Ian Fleming: The Complete Man (Hardback)Nicholas Shakespeare (author)
Boasting unprecedented access to the Fleming family archives, Shakespeare's enthralling account of the complex genius behind the James Bond novels also sheds fascinating light on his years at the heart of naval intelligence.
A fresh portrait of the man behind James Bond, and his enduring impact, by an award-winning biographer with unprecedented access to the Fleming family papers.
Ian Fleming's greatest creation, James Bond, has had an enormous and ongoing impact on our culture. What Bond represents about ideas of masculinity, the British national psyche and global politics has shifted over time, as has the interpretation of the life of his author. But Fleming himself was more mysterious and subtle than anything he wrote.
Ian's childhood with his gifted brother Peter and his extraordinary mother set the pattern for his ambition to be 'the complete man', and he would strive for the means to achieve this 'completeness' all his life. Only a thriller writer for his last twelve years, his dramatic personal life and impressive career in Naval Intelligence put him at the heart of critical moments in world history, while also providing rich inspiration for his fiction.
Nicholas Shakespeare is one of the most gifted biographers working today. His talent for uncovering new material that casts fresh light on his subjects is fully evident in this masterful, definitive biography.
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Number of pages: 864
Weight: 1002 g
Dimensions: 240 x 162 x 44 mm
Written with Fleming-esque brio and insouciance, with a feeling for the tragic aspects of his life as well as the ironic comedy of it..elegant...the research here is impeccable. - Telegraph
This excellent biography is as worldly and clever as one could wish. - Philip Hensher, Spectator
Elegant and painstakingly researched - Observer
A monumental record of Fleming’s life. The completeness of the book is beyond doubt. Shakespeare leaves no future biographer much to discover. Fleming’s place in history is assured. - Max Hastings, Sunday Times
A sustained and engrossing homage to the Olympic icon of a beleaguered Britain, and a writer damned to fame. With scarcely a dull page, it’s a chip off the old block... steeped in exceptional research....stitches up the loose ends of Fleming’s story into a satisfying 21st-century biography. - Robert McCrum, Independent
This is a marvellous book about Ian Fleming, but it's also one of the most engaging portraits of a particular period of British history that I have read in a long time - Antonia Fraser
A definitive biography that deepens and reshapes previous versions of Fleming’s life… light-footed and swift-moving despite its copious research… Shakespeare’s Fleming rises from these richly textured pages as a more substantial and sympathetic figure than the preening snob of myth. - Financial Times
The Complete Man is packed with women, their characters and stories carefully filled in...highly accomplished and readable - New Statesman
A revealing insight into postwar, post-Empire Britain...A terrific read - Michael Wood, BBC History Magazine
The most comprehensive picture yet of Bond’s creator… definitive - Economist
Fascinating, well researched, neatly written - D.J. Taylor, Literary Review
Shakespeare has the rare ability to reinvigorate subjects that had seemed exhausted. If, like me, you thought you knew all there was to be known about Ian Fleming, prepare for a surprise...written with such brio that the pace never slackens - Adam Sisman
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