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 Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the US are seeing gas prices dip below $3 a gallon More

Afghan Women's Soccer Team Building for the Future

A four-team female league was recently set up in Kabul; It will help identify players for the national team More

Video Koreas on Edge Amid Live-fire Drills

Pyongyang threatens nuclear test as joint US, S. Korean exercises show forces’ capabilities More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Soul Lounge

Avery Sunshine is known for her irresistible combination of soul, jazz and gospel influences. She’s traveled the world entertaining audiences with her powerful voice, inspiring lyrics and infectious spirit. She joins host Shawna Renee on "The Soul Lounge" to perform and share the stories behind her new album, "The Sun Room."