Live and Let Die (1954)
A few days less than a full year after ‘Casino Royale’ hit the bookstores, a follow-up called ‘Live and Let Die’ appeared in print. Some writers labour over books for years. Ian Fleming was not such an author. For the first two months of each calendar year, from 1952 until his death twelve years later, Fleming wrote two thousand words per day on his golden typewriter from his hideaway in Jamaica. He maintained that prolific work rate until each novel was finished. ‘Live and Let Die’ takes Bond to the United States where he is pitted against SMERSH agent Mr Big. Those familiar with the movies may be intrigued to know that about a third of the plot of ‘Live and Let Die’ is used in the under-rated Timothy Dalton movie ‘Licence to Kill’, including the shark attack on Bond’s CIA buddy Felix Leiter. “He disagreed with something that ate him,” is directly from Fleming’s pen. Unlike the various Leiters of the movies, the character in the novels would retain the scars of his shark encounter, even down to a prosthetic hand and leg. See our review of this title and buy The Folio Society’s edition of Ian Fleming’s ‘Live and Let Die‘.