Devil May Care (James Bond)

Written in honour of the centenary of Ian Fleming’s birth, “Devil May Care” carries on from where Ian Fleming left off. The blurb on the front cover claims ‘Sebastian Faulks writing as Ian Fleming’. The question is, does Mr Faulks manage to successfully emulate the writing style of Mr Fleming and does the book fit into the Bond canon? The answer is definitely yes.

I read the original Bond books years ago and always loved them. A mixture of fast paced action and travel guide, and DMC does the job just as well. The description of the heat, sounds and smells of 1960’s Tehran is as evocative as anything Fleming came up with.

Devil May Care

Bond is recalled from a sabbatical in Rome to investigate the activities of Dr Julius Gorner. The action takes him from Paris to Iran, to Russia and then back to Paris, with several other countries thrown in for good measure.

Gorner is a perfect Bond villain - crazy for power, ruthless, surrounded by menacing henchmen, and with a deformed hand thrown in for good measure. The description of his lair lends itself more to the movies I feel, as does the description of some of the fight scenes, but he’s a worthy adversary for our hero.

And Bond wouldn’t be Bond without the gorgeous girl in tow, and here the role is taken by the wonderfully named Scarlett Papava who meets up with Bond in Paris and asks for his help.

Faulks has managed to capture the feel of the original books and takes care to describe what Bond is wearing, what he eats and drinks and what he’s smoking (his favourite brand are Morland, hand made with three gold bands around the tip).

Bond himself is still pretty much as I remember him, a little mellower perhaps but still essentially the same, ruthless, professional, cold or charming - depending on the circumstances - and cynical to the core! Oh yes, and he still has black hair and grey eyes (Daniel Craig fans take note!).

All the old characters are here too - Bond’s Scottish housekeeper May, his secretary Leolia Ponsonby, Felix Leiter, late of the CIA, Moneypenny and of course, M.

All in all, a thoroughly good read, very enjoyable and an excellent new chapter in the life of James Bond.

“DEVIL MAY CARE” has been released simultaneously in the US (via Doubleday) and the UK (via Penguin) to mark what would have been Fleming’s 100th birthday – 28 May, 2008.

The book runs to 304 pages and has a recommended USA price of $24.95, with the English edition available at £18.99 – or less from

And now, thanks to Cult TV and Doubleday, you could have had the opportunity to put one of two copies of the AMERICAN EDITION available to win on to your mantelpiece, in our prize competition. Yes, we don’t cop out with an English edition, you guys get genuine editions from across the pond to savour!

All you had to do was tell us the answer to the following question: What was the name of James Bond’s Secretary in Devil May Care? The answer was Leolia Ponsonby and the winners were Colin Hutson of Colchester, Essex, and Janette Stonehouse of Hartlepool. Well done both!

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