Thrilling Cities: Fourteen Cities Seen Through the Eyes of Ian Fleming, the Creator of James Bond (Paperback)

Thrilling Cities: Fourteen Cities Seen Through the Eyes of Ian Fleming, the Creator of James Bond By Ian Fleming Cover Image

Thrilling Cities: Fourteen Cities Seen Through the Eyes of Ian Fleming, the Creator of James Bond (Paperback)

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A CAPTIVATING JOURNEY AROUND THE WORLD FROM THE CREATOR OF JAMES BOND

Ian Fleming’s world travels and 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.

From Hong Kong to Honolulu, New York to Naples, he left the bright main streets for the back alleys, abandoning tourist sites in favor of underground haunts, and mingling with celebrities, gangsters and geishas. The result is a series of vivid snapshots of a mysterious, vanished world from a twentieth century Western perspective.

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.


Ian Lancaster Fleming was born in London in 1908. His first job was at Reuters news agency, after which he worked briefly as a stockbroker before working in Naval Intelligence during World War Two. His first novel, Casino Royale, was published in 1953 and was an instant success. Fleming went on to write thirteen other Bond books as well as two works of nonfiction and the children’s classic Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The Bond books have earned praise from figures such as Raymond Chandler, who called Fleming “the most forceful and driving writer of thrillers in England” and President Kennedy, who named From Russia with Love as one of his favorite books. The books inspired a hugely successful series of film adaptations that began in 1962 with the release of Dr. No. He was married to Ann O'Neill, with whom he had a son, Caspar. He died in 1964.

“[Fleming] gathered material for his novels like a voracious travelling magpie: the people and places Fleming experienced on his Thrilling Cities tour in 1959 would [furnish] much of the backdrop and research for the five Bond novels and seven short stories that would follow.” — The Times (UK)

“[Thrilling Cities] can—and will, compulsively—be read at a sitting." — Financial Times

“Fleming describes food precisely and enticingly." — Independent (UK)

"Invariably entertaining and often funny." — The Guardian (UK)

“[Fleming’s] penchant for fast cars, stylish hotels, expensive alcohol and bizarre encounters brings a whiff of excitement to the narrative, which is vivid, shocking and exuberant by turns.”  — Good Book Guide