The name's Solo: William Boyd reveals title of his James Bond novel


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The Independent Culture

The author of the new James Bond novel has revealed there is a “strangely Bondian” code hidden in the title of the book, which will be called Solo.

William Boyd, the Booker-nominated author of A Good Man in Africa and Restless, was commissioned by the Ian Fleming estate to write a new Bond book in April last year.

Solo is set to be published in September, and Boyd gave details at The London Book Fair yesterday.

He said: “It’s strangely Bondian in the sense that we might be subliminally aware of the “00” of “007” lurking just behind those juxtaposed Os of Solo.”

“Sometimes less is more,” he said, adding: “This short four-letter word is particularly and strikingly apt for the novel I have written.”

The story will see Bond take on a self-appointed mission of his own, which takes him across three continents, “with the main focus honing in on Africa,” Boyd said.

Boyd is the third established novelist commissioned by the Ian Fleming estate to write a Bond novel.

He follows American Jeffery Deaver, who wrote Carte Blanche in 2011, and Sebastian Faulks, whose Devil May Care was published in 2008.

While Deaver’s Bond was set in the present day, Solo will be set in the late 1960s. When he was approached by Fleming’s estate, Boyd said he “accepted at once”.

He talked of a fascination with Fleming after his father introduced him to the Bond novels as a child. He even wrote Fleming into his book Any Human Heart