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New James Bond novel to be set in 1969

12th December 2012

Historical novelist William Boyd, who has been commissioned to write a new James Bond novel by the estate of Ian Fleming, has revealed the new title will be set in '60s London.

The novel, to be published next autumn, follows two recent re-imaginings of the iconic spy, Sebastian Faulks' Devil May Care and Jeffery Deaver's Carte Blanche.

In an interview with Radio Times, Boyd, whose previous bestselling novels include Any Human Heart and Restless, gave little away about the plot of the new book.

'All I will say is it's set in 1969. Fleming died in 1964. He was in his mid-50s, so conceivably if he'd looked after himself a bit better, hadn't smoked and drunk so much, he might have written a James Bond novel in that year,' the author added.

Boyd also claimed Bond has been incorrectly portrayed as a caricature by film directors, when the spy should be insecure and 'a massive boozer'. 'In the films Bond is a cartoon character but in the novels he is far more troubled, nuanced and interesting,' Boyd said.

Fleming charted Bond's life in 13 novels, beginning with Casino Royale in 1953 and ending in 1965 with the posthumously published The Man with the Golden Gun, which remained unfinished. A short story collection, Octopussy and The Living Daylights, was published in 1966.

Since Fleming's death, a host of writers has attempted to recreate the life of 007. A continuation novel, Colonel Sun, was written by Kingsley Amis under the pseudonym Robert Markham and published in 1968, while dozens of titles were published in the '80s and '90s by John Gardner and Raymond Benson before Faulks took the reins in 2008.

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