, his estate has invited various authors to continue the Bond story. The Bond catalogue is one of the most prized in publishing, with global sales of more than 100 million copies.

Most recently U.S. thriller writer Jeffery Deaver wrote "Carte Blanche" in 2011, and novelist Sebastian Faulks wrote "Devil May Care" to mark Fleming's 100th birthday in 2008.

Boyd has won acclaim for writing page-turners with complex plots often set in unique historical milieus, from World War One-era East Africa to 1936 Los Angeles.

When asked to continue the Bond novel series in 2011, Boyd said he immediately jumped at the opportunity.

"It's tremendous fun, but you have to take it really, really seriously."

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

The Hamilton Live

Paquito D'Rivera, who has won 12 Grammys, is celebrated both for his artistry in Latin jazz and his achievements as a classical composer. D'Rivera's latest project, “Jazz Meets the Classics,” was released this month. He joins us on the latest edition of "The Hamilton Live."