Searching the globe for the real James Bond

New York Magazine’s The Vulture has a piece today about Ian Fleming’s post-war life in Jamaica. Fleming built a house called Goldeneye and it is believed that Fleming’s Jamaican life is the source of the James Bond character. At his Jamaican home Fleming wrote all of the Bond novels and rubbed elbows with artists who began to seek refuge on the island, including Noel Coward, Graham Greene and Truman Capote. But the James Bond character began to germinate before Fleming’s time in Jamaica, while he was serving as a British Naval Intelligence Officer for MI5 and was sent to stay at a luxurious hotel in Portugal.

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‘Six characters in search of an author’ (or the unexpected virtue of ignorance)


Luigi Pirandello’s Six characters in search of an author is the 1921 selection for the 100 year book club. The Italian play is about a family seeking a theatre company and a writer, so that the company might take the family’s drama and act it out, thus absolving them of it. Are you following? Through the play the family reveals its crimes; adultery, incest, abandonment, to the theatre manager and his actors until the full truth of their anger and sorrow is revealed.

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Bookish tie-ins in Shondaland and other stories

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A couple of major publications took time over the weekend to write about some of RBR’s favourite things. Thanks guys!

Elise Taylor at Vanity Fair hypothesizes that How to Get Away With Murder is inspired by Donna Tartt’s classic novel The Secret History. We’re obsessed with the Viola Davis-driven show, have long been smitten with Tartt’s novel, and love nothing more than a pop culture-literary fiction tie-in. Remember when we proved that Murakami’s latest novel was a Gossip Girl fanfic?

Meanwhile, at New York Magazine, we take a close look at New York’s the Strand bookstore and learn how they’ve managed to stay afloat in the age of Amazon.

Lots of great bookish reading makes for easier Monday mornings.