March 24, 2014

What James Bond's Dad Did in the War

From Oxford University Press, new in paperback:

Ian Fleming's Commandos

The Story of the Legendary 30 Assault Unit

Nicholas Rankin

  • Tells the story of how Fleming's life inspired the creation of the ultimate spy: James Bond
  • A thrilling look at espionage in WWII, filled with fascinating characters and vivid stories
  • A page-turning history that reads like a novel

  • Cover for Ian Fleming

Reviews from the publisher's website

"It is, first of all, chock-a-block full of wonderful stories and odd characters, and secondly awash in wonderful, arcane knowledge of the seamy and secret side of World War Two...suavely blended, like one of Bond's Martinis... Rankin has taken wonderful material, and made it into a compellingly readable book, one which Ian Fleming himself would have read with sardonic pleasure." --Michael Korda, The Daily Beast
"A kind of cousin to Rankin's own A Genius for Deception: How Cunning Helped the British Win Two World Wars, this will appeal to all readers interested either in Ian Fleming or World War II secret operations." - Library Journal
"Nicholas Rankin's fascinating book is an account of the 30AU's progress through the war. From time to time it reads like a Boy's Own story, so flamboyant are the characters and so vivid Rankin's accounts of the deadly scrapes and firefights the commandos found themselves involved in. The research is prodigious and lucid - now I finally understand how an Enigma machine works - and one gains a real sense of how these maverick units functioned, very much akin to the Long Range Desert Group and the fledgling SAS." - William Boyd, The Guardian
"Rankin has produced, as my father would have said, a ripping good yarn." -- The Washington Independent Review of Books

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