Folio Society - Ian Fleming Special Editions



  • edited March 16 Posts: 507
    Revelator wrote: »

    Whooooosh! Go Vivienne, go!
    How superb Dalton's illustrations are--they convey a period feel without being fustian, show attractive women without devolving into cheesecake, and their brushwork has the elegance of Fleming's prose. If I was a rich man I would commission her to extensively illustrate all the novels in the way that Sidney Paget illustrated the Sherlock Holmes stories.

    "The Folio Society has also reintroduced Ian Fleming’s original prologue, which had been removed from all modern editions of the text. In an unusual move by the author, this short introduction suggests that the manuscript had been left on his desk by Vivienne Michel, the book’s narrator."

    Excellent! The prologue was in the very first copy I bought and should be in every one. Besides showing Fleming at his most charming, it contextualizes the book, and confuses younger readers into thinking that Vivienne Michel really existed and wrote every bit as well as Ian Fleming!

    "The Spy Who Loved Me offers a fascinating look at the sexual politics of the early 1960s. At the time, Fleming was concerned to learn that his books were being read in schools and that children saw Bond as an unequivocal hero, rather than as an often ruthless and cold secret agent. It prompted him to write ‘a cautionary tale about Bond, to put the record straight in the minds particularly of younger readers’."

    And Fleming messed up, because TSWLM becomes a love letter to Bond from his creator, with Vivienne disregarding the police chief's warning as she rides away, still smitten with Bond. The confusions and rich stew of cross-gendered emotions in TSWLM make it one of the most fascinating Bond books.

    What a superb appreciation of this edition by the great ‘Revelator’.

    The Pussy agrees completely with him regarding his appreciation of Dalton’s illustrations. Her brushwork does indeed have the elegance of Fleming’s prose. What a great way to describe it. Fay Dalton is a fabulous artist and it is her work that make these editions so collectible.

    Why ‘Folio’ don’t do a selection of prints for aficionados to buy has PussyNoMore scratching his well coiffured head ?

    Regarding the novel itself, the premise that Fleming wrote it because he was in some way disturbed that his books were being read in schools is preposterous. PussyNoMore knows that this was part of his PR release at the time but in reality he was revelling in the notoriety of his work amongst the young.

    Indeed, if that had indeed been the case, he certainly wouldn’t have responded to the issue by writing his most sexually explicit novel !

    If this work had anything to do with the young, it was probably Fleming thinking ‘I know they are reading Bond under the bed sheets and headmasters hate it. Now I’ll really give them something to worry about ......’

    All deeply ironic for PussyNoMore because this was the book that got him into deep doodoo at his school.

    The funny thing about the novel is that it really stands the test of time.

    It was a brave departure from his tried and tested format. He writes in the first person and as a woman beautifully. And he completely captures the zeitgeist of the early ‘60s and the emerging modernism of that time.

    In PussyNoMore’s not so humble opinion the work was part of a continuing love affair with America and was his attempt to write a ‘noir’ in the style of ‘Key Lago’ and he succeeds beautifully.

    Panned by many critics ( notably not the female ones ), this is the book Fleming tried to bury. Happily he failed and this new, beautiful edition is a great way to discover or re-discover it.

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