James Bond is afraid of growing old. Already in the last instalment of the series, Skyfall, he spends his time sucking up disparaging remarks about age limits and being old–school in a world of geeks and metadata. At least the on–screen Bond lives in the 21st century. Less can be said about his novelistic counterpart, penned by William Boyd. Solo takes us back to 1969 when Bond raises a solitary glass of champagne to his 45th birthday. While other men get through their mid–life crisis by chewing their nails, the British novelist sends Bond to a West African nation in the midst of civil war, with a métisse by his side ( and, shortly after, in his bed ). The ultimate beach novel, with the Aston Martin parked
outside the local supermarket. Published by Jonathan Cape / HarperCollins.