FACT AND FICTION
The couple who survived at sea
Bill and Simone Butler, a couple from New York, spent sixty days in a life-raft in the seas of Central America after their yacht sank. Three weeks after they left Panama, they met some sharks, which hit the side of the boat until it sank. Bill and Simone had two life-rafts, so they jumped into the bigger one. For twenty days they had tins of food, fruit, and bottles of water. They caught fish every day and cooked it in different ways. Then they lost the line, but Bill managed to catch fish in a cup.
One or two ships passed them, but no one stopped. Then suddenly a fishing boat saw them and Bill and Simone jumped into it. The captain of the boat took them to Panama. Their drama was over.
An interview with a biographer
P = Presenter LP = Lucy Parker, the biographer
P Today in Bookworld we have an interview with Lucy Parker who has written a biography of Ian Fleming, the author of the internationally famous James Bond spy novels.
Welcome Lucy. I think the thing that many people want to know is: “How much is Ian Fleming, the author, like the hero of his books, James Bond?”
LP A lot, I think. We can see a lot of James Bond in Ian Fleming`s life.
P Well, let`s begin at the beginning � when he was a child.
LP Well, he was born on May 28th, 1908 in England. His family were rich. His grandfather was a millionaire banker and his father a Member of Parliament.
P Was he close to his family?
LP Well � his father was killed in the First World War, when Ian was only nine. He had three brothers, and he was quite close to them, but he was different from them.
P How was he different ?
LP Well � they all went to Eton. His brothers liked it. He hated it. He hated the army too. He didn`t want to be a soldier. He was good at languages, so he went to study in Geneva in 1930. Then the next year, he wanted to join the Foreign Office, but didn`t pass the exams. He went back home, and he was living with his mother again, feeling very bored, when he got a job as a journalist. He worked in London, Berlin and Moscow. Then he worked as a stock-broker, and he was doing this when the Second World War started. That`s when he started working in the world of spies.
P What did he do?
LP Well � he joined Naval Intelligence and had a lot of contact with MI5 and the Secret Service. He went on secret missions to North Africa, Lisbon, and America.
P Ah, that sounds like James Bond. What about his life when he wasn`t working?
LP Well, he was a good-looking man. He loved money and had an expensive way of life. He always dressed very carefully. He had a lot of girlfriends. He didn`t marry until he was forty three. He drank a lot � gin, Martini, vodka � and he smoked sixty cigarettes a day. Probably as result of this, he had a bad heart from quite a young age.
P Mmm… I see. But what about his writing � when did that start?
LP After the war. He went to Jamaica and loved it and decided to buy some land by the sea and build a house. He called it Goldeneye. And in Jamaica in 1952, three very important things happened: he got married, he had a son, and he started writing about James Bond. His first book was Casino Royale, then his second book was Live and Let Die, in 1954.
P Yes, and I believe there were twelve more James Bond books after that.
LP Yes, indeed � fourteen altogether before his death in 1964. His last book was The Man with the Golden Gun.
P Did he ever meet Sean Connery, who played James Bond in the first films?
LP Yes, he did. He helped choose Sean Connery for Dr. No, but he died while they were making the second Bond film, From Russia with Love.
P How sad, but at least he knew his book were successful.
PL Oh, yes � 40 million sold at the time of his death.
P Amazing. Thank you very much, Lucy. It`s very interesting to hear about the man who created James Bond.
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