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Sebastian Faulks is the new James Bond author

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

SEBASTIAN Faulks, author of Birdsong and Charlotte Gray, has been chosen to write the new James Bond novel Devil May Care, which will be published on May 28, 2008 to mark the centenary of Ian Fleming’s birth.

Although the Fleming estate announced last year that it had commissioned a “well known and highly respected” writer for the work, the author’s identity has only just emerged. And understandably, Faulks was flattered:

“I was surprised but flattered to be asked by the Fleming estate last summer if I would write a one-off Bond book for the Ian Fleming Centenary. I told them that I hadn’t read the books since the age of 13, but if, when I re-read them, I still enjoyed them and could see how I might be able to do something in the same vein, then I would be happy to consider it.”

And of the books themselves, he said:

“On re-reading, I was surprised by how well the books stood up. I put this down to three things – the sense of jeopardy Fleming creates about his solitary hero, a certain playfulness in the narrative details, and a crisp, journalistic style that hasn’t dated.”

In true Bond tradition, Devil May Care is set during the Cold War and played out in “several of the world’s most thrilling cities”

In total, Fleming wrote 14 James Bond novels. The first, in 1953, was Casino Royale which was filmed only last year with Daniel Craig as 007. While the last, Octopussy and the Living Daylights was published in 1966, two years after Fleming’s death. Both titles have been filmed – with Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton as Bond.

As yet, it’s not known if Devil May Care will follow suit.