Ian Fleming: The Complete Man

HarperAudio. Mar. 2024. 29:17 hrs. ISBN 9780063012271. $27.99. BIOG
Twenty-nine hours listening to novelist/biographer Shakespeare’s (The Dancer Upstairs) intriguing biography of Ian Fleming is time well spent. Fleming was much more than the author of the James Bond novels, and Shakespeare’s well-researched account draws on interviews, diaries, and memories of those who loved and admired him. After his father’s heroic death during World War I, young Fleming and his brother were brought up by a domineering and intrusive mother. During World War II, he worked for the British Naval Intelligence and organized a covert commando unit. He might also have been influential in the creation of the American CIA. The first part of the book reveals Fleming’s military actions during World War II, for which he was never officially recognized. Fleming was well connected with many influential people, including Winston Churchill and John F. Kennedy, and was known for his many flagrant affairs with single and married women. British narrator Jonathan Keeble’s engaging performance brings the book to life, with diction that brings James Bond himself to mind.
VERDICT A captivating account of Fleming’s covert operations during World War II and his Bond-like personal life. Recommended for history buffs, particularly those with an interest in WWII espionage.
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