'James Bond far from the gentleman portrayed in 007 films'

London: James Bond was far from the English gent portrayed in the 007 films, but rather a more troubled, heavy-drinking character, the new Bond author claims.

Novelist William Boyd, famed for Any Human Heart, said Bond's true character, until now, had been underplayed.

"In the films Bond is a cartoon character but in the novels he is far more troubled, nuanced and interesting," the Daily Mail on Wednesday quoted Boyd as saying.

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It is the clearest indication yet that the author plans to steer away from what he described as the "cartoon" portrayed on film.

The portrayal of Bond as an English toff is also flawed, claimed Boyd, who said: "Bond's father was Scottish and his mother was Swiss. He's not the suave Roger Moore-type English toff at all."

While some might argue that Bond's Eton credentials justify his English gent persona, the fact, as Boyd pointed out, is that he actually got expelled from Eton after a fling with a maid and completed his schooling at Tony Blair's alma mater, Fettes in Edinburgh.

In April this year it was announced that Boyd would write the next James Bond novel, having accepted the privilege from the Ian Fleming estate.

It is understood that the book will be set in 1969 and Bond will be middle-aged, at 45, according to the Mail.

Boyd's Bond book will be published next year, 60 years after the publication of Fleming's first Bond novel, Casino Royale.

Fleming went on to write another 13 in the series, which has totted up sales of more than 100 million.

James Bond is a fictional character created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming. Six other authors have written authorized Bond novels since Fleming's death in 1964.

IANS