Wednesday, April 18, 2012

William Boyd to write new James Bond novel

© Michael Fennell/Creative Commons
William Boyd, the award-winning and bestselling author of Restless, Any Human Heart and the latest Waiting for Sunrise, is to write the next James Bond novel, HarperCollins Publishers announced in a press release.

The novel, which is yet to be titled, will be published in autumn 2013 by HarperCollins Publishers in the US and Canada and simultaneously in the UK and Commonwealth by Jonathan Cape — Ian Fleming’s original publisher and an imprint of Vintage Publishing.

According to the release, William Boyd is the third author in recent years to be invited by the Ian Fleming estate to write an official Bond novel, following in the footsteps of the American thriller writer Jeffery Deaver, who wrote Carte Blanche in 2011, and Sebastian Faulks, whose Devil May Care was published to mark Ian Fleming’s centenary in 2008.

The first James Bond novel
Boyd is a writer of international acclaim whose 11 novels and short-story collections have been translated into over 30 languages with many of them adapted for film and television. While the details and title of the next 007 adventure naturally remain secret, the author has revealed that next year’s publication will mark a return to "classic Bond" and will be set in the late 1960s, the statement said.

"When the Ian Fleming estate invited me to write the new James Bond novel I accepted at once. For me the prospect appeared incredibly exciting and stimulating — a once-in-a-lifetime challenge. In fact, my father introduced me to the James Bond novels in the 1960s and I read them all then — From Russia with Love being my favourite," Boyd commented.

Corinne Turner, Managing Director, Ian Fleming Publications Ltd, confirmed the development: "William Boyd is a contemporary English writer whose classic novels combine literary elements with a broad appeal. His thrillers occupy the niche that Ian Fleming would fill were he writing today and with similar style and flair. This alongside his fascination with Fleming himself makes him the perfect choice to take Bond back to his 1960s world."

Boyd's favourite 007 novel
In addition to the publication of the new novel, 2013 is a significant year for Bond, marking 60 years since Ian Fleming’s first James Bond novel, Casino Royale, was published by Jonathan Cape in 1953. Cape was also the publisher of the first ever official Bond novel following Fleming’s death in 1964, when Kingsley Amis took up the mantle writing Colonel Sun as Robert Markham in 1968, the release stated.

Iris Tupholme, Vice President, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, HarperCollins Canada, remarked: "William Boyd, whose mastery of plot and character has won him readers all over the world, is the right person to take the beloved James Bond in a new, fresh direction. We are delighted to be publishing the new Bond novel in Canada."

William Boyd said further, "The fascination (for Ian Fleming) went so far that I placed him as a character in my novel Any Human Heart where he’s responsible for recruiting the novel’s protagonist, Logan Mountstuart, into the Naval Intelligence Division in World War II.

"One other coincidence should be mentioned. It turns out that I’ve worked with three of the actors who have played James Bond over the years. They’ve all starred in films that I’ve written: Sean Connery in A Good Man in Africa, Pierce Brosnan in Mr Johnson, and Daniel Craig in The Trench. The idea that these somewhat random connections with Fleming and Bond should culminate in my writing a new James Bond novel is irresistibly appealing. The only thing I’m prepared to say at this stage about the novel that I will write is that it will be set in 1969." 

Boyd's Bibliography

01. A Good Man in Africa, 1981
02. On the Yankee Station and Other Stories, 1981
03. An Ice-Cream War, 1982
04. Stars and Bars, 1984
05. School Ties, 1985
06. The New Confessions, 1987
07. Brazzaville Beach, 1990
08. The Blue Afternoon, 1993
09. The Destiny of Natalie 'X' and Other Stories, 1995
10. Armadillo, 1998
11. Nat Tate: An American Artist 1928-1960, 1998
12. Any Human Heart, 2002
13. Fascination (collection of short stories) 2004
14. Bamboo, 2005 (non-fiction)
15. Restless, 2006
16. The Dreams of Bethany Mellmoth (short story) Notes from the Underground, 2007
17. Ordinary Thunderstorms, 2009
18. Waiting for Sunrise, 2012


  1. I notice I used to read him but somehow fell away.

  2. Never read any Bond books by anyone but Fleming.

  3. Patti, I read a couple of his books some years ago and I remember liking them at the time. I'd like to look out for the ones I haven't read yet.

  4. Charles, I have read a few by Ian Fleming but not the two Bond novels by Deaver and Faulks. It would be interesting to find out how they compare with Fleming.

  5. I have read several books by Boyd and particularly liked THE BLUE AFTERNOON but was a bit disappointed by RESTLESS, which told its story well but which seemed to wind down alarmingly at the end. He is probably an excellent choice to write this book as he has a strong feeling for the thriller genre and has worked in the cinema too. After Amis/MArkham I never read the new books by Gardner, Benson et al, though I have read the excellent Charlie Higson 'Young Bond'.

    I love the Bond movies generally (not to keen on the Roger Moore ones though) and the early Fleming novels especially (i.e. up to GOLDFINGER) so am keen to see what emerges in 2013 - thanks Prashant.

  6. Sergio, You are welcome. I often come across old Ian Fleming paperbacks and just as I decide to pick up a few for old time's sake, I land up buying other books. The other day I nearly bought myself two tattered copies of Nick Carter but at the last minute switched them for two Mack Bolans. I love the Bond movies too: Roger Moore was quite popular among 007 fans in India in the 1980s.