William Boyd has left James Bond stirred, if not shaken. The British writer has taken on the fictional spy in “Solo,” a new 007 novel that balances fidelity to Ian Fleming’s iconic character with subtle changes.
Bond fans will find much they recognize, along with some surprises — one of which is that in Boyd’s mind, James Bond looks like Daniel Day-Lewis, below. Boyd says Fleming once described the spy as “looking like the American singer-songwriter Hoagy Carmichael. Daniel Day-Lewis looks like Hoagy Carmichael.”
“Solo” is set in 1969, and takes the suave British spy from London’s plush Dorchester Hotel to a war-ravaged West African country and on to Washington on a perilous lone mission. Boyd steers Bond away from his big-screen action-hero image and back toward the complex and conflicted character of Fleming’s novels.
“Even though he’s this handsome superspy, when you read the books you realize that he’s haunted,” Boyd said. “Bond has a dark side. He’s troubled sometimes. He weeps quite easily. And he makes mistakes. That’s what’s so interesting about him.”
Boyd, 61, a winner of the Whitbread and Costa book prizes, follows writers including Kingsley Amis and Sebastian Faulks as a successor to Fleming, who died in 1964. His novel is authorized by the Fleming estate, and was launched Wednesday with fanfare befitting a major British cultural export.
Cobain’s childhood house for sale
The Washington home that Kurt Cobain grew up in is officially on the market. The singer’s mother, Wendy O’Connor, has listed the property for $500,000 — after it was assessed at less than $67,000. The mattress that Cobain slept on as a child, along with a few photos of the frontman growing up, are also included in the sale in an effort to entice devotees to purchase the dilapidated house.
Split: Richard Gere and Carey Lowell have split. A friend of the couple, confirming that Gere and Lowell have separated, told People magazine that “They’ll do everything possible to keep things amicable and put their child first.” The couple, married for 11 years, have been living apart for some time.
felled: The “Dancing With the Stars” curse may have struck again. Season 17 contestant Bill Nye was taken to the hospital after falling and suffering an injury during Monday night’s broadcast, a rep for ABC confirmed. The dancer known as Bill Nye the Science Guy, 57, and his partner Tyne Stecklein received the night’s lowest score.