The quintessential catch phrase of self-introduction used by the famous spy character created by the late Ian Fleming.
THE REAL BOND
And it’s interesting to note that there truly was an individual of that name, an American ornithologist who was an expert in Caribbean birds and wrote the definitive book on the subject, Birds of the West Indies.
Fleming himself, who resided in Jamaica, was an avid bird watcher and knew of Bond’s book and chose the author’s name for his character because “…I wanted Bond to be an extremely dull, uninteresting man to whom things happened; I wanted him to be a blunt instrument … when I was casting around for a name for my protagonist I thought by God, [James Bond] is the dullest name I ever heard.” He contacted the real Bond who didn’t have a problem with his name being ‘plagiarized,’ and actually at one time met Bond and his wife who also lived in Jamaica.
JAMES BOND MARATHON
Those who follow me here know of my great love of books and movies. And once again, as of late, my time had been filled with both, yet this time it’s not Bogart I’m obsessing and binging on, but James Bond. For that, I have the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) to thank because they recently had a James Bond marathon on their TV channel which featured four early Bond movies: Dr. No, From Russia With Love, Goldfinger and Thunderball. I had also earlier caught You Only Live Twice on another channel which covered the five first Bond movies in which Sean Connery portrayed the spymaster.
Connery tired of playing the character and moved on to an even greater career though he did reprise the role in two later movies, Diamonds Are Forever and Never Say Never Again, the latter title being contributed by his wife playing on the fact that Connery had said that he would “never again” play Bond. But despite his coming to hate being Bond, Connery’s portrayal over the years led to his Bond being named the third-greatest hero in cinema history by the American Film Institute.
And I personally have always considered Connery the one-and-only true James Bond, a belief that began when I was a teen and saw my first Bond movie, Thunderball. I will have to admit, though, that I’ve come to appreciate Daniel Craig’s work as the new Bond.
It was after seeing Thunderball that my journey through the series of books written by Fleming began. It was only in later years that I discovered that Fleming truly knew of what he wrote about for he, himself, was actually involved in the British intelligence service during WWII. Bond, the character, was also a member of the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), also known as MI6, the British version of our CIA.
Fleming actually had a sketch of his vision of Bond created, and the sketch’s image actually looks much like Ian Fleming and Sean Connery, both. Ironically, Fleming’s life mirrored Bond’s in more ways than one. Not only was Fleming known as a womanizer, he also smoked and drank heavily, ultimately leading to an early death in 1964 at the age of 56. But even after death, he had two books published posthumously, just as another one of my favorite authors, Asheville native Thomas Wolfe, did.
Unfortunately, though, my attempt at rereading Fleming’s Bond series has hit a brick wall. Of the fourteen books he wrote that featured James Bond, my local library has only three of ’em. They do have the children’s book he wrote (most likely unknown to Bond fans), Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang, which was also published posthumously. But that one isn’t on my reading list.
HINT TO MY WIFEY
So I guess I’ll either have to make a visit to Amazon to make some purchases, or give a hint to my sweet Anghel wifey for her anniversary-birthday-Christmas gift list ideas. And seeing that she’ll edit this post before publishing it, my wishes will be known ahead of time, but you’ll have to get busy, honey: anniversary and birthday are right around the corner! 😉