Ian Fleming’s world travels, interests, as well as his journalism and wartime experiences, lent authority to everything he wrote. In 1959, the Sunday Times commissioned Fleming to write a series of dispatches from the world’s most beguiling locales. The result was Thrilling Cities, a masterpiece of well-observed travelogue that stands ably alongside the author’s Bond canon.
Here are Fleming’s highly personal observations of fourteen cities across Europe, Asia, and North America—from Vienna to Hong Kong to Chicago. At each stop, Fleming casts the guidebook aside, taking readers on an insider’s tour of everything from a Tokyo geisha house led by the world’s most beautiful women to a packed Las Vegas casino where fortunes ride on a roll of the dice, and beyond.
Just like his most famous fictional creation, Ian Fleming was a well-traveled man of the world who knew where to go to find excitement, adventure…and danger. In Thrilling Cities, he takes us along on a journey of international intrigue worthy of James Bond.
Originally published in 1963, this edition restores the original observations, maps, and language used at that time.
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About the Author
Ian Fleming was born in London on May 28, 1908. He was educated at Eton College and later spent a formative period studying languages in Europe. His first job was with Reuters News Agency where a Moscow posting gave him firsthand experience with what would become his literary bête noire — the Soviet Union. During World War II he served as Assistant to the Director of Naval Intelligence and played a key role in Allied espionage operations.
After the war, he worked as foreign manager of the Sunday Times, a job that allowed him to spend two months each year in Jamaica. Here, in 1952, at his home “Goldeneye,” he wrote a book called Casino Royale — and James Bond was born. The first print run sold out within a month. For the next twelve years Fleming produced a novel a year featuring Special Agent 007, the most famous spy of the century. The Bond novels have sold more than one hundred million copies worldwide, boosted by the hugely successful film franchise that began in 1962 with the release of Dr. No.
His travels, interests, and wartime experience lent authority to everything he wrote. Based on those experiences, he wrote two pieces of nonfiction — Thrilling Cities and The Diamond Smugglers. He married Anne Rothermere in 1952. His story about a magical car, written in 1961 for their only son, Caspar, went on to become the well-loved novel and film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Fleming died of heart failure on August 12, 1964, at the age of fifty-six.