Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Matthew Parker

Matthew Parker's non-fiction books include Monte Cassino: The Hardest-Fought Battle of World War II; the Los Angeles Times bestseller Panama Fever, which was one of the Washington Post’s Best Books of the Year; and The Sugar Barons, which was an Economist Book of the Year.

His latest book is Goldeneye: Where Bond Was Born: Ian Fleming in Jamaica.

From Parker's Q & A at Artistic Licence Renewed:

What inspired you to write about Ian Fleming specifically within the context of his life in Jamaica?

Jamaica has a fascinating, vivid and shocking history, as I discovered when researching my last book, The Sugar Barons. It was for a hundred years the most important place in the British Empire, and more than anywhere else made Britain rich in the eighteenth century through its sugar crop, grown by enslaved Africans. It was also the cruelest and most brutal place in the Empire.

While researching The Sugar Barons, I discovered Goldeneye. I hadn’t known that Fleming spent so much time in Jamaica, or that he had written all the James Bond novels and stories there. So I looked again at the books and found Jamaica everywhere, not just in the siting of three of the novels – Live and Let Die, Dr No, and The Man with the Golden Gun – but in the underwater scenes (Fleming’s best moments), the pirates (mentioned in seven of the novels), the jet set milieu Bond moves in (the North Coast in the 1950s was the most glamorous place in the world to take a holiday), the obsession with race and much more.

James Bond is an imperial hero, projecting British power across the world, putting Britain back on top. I think it is fascinating that he was created in colonial Jamaica, which was changing from imperial throwback to independent nation in the time that Fleming was there, providing a microcosm of...[read on]
Visit Matthew Parker's website.

The Page 99 Test: Goldeneye: Where Bond Was Born.

Coffee with a Canine: Matthew Parker & Danny.

--Marshal Zeringue