Book Review: “Goldeneye” by Matthew ParkerAugust 13, 2015 at 6:49 pm | Posted in Books | Leave a comment
Tags: Book Review, Non-Fiction
From the back cover: Amid the lush beauty of Jamaica’s northern coast lies the true story of Ian Fleming’s iconic creation: James Bond.
For two months every year, from 1946 to his death eighteen years later, Ian Fleming lived at Goldeneye, the house he built on a point of high land overlooking a small white sand beach on Jamaica’s stunning north coast. All the James Bond novels and stories were written here.
This book explores the huge influence of Jamaica on the creation of Fleming’s iconic post-war hero. The island was for Fleming part retreat from the world, part tangible representation of his own values, and part exotic fantasy. It will examine his Jamaican friendships―his extraordinary circle included Errol Flynn, the Oliviers, international politicians and British royalty, as well as his close neighbor Noel Coward―and trace his changing relationship with Ann Charteris (and hers with Jamaica) and the emergence of Blanche Blackwell as his Jamaican soulmate.
Goldeneye also compares the real Jamaica of the 1950s during the build-up to independence with the island’s portrayal in the Bond books, to shine a light on the attitude of the likes of Fleming and Coward to the dramatic end of the British Empire.
I am of the belief that we are products of where we were born and/or brought up. Whether or not you believe the same I think you would agree with me that “Goldeneye” is quite a study of Ian Fleming, James Bond and an area of Jamaica called Goldeneye. Of course we all carry the DNA of our fathers and James Bond is no exception. Ian Fleming gave birth to Bond. However Jamaica has quite a lot to do with Bond, his smoothness and charm. Matthew Parker has given us one of the most interesting studies of the character, his creator and the place where each of the James Bond stories were written. I have no idea of how Mr. Parker was able to research all of this information but I, for one, am so grateful that he did. I certainly enjoyed being there at the birth of Bond and watching his character development as the stories were written at the same time that Jamaica was going through its changes. As I said this is a fascinating read that if you are any kind of James Bond fan, you will find quite enjoyable.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Pegasus Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”