Bond Vivant

FILE IN: READ

Peter Fleming is fated to forever be referred to by his full legal name, “Peter Fleming, Older Brother of James Bond Creator Ian Fleming.” But while Ian himself spent much of his time behind a desk, Peter was plunging headlong into the jungles of the Amazon basin in search of lost explorers and walking across China, possibly in the service of the British secret service

SPOTLIGHT: BOND BEYOND BOND BOOKS

License Renewed

License Renewed is not the sort of book I would go to war for — if you were bored by it or actively hated it, I would understand — but I thought it was perfectly acceptable.

The Moneypenny Diaries: Guardian Angel

The Moneypenny Diaries offers a complex look not just at Bond, but at 1960s politics, while casting Moneypenny herself as a spy more in line with John Le Carre than Ian Fleming.

Colonel Sun

Kingsley Amis picks up where Ian Fleming left off and sends James Bond to Greece to rescue a pathetic M and battle a sadistic enemy.

Forever and a Death

If you don’t know the backstory, you wouldn’t guess that Donald Westlake’s Forever and a Death has anything to do with James Bond.

FILE IN: TRAVEL

With the exception perhaps of “James Bond Island” (Khao Phing Kan) in Thailand, the location used in the finale of The Man with the Golden Gun, no location is more recognizable or higher than Piz Gloria on the must-visit list for James Bond fans.

SPOTLIGHT: ON LOCATION

Aboard the African Queen

The African Queen stayed unseaworthy until 2012, when Key Largo locals Lance and Suzanne Holmquist bought it and set about once again making it a functioning boat.

Pan Am Worldport

Terminal 3 at New York’s JFK airport, known as the Worldport, was once the distinctive flying saucer shaped home of Pan Am. It was, during the heyday of jet-set travel, a model for the sleek, modernist style that defined journeys by air.

Prague Museum of Communism

Nestled with irony between a McDonald’s and a casino is Prague’s Museum of Communism (only the KGB Museum has a more deliciously ironic location, next door to the heavily guarded U.S. embassy).


RECENT WATCHES

Ypotron

Ypotron is a light and airy espionage adventure with sci-fi elements and almost no interest whatsoever in its own plot, so enamored is it instead with low-budget globe-trotting and extremely large hats.

Asambhav

This movie is a total bomb, and that didn’t stop me from enjoying it. Don’t listen to me, because I’m going to tell you to go ahead and see Asambhav. The near universal chorus of bad reviews this movie received are right, and I am wrong. Don’t do it.

League of Gentlemen

League of Gentlemen is a little bit like if, instead of solving crimes for a living, Bulldog Drummond ended up committing them; as if his classified ad was answered by a fellow demobilized officer putting together a crew for a heist.

RECENT LISTENS

You Only Listen Twice

Put on the headphones and prepare yourself for another swinging, occasionally baffling, journey through James Bond themed cash-in records.

The Sound of Spying

In the 1960s, there were dozens of James Bond music cash-in industry, offering nondescript but professionally competent renditions of popular Bond espionage TV show themes.

When Sex Leers Its Inquisitive Head

Riding the tide of popularity his portrayal of Jason King brought him, Peter Wyngarde was approached by RCA with the prospect of recording an album. Thus we start down the road toward infamy.

RECENT DRINKS & EATS

Blending In with Bond

James Bond, one of global culture’s most recognized imbibers, drinks no fewer than 317 drinks throughout the series of books authored by Ian Fleming.

Barflies and Boulevardiers

The Boulevardier appears in a section called “Cocktails Round Town,”  — a boulevardier being someone who prowled the Parisian boulevards in search of revelry.

CONNECT WITH BOND VIVANT