Goldeneye: Where Bond Was Born: Ian Fleming's Jamaica

Goldeneye: Where Bond Was Born: Ian Fleming's Jamaica Audible Audiobook – Unabridged

4.5 out of 5 stars 192 ratings

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Product details

Listening Length 9 hours and 20 minutes
Author Matthew Parker
Narrator Roy McMillan
Whispersync for Voice Ready
Audible.com Release Date March 11, 2015
Publisher Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Program Type Audiobook
Version Unabridged
Language English
ASIN B00TSLUJ0S
Best Sellers Rank #275,103 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals)
#105 in Caribbean & West Indies History
#158 in Jamaica Caribbean & West Indies History
#1,162 in Biographies of Authors

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
192 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on September 4, 2021
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great reading that packs lots of information in!
Reviewed in the United States on September 4, 2021
I just came back from staying at Ian Fleming's Goldeneye resort in Jamaica and it really left an impression. I've always been a James Bond fan and have just started reading more about the fascinating character who wrote the books. A real life intelligence officer who was born wealthy and enjoyed the finer things.

This book is a little all over the place ... it skips back and forth from Fleming to Oracabesa, Jamaica. You have to be a lover of history to enjoy this book. Don't expect it to be only exciting spy stories or biography type stuff with lots of gossip. That stuff is in there ... but it's mixed in with the history and economics of Jamaica.

The pictures are fascinating. You get to see a lot of candids of Ian Fleming, all in black and white. You get to meet the folks in Fleming's inner-circle and outer-circle and glean some inner workings to his methods of writing. There's a lot on Jamaica's politics as is changed from a colony of the crown to a sovereign nation and the troubles that brought.

The writer's style is easy to read, although certainly in-depth. I enjoy how the writing style isn't overly flowery or descriptive. There isn't a lot of salacious or vicious gossip in the book but enough interesting behind the scenes info. to get your attention.

Overall this is an enjoyable read for any James Bond fan ... or someone who has, or would like to, visit Goldeneye or Jamaica.
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Reviewed in the United States on August 6, 2020
2 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on November 24, 2018
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4.0 out of 5 stars Creative and extraordinary life cut short by alcohol and excess.
Reviewed in the United States on November 24, 2018
James Bond’s creator, Ian Fleming had an interesting life and Parker’s book highlights his time in Jamaica, which seemed especially idyllic at times. Parker also suggests that James Bond’s adventures were particularly appealing to the British public after the second world war and during the years of post-war austerity because they allowed an especially appealing form of escapism. Such an approach helped lead to the novels’ spectacular success.

James Bond was of course a fictional character and his vices consequently never caught up with him. The same could not be said about Fleming, who drank heavily and like James Bond smoked about 70 cigarettes a day, usually of an extremely high nicotine content. He also had James Bond’s weakness for women and often entered into difficult and sometimes destructive relationships. Late in his life, Fleming’s furious wife was provoked to suggest that if he stayed faithful for a whole three months he might even enjoy it.

Fleming died of heart failure at age 56 largely because of his complete disregard for his own health. This is an especially poignant loss because life could have been wonderful at this time. In Jamaica, when he was writing the Bond novels, he usually did so from his Goldeneye beach house. He would often begin the day snorkeling on his own reef where he enjoyed the many varieties of beautiful fish, and sometimes brought a speargun to obtain his lunch. His Jamaican cook provided him with delicious meals including those made from his own catch of the day. He would then sit at a table near the beach writing his novels and enjoying the beauty of the ocean and also the tropical birds. By the time of his death, two of his books had already been made into movies, and he was doing well financially. Unfortunately, true Bond mania did not hit until the third movie, Goldfinger, was released after his death.

In a weird sort of way, Fleming seem to recognize the problems with his own reckless lifestyle in his later books. In some of these books, Bond’s deadliest enemy is Ernst Stavro Blofeld, who is his exact opposite. Blofeld did not drink or smoke and was not interested in sex. He did not even eat very much. I am not a psychiatrist so I have no idea why Fleming put Bond against this sort of villain, but he seems an unusual creation. In any event, alcohol and nicotine must have been wonderful for Fleming because he gave up everything for them. And everything was a lot.
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Top reviews from other countries

Talk Tidy
5.0 out of 5 stars He bought and fell in love with Goldeneye which became the haven he needed to ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 1, 2014
20 people found this helpful
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Kenneth Barrett
5.0 out of 5 stars From Jamaica with love
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 24, 2019
2 people found this helpful
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Julia
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 30, 2015
12 people found this helpful
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hairy faced git
5.0 out of 5 stars Bang!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 29, 2019
2 people found this helpful
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Mr. R. I. Peck
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book. Like Andrew Lycett's biography of Fleming and ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 19, 2014
13 people found this helpful
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