Author: Ian Fleming
Publication date: 1st April 1965
Publisher: Jonathan Cape
Cover artist: Richard Chopping
When Ian Fleming died in August 1964 there remained an unpublished manuscript, which was examined and thought to be exceptionally weak. Before he died, Fleming had raised concerns about the quality of what he had written.
The manuscript was edited by Kingsley Amis before being published as The Man With The Golden Gun. Amis’ theory was that a substantial portion of the book had been removed by the author, rendering the character of Scaramanga, the villain, to be little more than an outline.
What we say
Ian Fleming’s last full-length novel was published the year after his death. As was his custom he wrote the first draft while in Jamaica but cut down on his daily word count because of increasing ill health.
The novel had yet to go through the usual rewriting and editing process during which much of the detail would be added, resulting in a slightly unsatisfying story. On the other hand The Man With The Golden Gun is set in Fleming’s beloved Jamaica.
Despite his ill health, Fleming’s love for the island still comes through, but the villain is a let down and not fully fleshed out.
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