A New Fleming

In the movies, there’s been several James Bonds, each with his own appeal. In books, a few authors have tried to revive the series since Ian Fleming’s death, to limited success. The Wall Street Journal today examines a new attempt that may finally bring back lustre to the franchise, Devil May Care; The New James Bond Novel by Sebastian Faulks. Doubleday is releasing 250,000 copies and Barnes & Noble is taking a major position on it. “The downturn in the economy has prompted a demand for escapist fare,” Bob Wietrak, B&N’s head buyer, tells WSJ.

Publishers Weekly recently covered the unexpected choice of author Sebastian Faulks by the Fleming estate. Faulks, not well-known in the US, has sold over two million copies of his WWI trilogy (The Girl at the Lion D’Or , 1989; Birdsong, 1993 and Charlotte Gray, 1998) in the UK. Faulks himself, was surprised by the idea. He tells Publishers Weekly,

The last book I’d finished at that point was 650 pages about Victorian psychiatry…. I’d never written a thriller, I didn’t even really read thrillers, and I told [the Fleming estate] I wouldn’t know where to begin.

So, he turned to the source, Fleming’s books,

I liked the elegance of the style as well as a certain playfulness—not the heavy camp groaning jokes of the Roger Moore films, but the feeling that Fleming occasionally winks at you and isn’t taking it all too seriously.

Library ordering is generally cautious and a few have not ordered it at all (the book is embargoed, so no pre-pub reviews). This is one to watch.

Meanwhile, consider putting Faulks earlier titles on display.

Devil May Care

by Sebastian Faulks

  • Hardcover: $24.95
  • Publisher: Doubleday (May 28, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0385524285
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385524285
  • Audio CD: Unabridged, $29.95
  • Publisher: Random House Audio; (May 28, 2008)
  • Reader: Tristan Layton
  • ISBN-10: 0739366211
  • ISBN-13: 978-0739366219
  • Large Type: $24.95
  • Publisher: Random House, (May 28, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0739327852
  • ISBN-13: 978-0739327852

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