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'Solo' author William Boyd updates Fleming's approach to Africans, sex

22-Sep-2013 • Literary

Author William Boyd, who has penned the next James Bond continuation novel 'Solo' (out later this week in the UK), has explained how difficult he finds it to read Ian Fleming's descriptions of 'negros' in the 60 year-old book "Live And Let Die", and has brought Bond in to more modern thinking even though the new adventure is set in 1969.

Boyd, who was born in Ghana in 1952 and spent his childhood travelling between Africa and his Scottish boarding school Gordonstoun, said: "It's unbelievable to read now. I think if you were of that privileged upper class, born at the beginning of the 20th century, you were probably racist, sexist, right wing and anti-Semitic."

In the interview with The Times published at the weekend, Boyd also reveals that Bond beds his first conquest on page 86 of the new novel, but also said he felt he needed to improve on Fleming's writing in that department, too.
"The sex can veer from terrible Barbara Cartland romanticism to almost sadism. I deliberately wrote those scenes well, not in the way Fleming would write them."

Boyd also reveals that he had had arguments with the Fleming estate over his plot line that made Bond into an assassin.

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