An unpublished original manuscript of a hitherto unknown James Bond novel
uncovered last week. The discovery was made at Goldeneye, the bungalow
Ian Fleming resided up until his death in 1964.
The bungalow was sold in 1965 to a wealthy plantation owner called Jason
However the home had only been occupied by Mr. Biggins and his wife during
their annual vacation and neither of them had inspected the extensive
until late last week when Mrs. Biggins made the amazing discovery of the
manuscipt for a James Bond novel by the creator of the series.
It is not known when the new manuscipt was written although it seems to
on from 1963's "You Only Live Twice". The new manuscript entitled "The
Life of Russia" is perhaps Fleming's most poignant known novel in which a
and amnesiac James Bond finds himself captured by Russians off the coast of
Japan and becomes brainwashed into joining the Russian Secret Service. In
ensuing adventure, Bond finds himself face to face with an old foe whilst
desperately attempting to regain his memory. Experts believe that this
fills in the gaps between the 1963 novel "You Only Live Twice" and the 1964
novel "The Man With the Golden Gun".
Experts from the Florida James Bond Society have already inspected the
document, which they say was written before Fleming's death in 1964, and are
convinced of its authenticity.
Charles Irving of the Florida James Bond Society was ecstatic:
"This is without doubt the real thing. It is Fleming's style! The writing
has his eye for details, his penchant for painstaking descriptions of food,
beverages and guns."
However, British experts have expressed guarded skepticism and will be
to Jamaica next week to examine the manuscript, some of which is allegedly
written in Fleming's own handwriting. An inspection of Fleming's old
typewriter ribbons is expected to confirm beyond doubt the authenticity of
The find, once confirmed, is expected to generate considerable interest from
publishers, and the Biggins family have already been besieged with
Although the manuscript would otherwise be the property of Fleming's
next-of-kin, the Biggins family have become the owners under an obscure
Jamaican law which dictates that any discoveries of treasure and valuables
belong to the owner of the property.
"Remember to face the sun and you will never see the shadows"
From "The Caribbean Bugle", Friday 27 April
Ian Fleming was author of the James Bond novels which became the basis to
long-running - and highly successful - film series. Following his death,
several James Bond books were written by authors imitating his style, but
of these achieved the same critical acclaim or popularity of Fleming's
original Bond books.
"Dr. Ewan Jackson" <little...@MailAndNews.com> wrote in message
> fills in the gaps between the 1963 novel "You Only Live Twice" and the 1964
> novel "The Man With the Golden Gun".
Regardless of the authenticity or otherwise of this manuscript, there is
one overriding consideration: Fleming went on to write The Man With the
Golden Gun and he styled the opening chapters so that they would stand
on their own, with no hint of missing material to fill the gap since
Sure, we know from TMWTGG that Bond was captured in Russia and
brainwashed into an assassination attempt on M. This is revealed in the
book that was finished and published. This manuscript, if authentic,
represents nothing more than a discarded idea. Obviously it could not
have a "happy ending", or even a resolution which vindicates Bond in any
way, otherwise there could be no continuity for his reappearance in
London in TMWTGG. It should not be published as a "novel" - perhaps
someone should talk to the Tolkien family about how to handle the
pen-scratchings of the writer many years after his death with the saga
"We are going," said Slartibartfast, "to confront
an ancient nightmare of the universe."
"And where are you going to drop us off?"
There is a considerable difference between being the owner of a
manuscript and having copyright.
Now, this manuscript was presumably not copyrighted; I know that in the
US at that time copyright registration was required (prior to the
ratification of the Berne convention). It *might* be possible for the
owner to acquire copyright through British or Jamaican law. But under
modern copyright law, the manuscript would be considered copyrighted
automatically by Fleming himself, with or without registration, on a
In any event, publication would surely run afoul of trademark laws.
Dan Hartung * dan [at] dhartung [dot] com
Lake Effect weblog: http://www.lakefx.nu/
Indeed. It is entirely likely that this manuscript was a discarded idea.
knows? I am eagerly awaiting further details. I believe there's some more
info in other newspapers. I'll post these articles as I find them.
>Sure, we know from TMWTGG that Bond was captured in Russia and
>brainwashed into an assassination attempt on M. This is revealed in the
>book that was finished and published. This manuscript, if authentic,
>represents nothing more than a discarded idea. Obviously it could not
>have a "happy ending", or even a resolution which vindicates Bond in any
>way, otherwise there could be no continuity for his reappearance in
>London in TMWTGG. It should not be published as a "novel" - perhaps
>someone should talk to the Tolkien family about how to handle the
>pen-scratchings of the writer many years after his death with the saga
Maybe Fleming decided that "The Secret Life Of Russia" was too dark, or too
un-"Bondlike" - a tale which has Bond working for an enemy secret service
perhaps a dangerous and uncommercial idea at the time of the Cold War (and
especially in the 60s). Whatever the case, I am eagerly awaiting further
of this previously unknown manuscript.
Sounds like a late April Fool's joke.
> on from 1963's "You Only Live Twice". The new manuscript entitled "The
> Secret Life of Russia" is perhaps Fleming's most poignant known novel in
This is a very odd bit of journalism. Surely the reporter breaking this
story didn't read the manuscript (I can't picture it: those owners are
going to let it out of their sight; and he's not going to spend hours
pouring over it with them watching). And yet, it's referred to as
"Fleming's most poignant known novel", first off, it's not a known novel,
it's an unknown novel.
This reads like a sales pitch. I think it's a hoax.
It's always interesting when lost fragments of an author come to life.
Like how most of Robert E. Howard's uncompleted efforts were since completed
by other writers.
Or Edgar Rice Burroughs, there were a number of fragments.
A few years back an author completed a fragment of a novel that Dorothy
Sayers started about Lord Peter Wimsey, THRONES, DOMINATIONS.
And there was an odd instance of a Sherlock Holmes short story that was
found among Doyle's papers, and it was later published in THE STRAND as a
lost Holmes tale.... but it turned out it was a story someone had sent to
Doyle, and Doyle paid the guy 20 pounds just to get the guy to stop
Forget it folks, the whole thing is a hoax.
So what about this other new Bond book then? <g>
"Feared by the bad, loved by the good, accepted by the moderate"
"I'm not in Tim's category, true. I can only hope to
bask in his geekiness.:)" - Darrell Hiebert (rec.games.frp.gurps)
So what about this other new Bond book then? <g>
Never Dream of Dying..Raymond Benson ;-?
Still, it's a book I dearly wish Ian Fleming HAD written. I would
trade it (if authentic) sight unseen for the disappointing and
unpolished final novel he never got to revise. Sigh...
> Still, it's a book I dearly wish Ian Fleming HAD written. I would
> trade it (if authentic) sight unseen for the disappointing and
> unpolished final novel he never got to revise. Sigh...
For all it's faults, I find TMWTGG a good read and one of my fav Flemings.
Clearly unfinished - but given that Fleming wasn't so big on revisions it's
not so bad. But, I'd admit to being in a minority.
Considering everything Bond had been through since YOU ONLY LIVE
TWICE, I was a bit disappointed that he was de-brainwashed,
re-programmed and sent back into action as if nothing had happened. He
didn't seem to be the same man who had lost his wife and been rethinking
his life before the Japan episode. Bond in his final adventure seems
rather bland and mechanical.
I would have loved a Fleming book set in the Soviet Union in 1964,
with Bond fighting to regain his memory but being swamped by the Russian
indoctrination. It would in effect have been a horror story and Fleming
might have done some melancholy atmosphere well suited to this time in
his own life.
Of course, it's all 'What If?'...
> Considering everything Bond had been through since YOU ONLY LIVE
> TWICE, I was a bit disappointed that he was de-brainwashed,
> re-programmed and sent back into action as if nothing had happened.
Oh no! I'm sorry, the answer is "The Moops".
M was not blind to the seriousness of either Bond's situation or his
crime, but he retained a deep-seated concern and care for the man who
had been his best agent and even his friend. He reasoned that he had no
choice - send Bond to prison or send him out in a blaze of glory. The
Chief of Staff knew what the size of the task was: "You cold hearted
Then, Bond may have been debrainwashed but it certainly was not the work
of a couple of days. It is November when Bond returns to London and
*May* when he meets Scaramanga in Savannah-la-Mar. He spent six weeks
in rehabilitation and his reminiscing in Chapter 4 tells us that his
realisation of what had happened, what he had done, stoked the old fires
again. So perhaps he does not have the appearance of a man who has been
through (insert here everything) - but he had certainly been through
quite a lot in the interim and TMWTGG is the story of the "new" Bond,
coming through the fire and emerging victorious, all his demons
> didn't seem to be the same man who had lost his wife and been rethinking
> his life before the Japan episode. Bond in his final adventure seems
> rather bland and mechanical.
To be honest, it does have problems, and plenty of contriving of plot,
but bland and mechanical it is not. Bond vacillates throughout, right
up to the final moment of truth with Scaramanga, and it is the
fallibility and foibles of our hero which make him interesting. Roger
Ramjet would simply take a Proton Pill and deal with Scaramanga, but
Bond is struggling for a plan and there is enough there to keep the
I think you spelled his name wrong.
It's certainly an interesting conversion, though, digging in a smial
next to Goldeneye.
I can not claim any particular perspicuity here, having first seen the
post in which you admitted the hoax; what I would find impossible to
believe, though, is that a book could be written about the events
immediately following YOLT. It would seem to me that this just could
In fact, do you see Bond ending up like the man he went to
confront in the short story "Octopussy"? (Drinking steadily, waiting for
the end)The head injury, trip through Russia and eventual revival may
have been the best possible thing for him to experience.
Thanks Raymond, I thought it was just a little too good to be true.
"Shadows stay behind or in front...but never on top."