The Real James Bond: A True Story of Identity Theft, Avian Intrigue, and Ian Fleming

The Real James Bond: A True Story of Identity Theft, Avian Intrigue, and Ian Fleming

Posted by jack_miller | Published 5 months ago

With 19 ratings

By: Jim Wright

Purchased At: $19.99

Whatever happened to him actually outshines anything I’ve had my James Bond do. —Ian Fleming
James Bond: author, ornithologist, marksman, and . . . identity-theft victim? When James Bond published his landmark book, Birds of the West Indies, he had no idea it would set in motion events that would link him to the most iconic spy in the Western world and turn his life upside down. Born into a wealthy family but cut off in his early twenties, James Bond took off to the West Indies in search of adventure. Armed with arsenic and a shotgun, he took months-long excursions to the Caribbean to collect material for his iconic book, Birds of the West Indies, navigating snake-infested swamps, sleeping in hammocks, and island-hopping on tramp steamers and primitive boats. Packed with archival photos, many never before published, and interviews with Bond's colleagues, here is the real story of the pipe-smoking, ruthless ornithologist who introduced the world to the exotic birds of the West Indies.
A fun and informative read. Birders and non-birders will enjoy the information on the namesake of James Bond 007. The book is fast paced and is a quick and enjoyable read.

- melania_robinson

What an incredible story! You don't have to be a birder to be fascinated with Wright's tale of the real James Bond. High quality printing with great pictures. You'll want to tell your friends about this story.

- kevin_smith

A very well-written biography - a quirky but trie story.

- reginald_torres

I gave the book as a gift: the recipient was very pleased with all aspects of this interesting story!

- dustin_clark

Reading about the real James Bond, the ornithologist whose name Ian Fleming stole when he wrote his first spy novel to calm his nerves before getting married, is far more interesting than I might have imagined. I grab every book about writers I can find, and that was my reason for choosing this one. Luckilyy for Wright, Bond the ornithologist was a fascinating person, if not perhaps the kind of ornithologist we might cheer today. In Bond's time, for instance, a gun was more common than a camera and the specimens collected were shot dead and skinned for preservation. It is really shocking to read how early taxidermists ended up killing themselves through self-poisoning with arsenic. Wright seems to have heavily relied upon Bond's wife's book about her husband, but he makes up for it with all kinds of interesting trivia. The reader cannot help pausing over the list of similarities between Bond and Fleming. Both came from very wealthy families and had admirable educations, for starters. Bond, however, was disinherited by his father for no apparent reason other than that there was a second wife since Bond's mother died young from cancer. That certainly struck a nerve with me~! Where else, too, is one going to find a history of taxidermy and a history of the evolution of ornithology, not to mention the prominent names in the field, especially pertaining to the West Indies, a region of the world favored by both Bond and Fleming? The book gives insight into Fleming's ability to play double agent in the world of book reviews: he may have reviewed his own first Bond thriller according to Julia Blakely of the rare Book Department in the Smithsonian Institution, as she comments on his literary voice being the same in his letters as in one of the first reviews. After all, Fleming worked for the newspaper group that owned the Times. he was its Foreign Manager and therefore responsible for "its stable of correspondents from 1945 . . . until late in 1959." Most writers would like a position like that so they might all the more easily plug their own books! There is much to amuse in The Real James Bond, For instance, once the world found out where Fleming got the name for his secret agent, the Bonds began receiving phone calls from women at night. Mary Bond was a clever promoter of her husband's work and did not take offense, She would say, "Yes, James is here, but this is Pussy Galore and he is busy now."

- zoie_nelson

If you are looking for a thrilling spy novel this is not it.
This book gave some insight in the writer "Ian Fleming" and the person whose name he stole to become the main character in his James Bond books.
The real Mrs. James Bond was an interesting character in her own way. I might have to read her book "To James Bond with Love" . If her husband had let her I think she would have used publicity to its max. The real Jim Bond rather stayed away from the public eye and lived for his discoveries and studies of birds.
A connection is made between the possibility of ornithologists who contributed to covert operations been able to easily go into a territory carrying a shotgun and field glasses and nobody would be given it a second thought.
I was a bit unsettling to learn how many birds where killed for the purpose of studying them and museum displays but I should have realized that was the way it was done.

- kaitlyn_hall

The book arrived right on time, and my daughter is enjoying the book.

- tyson_white

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