James Bond returns in new novel

Wed May 28, 2008 8:00am EDT
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By Jeremy Lovell

LONDON (Reuters) - A warship moored in the Thames River, and Royal Marines mounted guard on Tuesday to mark the return to action of the world's most famous spy, James Bond, in a new novel.

"Devil May Care," published on Wednesday, is the latest adventure for the hard-drinking, womanizing action hero created by Ian Fleming and adored by millions worldwide through 14 books and a series of blockbuster films.

Penned by British novelist Sebastian Faulks at the request of Fleming's estate, the latest novel is set in 1967 and portrays the aging secret agent as vulnerable and damaged but with an undiminished sex drive.

Publication marks the centenary of Fleming's birth.

To honor Bond's code name 007, Faulks signed seven copies of the book, which were then taken under guard from HMS Exeter to a book store in central London ahead of publication.

Faulks is better known for his wartime novels such as "Charlotte Gray" and "Birdsong." He admits he was somewhat daunted when asked to write as Fleming, describing it as counter-casting.

But the idea grew on him and he warmed to the task, emulating Fleming's rigid work schedule and studying his plot lines and prose for inspiration.

"In his house in Jamaica, Ian Fleming used to write a thousand words in the morning, then go snorkeling, have a cocktail, lunch on the terrace, more diving, another thousand words in late afternoon, then more Martinis and glamorous women," Faulks said.   Continued...

<p>Model Tuuli Shipster holding a case containing the first seven copies of writer Sebastian Faulks' new James Bond book entitled 'Devil May Care' arrives for its launch in London May 27, 2008. REUTERS/Alessia Pierdomenico</p>