While yesterday saw Sebastian Faulk’s Devil May Care marking the centenary of Ian Fleming, another James Bond novel was released: the paperback edition of Charlie Higson’s Hurricane Gold.
First released back in September of last year, the fourth novel in Higson’s monumentally popular Young Bond series finds James in Mexico where he encounters several of the world’s deadliest gangsters and a female villainess named Mrs. Glass. Along the way, he teams up with a girl named Precious Stone while trying to escape.
Higson sat down with the BBC News to discuss his novel as well as the wide appeal of the James Bond character.
‘[Bond’s] a fantasy creation of the man we would all like to be,’ Higson describes. ‘He always knows what to do in any given situation. He knows how to order fine wines and food in restaurants, he knows how to chat up women, he’s always got the best car and designer outfits.’
‘Ever since he was created in the Fifties he’s been changed by each generation to represent the male aspirations of that generation.’
Higson also discussed how elements like sex and death–things that would be considered normal in a Fleming Bond adventure–need to be treated slightly differently in a story like Hurricane Gold.
‘It is slightly tricky,’ he reveals. ‘The key ingredients of James Bond are smoking heavily, drinking heavily, driving fast cars, shooting people, lots of women–not anything you can have a 13-year-old kid in a series of children’s books doing.’
‘I did have lunch with him. He’s still hoping he can maintain a dignified distance from it all. I’m not sure he’s going to be able to. Once you step into the world of Bond you tend to get consumed by it.’ – Charlie Higson on discussing 007 with Devil May Care author Sebastian Faulks
‘So I try and get those elements into the books one way or another, whether it’s him doing it or other people. But certainly [I want] to immerse himself in that world where those things happen.’
Focusing specifically on the violence, Higson detailed how he manages to evade some common problems: ‘That’s the one side you can get away with. The kids love it. I try to put the violence into perspective and have a moral framework, but by setting Hurricane in a faraway location like the Caribbean I can get away with a little bit more.’
When the inevitable “Are there going to be Young Bond movies?” question came up, Higson said to expect Young Bond to remain in literary form, at least for a while.
‘The main thrust of these books was to get kids reading, and also to remind people of the literary origins of James Bond. We didn’t want to rush into making films, because the kids would just want to watch the films. There are discussions ongoing but it may be some time.’
Stay tuned to the CommanderBond.net main page for all the latest Hurricane Gold and Young Bond coverage.