New James Bond Novel Set for 2008

by | July 12, 2007 | Comments

Here’s a piece of news that might have only a tangential relationship to the movies, but — as your school librarian used to mutter under her breath between Dewey Decimal System lectures — reading is fundamental: Variety is reporting that next May will see the release of "Devil May Care," the first new James Bond novel since 2002’s "The Man with the Red Tattoo."

The "real" Bond stories, of course, ended with creator Ian Fleming‘s death in 1964, but at this point, the works of subsequent writers now outnumber the twelve novels and two collections of short stories Fleming completed — thanks to the efforts of Kingsley Amis, John Gardner, and Raymond Benson, no fewer than twenty standalone Bond novels have been released since 1968. (This doesn’t take into account novelizations, the "Young Bond" series, or other assorted Bond-ish works.)

"Devil May Care" breaks a six-year hiatus for 007 on the printed page, and will be penned by Sebastian Faulks, the author known for works such as "Charlotte Gray" and "Birdsong"; for what it’s worth, "Bond" producer Barbara Broccoli has been given an early glimpse of the book, and has offered her approval, even going so far as to say it could be mistaken for a lost Fleming manuscript.

The novel, which is set in 1968, will be released next year to coincide with what would have been Fleming’s 100th birthday. Though some Bond purists might suggest that there are better ways of celebrating this anniversary, Faulks’ previous books have been highly acclaimed, and he seems to be approaching the job with the requisite droll wit. As the author jokes in the article:

“In his house in Jamaica, Ian Fleming used to write a thousand words in the morning, then go snorkeling, have a cocktail, lunch on the terrace, more diving, another thousand words in late afternoon, then more martinis and glamorous women. In my house in London, I followed this routine exactly, apart from the cocktails, the lunch and the snorkeling.”

Source: Variety