“I WOULD REMEMBER HIM FOREVER AS MY IMAGE OF A MAN”: IAN FLEMING'S THE SPY WHO LOVED ME
FLEMING, Ian. The Spy Who Loved Me. London: Jonathan Cape, (1962). Octavo, original brown paper boards with silver-gilt, red endpapers, original dust jacket. $3000.
First edition of Fleming’s tenth Bond thriller—the author’s unusual examination of his super-spy “from the other end of the gun barrel.”
"A significant departure from usual," The Spy Who Loved Me, in which 007 appears only toward the end of the book, proved to be "the easiest thing [Fleming] had ever done" (Lycett, 381). As he had while composing From Russia, With Love (1957) and Thunderball (1961), the author again toyed with the idea of killing off his phenomenally popular super spy. Although the title page lists the book as being written by Ian Fleming with Vivienne Michel, the "coauthorship credit is a hoax: Vivienne Michel was the name of the wife of one of Fleming's golfing companions in Jamaica" (Biondi & Pickard, 47). Fleming "had become alarmed that his earlier thrillers, designed for an adult audience, were increasingly read in schools… where young people made a hero out of James Bond… He did not regard Bond as a heroic figure 'but only as an efficient professional in his job.' Therefore he had sought to write a 'cautionary tale' to put the record straight, particularly for his younger readers. Unable to do this in his usual narrative style, he had invented a heroine 'through whom I could examine Bond from the other end of the gun barrel, so to speak'" (Lycett, 401-02). Without quad mark between "E" and "M" of "Fleming" on title page (no priority established). Made into the 1977 film of the same title, starring Roger Moore and Barbara Bach. Gilbert A10a (1.1).
Book fine, dust jacket with minor toning and wear to spine ends, a bit of soiling to rear panel. A near-fine copy.