James Bond's enduring pursuit of justice brings the world's most famous super agent to a Civil War-ravaged West African country in the latest 007 novel, "Solo."
British author William Boyd, the third officially sanctioned author to take on Ian Fleming's iconic character, sets the story in 1969, and takes the womanizing spy to a West African country and Washington, D.C., as he singularly fights off bad guys.
The 61-year-old Boyd said Bond resembles less of the movie action-hero portrayed by Sean Connery and most recently by Daniel Craig, and is more of a complex, "haunted" character portrayed by Fleming.
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"When you read the books you realize that he's haunted," Boyd told The Associated Press.
"He's not a cartoon character. Fleming gave him all his traits, his tastes, his likes and dislikes — and his complexes. Bond has a dark side. He's troubled sometimes. He weeps quite easily. And he makes mistakes. That's what's so interesting about him."
Boyd, 61, also wanted to bring a more contemporary outlook to the notorious objectifier of women and casual racist.
Though Craig brings a hip new edge to Bond, Boyd imagines his novel's character as Daniel Day-Lewis.
"I haven't set out to make Bond ultra-modern," Boyd told the AP. "But he's definitely aware of the way the world has changed around him, and his attitudes have changed as well."
The story opens with Bond having just celebrated his 45th birthday, and feeling it.
"Bond is mature. He's seasoned," Boyd said. "He's lived a lot, he's a man of experience. He may not run quite as fast as he could when he was 25, but he's seen how life has changed and times have changed. It's a good age for him to be."
Boyd, a fan of the novels since reading "From Russia With Love" while at boarding school, didn't change too much, however.
Bond maintains his impressive taste for clothes, as well as a love of cigarettes, martinis, and beautiful women.
Writers Kingsley Amis and Sebastian Faulks also wrote Bond novels that were approved by the Fleming estate.
Fleming, who died of a heart attack in 1964, wrote his first Bond novel, "Casino Royale," in 1952, and followed that with 11 Bond novels and two short-story collections from 1953 and 1966. He also wrote the children's story, "Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang: The Magical Car."
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