A new James Bond novel by award-winning British author William Boyd will be published in September.
While details of Boyd’s novel – including its title – are currently under wraps, the estate of Bond creator Ian Fleming confirmed this week that the book will be something of a back-to-basics affair for Agent 007.
“We can reveal that this novel will see a return to the classic Bond era, featuring a 45-year-old 007 in 1969,” said a spokesperson.
The book will be published in Britain on Thursday 26 September by Jonathan Cape, the literary house that published Fleming’s original Bond novels, and made available in the US and Canada through HarperCollins in October.
Discussing the novel in April 2012, Boyd said: “When the Ian Fleming estate invited me to write the new James Bond novel I accepted at once. For me the prospect appeared incredibly exciting and stimulating - a once-in-a-lifetime challenge.”
Corinne Turner, managing director of Ian Fleming Publications Ltd suggested Boyd was a natural successor to Fleming.
“William Boyd is a contemporary English writer whose classic novels combine literary elements with a broad appeal,” she said.
“His thrillers occupy the niche that Ian Fleming would fill were he writing today and with similar style and flair. This, alongside his fascination with Fleming himself, makes him the perfect choice to take Bond back to his 1960s world.”
Boyd wrote Fleming into his 2002 novel Any Human Heart, with the Bond creator and naval intelligence officer recruiting the book's protagonist during the Second World War.
Boyd’s take on 007 should find favour with Bond purists who share the novelist’s belief that the spy has been incorrectly portrayed as a “cartoon character” in films over the years.
Speaking to Radio Times last year, the author said: “In the films Bond is a cartoon character, but in the novels he is far more troubled, nuanced and interesting.
“He’s not the suave Roger Moore-type English toff at all. He’s a massive boozer. There is one night in Dr No where he consumes two bottles of bourbon, a bottle of champagne, a Calvados and four dry martinis.”
Ian Fleming wrote 14 Bond novels between 1953 and his death in 1964, but his estate has kept the literary franchise alive over the decades by commissioning new Bond novels from writers such as Sebastian Faulks and Jeffery Deaver.
Amazon UK currently features a holding image of Boyd’s novel with the title James Bond: the New Mission (see left).
The 23rd Bond film, Skyfall, was released in Britain in October 2012. Ben Wishaw, who played Q in the movie, recently told RadioTimes.com that he expects to be reunited with Craig to shoot the next Bond movie in "about ten months".