Friday, April 3, 2015

Book Review: Matthew Parker’s Goldeneye Where Bond was Born..Day 94 of Bond 365

It’s another day in Bond history in which I do no yet have any events identified, so I thought I would share my thoughts about Matthew Parker’s book, Goldeneye: Where Bond was Born: Ian Fleming’s Jamaica. Happy Friday, by the way!

Goldeneye Where Bond was Born: Ian Fleming’s Jamaica
By Matthew Parker
2015, Pegasus Books

Goldeneye Where Bond was Born: Ian Fleming’s Jamaica by Matthew Parker (2015, Pegasus Books) has been a long time in coming. Where much of Fleming and Bond have been explored and dissected, the little tropical island that was the backdrop for two months for eighteen years has little inspection.

Parker has done extensive research in preparation of this book. It’s a full plate that he most organize, manage, and in some cases, provide a delicate balance of he said/she said without becoming low brow gossipy. In the early chapters, Parker sorts out the cast of characters against the chaotic and changing political fabric of Jamaica and the world. It did feel as though there was some jumping around in these chapters, but Parker gets into a rhythm once Ian Fleming started working on his novels.

What I found fascinating and intriguing were Fleming’s various nods in his books to references – people, places, events – that were important enough for him to set down for posterity. His early novels were particularly well documented by Parker, but by the last few novels, Parker spent more time discussing the plots. I think part of that fact is due to Fleming’s stories be set elsewhere than Jamaica.

Matthew Parker, author
My one criticism, which truly arises from my personal preference, is that Parker spent a considerable amount of time detailing the political climate. It makes complete sense, given the changing attitudes towards imperialism/colonialism, racism, etc., however my interest waned during those sections. With that said, I still believe this is a worthwhile book for those who enjoy the films and do not know much about the books and Jamaica, this would be a good starting point. For the seasoned Bond aficionado, it’s a must because it is about Fleming and Bond.

As to the book trimmings: there are black and white photographs throughout the book and a small section of color photographs. I appreciated the selection and felt like I got to see just about everyone that had come in and out of Fleming’s life at Goldeneye. In the back of the book, Parker provided picture and quotation credits, endnotes, a selected bibliography, and a thorough index, which was impressive. 

© Copyright. Michele Brittany. 2011 - 2015. All rights reserved. All text, graphics, and photos are protected by US and International Copyright Laws, and may not be copied, reprinted, published, translated, hosted, or otherwise distributed by any means without written permission.

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