James Bond is one of the most mysterious, popular, beloved, and misunderstood characters ever to exist in action-adventure flicks. What some Bond fans don’t know, however, is that he was featured in several novels before he ever graced the big screen. Although the films are now the most famous display of Bond’s charms and intrigue, the novels are definitely worth reading.
With the 007 (pronounced Double-Oh-Seven) code name, James Bond was created by novelist Ian Fleming in 1953. The book was so successful that Fleming ended up writing 12 novels and two short story collections that featured Bond as a main character. “The Times” even named Fleming as the fourteenth greatest writer on its list of the best British writers since 1945.
Born Ian Lancaster Fleming on May 28, 1908 in Mayfair, a wealthy section of London, England, the future author was no stranger to tragedy early in his life. His father, Valentine Fleming, was killed during World War I just over a week before young Ian’s ninth birthday. Ian spent many years at the Dumford School, a preparatory school that was very harsh on the sensitive young man. He endured bullying and hated the food. He later went on to Eton College where he edited the school magazine, his first serious adventure into journalism and writing.
As we all know, Ian later became a novelist. In addition to the Bond series, he penned the much-loved “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” which Disney later adapted into a feature film.
Several other authors wrote books on James Bond after Fleming passed away in 1964, but the books of the original author and creator of James Bond is especially beloved and remembered.