Independent Press Award, Distinguished Favorite, Book Cover Design (Nonfiction) — 2020 — Commended - United States
Whatever happened to him actually outshines anything I’ve had my James Bond do. —Ian Fleming
James Bond: author, ornithologist, marksman, and . . . identity-theft victim?
When James Bond published his landmark book, Birds of the West Indies, he had no idea it would set in motion events that would link him to the most iconic spy in the Western world and turn his life upside down.
Born into a wealthy family but cut off in his early twenties, James Bond took off to the West Indies in search of adventure.
Armed with arsenic and a shotgun, he took months-long excursions to the Caribbean to collect material for his iconic book, Birds of the West Indies, navigating snake-infested swamps, sleeping in hammocks, and island-hopping on tramp steamers and primitive boats.
Packed with archival photos, many never before published, and interviews with Bond's colleagues, here is the real story of the pipe-smoking, ruthless ornithologist who introduced the world to the exotic birds of the West Indies.
"If The Real James Bond does nothing more than convince readers that an ornithologist can be something other than proper, stodgy, or dull, it will have done a great service. This fast-paced, fun book puts the lie to the Miss Jane Hathaway stereotype, painting a portrait of a man who more than lived up to his role as reluctant namesake to the world's favorite secret agent. As an ornithologist, I feel much cooler now." Julie Zickefoose, author of The Bluebird Effect
“A refreshingly authentic and engagingly written look at the little known ornithologist behind the iconic name. Ian Fleming could not have written better.” Pete Dunne, retired director of the Cape May Bird Observatory and author of Birds of Prey: Hawks, Eagles, Falcons, and Vultures of North America
"Part biography, part adventure story, and part literary investigation that reveals the incredible true connection between Bond and Fleming for the very first time. Packed with never-before-seen photos, insightful analysis, and original interviews with Bond’s colleagues, this important addition to Bond scholarship belongs on the shelf of every serious 007 fan." Matthew Chernov, "James Bond Radio"
‘Wonderfully researched, full of surprises, and written with zip and panache.’ Matthew Gill, author of Goldeneye: Where Bond Was Born: Ian Fleming's Jamaica
"In the slim and elegant biography “The Real James Bond,” Jim Wright spills the secrets of Jim Bond (1900-89)" The Wall Street Journal
Jim Wright (Allendale, New Jersey) is a prize-winning writer, blogger, and birding columnist for The [Bergen] Record in northern New Jersey. His books include The Nature of the Meadowlands, Jungle of the Maya, and Hawk Mountain. Follow his adventures on Twitter @1realjamesbond, and read his blog at realjamesbond.net.