With recent news exploding with talk about a possible Tom Hardy Bond casting and, well, this being the year (hopefully) another James Bond movie is released; I decided to dig into some lore around the character. In the process, I came across The Real James Bond: A True Story of Identity Theft, Avian Intrigue, and Ian Fleming. This book doesn’t cover much about secret agent James Bond, Ian Fleming or much identity theft for that matter. This is primarily about the man whose name was lifted from a book cover to (somewhat randomly) name the world’s most popular Mi6 agent.
Jim Bond, as he was known, was an author and ornithoigist – that’s someone who identifies birds (although it seems in Bond’s day this was done with a shotgun). Maybe not as exciting as 007 James Bond, but it does pick up as you read.
The titular identity theft is just the use of a common name than say, taking Jim Bond’s social security number and trying to pass oneself off as that person. The thief in question, Ian Fleming, could certainly have dreamed up the name (he was looking for simple and boring). In some cases, the attention Bond received gave him benefits he wouldn’t have had otherwise. This could scarcely be considered stealing the identity of a person who chased birds. Wright continues to repeat the name was ”stolen,” and it’s all a bit off-putting and rather iroic (given the book’s name).
Then, the matter of secret agents and the possibility that Jim Bond was one himself. That is perhaps the most incredible proposition if the book, but it went mostly unfulfilled (likely due to lack of info and, well, truth). The Real James Bond is a reasonable yarn but perhaps leans too much on name recognition when the star of the book could probably command enough attention on his own.