Ian Fleming Publications Ltd celebrates the man who created James Bond with the publication of two of his rarer titles – Thrilling Cities and The Diamond Smugglers. Unavailable for many years, these works of non-fiction are reissued with introductions by Jan Morris and Fergus Fleming. Publication date 25 June 2009.
“All my life I have been interested in adventure…”
Ian Fleming, Thrilling Cities, 1963
Ian Fleming’s richly fascinating life was not only the backdrop for the adventures of the world’s most famous spy, but also led him to travel through many of the world’s most exotic cities. After his wartime work in the Admiralty, where he drew up memos mapping out the creation of the CIA, Ian Fleming worked for Kelmsey Newspapers, perfecting the sharp journalistic style so evident in his much-loved Bond books. His carefully honed writing skills also led him to create these two books, both originally published in his lifetime, and now lovingly reprinted by the company he founded.
Ian Fleming’s Thrilling Cities
Thrilling Cities is a collection of travel pieces originally written in 1959 and 1960 for The Sunday Times. In it, Fleming turns his inimitable eye on 14 separate cities. The fleshpots of Macao, Tokyo and Hamburg feature alongside explorations of the Mafia culture in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. At every stop he uncovers fresh nuggets of interest. In Naples, for example, he wangles an introduction to Lucky Luciano, the notorious Chicago gangster of Capone-era fame. Written in the days when a De Havilland Comet took 12 hours to fly from London to Beirut, this is a rich and enjoyable tapestry of the world as it once was – a must for lovers of travel and great writing.
As Jan Morris writes, in a masterly introduction: “He travelled in the spirit of 007, with an eye always for the slinky and the significant, in places where martinis were shaken not stirred, and all life could be viewed with a cool raised eyebrow.”
Thrilling Cities gives you a glorious glimpse of the world as it once was – a must for lovers of travel and great writing.
Ian Fleming’s The Diamond Smugglers
The Diamond Smugglers is a book that starts with a phone call. ‘One day in April 1957,’ Fleming writes, ‘I had just answered a letter from an expert in unarmed combat writing from a cover address in Mexico City, and I was thanking a fan in Chile, when my telephone rang…” The voice at the other end asks if he’d like an assignment. Within weeks he is in Tangier speaking to “John Blaize”, an ex-MI5 agent now contracted by a diamond firm to break an international smuggling ring. Fleming picks up the trail in a unique piece of investigative journalism that combines treasure and travel, cunning and criminality – the elements that had always attracted the creator of James Bond.
This new edition is presented with an introduction by Fleming’s nephew, Fergus Fleming, himself an acclaimed writer of travel and exploration.
“As richly fascinating as a James Bond thriller” – the original strapline when the book was published in 1957 still holds true today.
Kate Grimond, Ian Fleming’s niece and Chairman of Ian Fleming Publications, comments, ‘It is great to see Thrilling Cities and The Diamond Smugglers back in print. Fleming’s writing never fails to provide enjoyment and readers will find much to enjoy in these two books.’ Corinne Turner, Managing Director of Ian Fleming Publications Ltd, said ‘We are extremely proud to be able to continue the literary legacy of Ian Fleming, the creator of the world’s best-loved spy, with the publication of these non-fiction books. It is exciting to see Thrilling Cities and The Diamond Smugglers back in print and under Ian Fleming Publications’ own imprint as well. These two books are a tribute to the enduring style and sophistication of Fleming’s writing.’
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