Latest 007 novel hits stores

LONDON: The latest James Bond novel, penned to coincide with what would have been his creator Ian Fleming’s 100th birthday, went on sale on May 28, with fans queuing overnight to secure the first copies.

Scores of people waited in line outside the Waterstone’s bookstore in Piccadilly, central London, where 200 signed and numbered luxury editions of Devil May Care went on sale for £00 each.

The suave British super-spy’s 15th adventure in print was written in Fleming’s sparse style by Sebastian Faulks, the historical novelist famous for his wartime trilogy Birdsong, The Girl at the Lion D’Or and Charlotte Gray.

Steve Norris, a 39-year-old housing manager from east London, began queuing at 4:00pm on May 27 and was first in line, saying he had to be there because he had been a Bond fan “ever since I can remember”.

He received a round of applause from other queuers after buying copy number seven (007) as theme tunes from the Bond film franchise filled the store, which opened early to accommodate the queues.

Jo James, Waterstone’s events and local marketing manager, said, “We were expecting people to arrive early but we weren’t expecting people to arrive overnight.”

Internet bookstore said the book has already shot to the top of its chart and was its biggest fiction pre-order of the year.

The first handful of copies went from the printers under military escort down the River Thames to Waterstone’s on Tuesday, under the watchful eye of the Royal Navy, helicopters and Tuuli Shipster, the model on the jacket cover. Faulks and members of the Fleming family received the books on board the warship HMS Exeter with the final stage of the journey undertaken in a fleet of Bentley cars.