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Diamonds Are Forever (James Bond Novels) Paperback – December 31, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0142002056 ISBN-10: 0142002054 Edition: Reprint

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (December 31, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142002054
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142002056
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #650,097 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Mr. Fleming is in a class by himself...immense detail, elaborate settings and continually mounting tension, flavored with sex, brutality and sudden death." —Daily Mail

About the Author

Ian Fleming (1908-1964), creator of the world's best-known secret agent, is the author of fourteen James Bond books. Born in London in 1908 and educated at Eton and Sandhurst, he became the Reuters Moscow correspondent in 1929. In the spring of 1939, Fleming went back to Moscow as a special correspondent for the London Times. In June of that same year, he joined Naval Intelligence and served throughout World War II, finally earning the rank of Commander, RNVSR (Sp.). Much of the James Bond material was drawn directly from Fleming's experiences as an intelligence officer. Later, Fleming became a consultant on foreign affairs for the London Sunday Times, by which time he had become far better known as the creator of James Bond.


More About the Author

Ian Fleming was born in London on May 28, 1908. He was educated at Eton College and later spent a formative period studying languages in Europe. His first job was with Reuters News Agency where a Moscow posting gave him firsthand experience with what would become his literary bete noire--the Soviet Union. During World War II he served as Assistant to the Director of Naval Intelligence and played a key role in Allied espionage operations.

After the war he worked as foreign manager of the Sunday Times, a job that allowed him to spend two months each year in Jamaica. Here, in 1952, at his home "Goldeneye," he wrote a book called Casino Royale--and James Bond was born. The first print run sold out within a month. For the next twelve years Fleming produced a novel a year featuring Special Agent 007, the most famous spy of the century. His travels, interests, and wartime experience lent authority to everything he wrote. Raymond Chandler described him as "the most forceful and driving writer of thrillers in England." Sales soared when President Kennedy named the fifth title, From Russia With Love, one of his favorite books. The Bond novels have sold more than one hundred million copies worldwide, boosted by the hugely successful film franchise that began in 1962 with the release of Dr. No.

He married Anne Rothermere in 1952. His story about a magical car, written in 1961 for their only son Caspar, went on to become the well-loved novel and film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Fleming died of heart failure on August 12, 1964, at the age of fifty-six.

www.ianfleming.com

Customer Reviews

Tiffany Case did what she could, but all in all I found characters to be rather bland and the action relatively slow.
Jim Nolt
I enjoyed this novel very much, even though I had previously read four other James Bond novels by Fleming and I have seen most of the movies.
Clark Hallman
Overall the book is outstanding - the plot is intriuging, with interesting characters and some excellent action scenes.
Nick Kapur

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By John B. Maggiore on May 23, 2002
Format: Hardcover
DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER marks the point in the James Bond series where Ian Fleming begins to tinker with the absurd. Later in the series, Dr. No is killed by falling guano, and Blofeld holds up on a Japanese "suicide island." In DAF, Bond takes a mud bath and fights a gangster who dresses up like a cowboy. Fleming writes that the gangster "should have looked ridiculous, but he didn't" in his western regalia. Funny, his description reads like he looks ridiculous.
All of Fleming's Bond books are worth reading, and DAF is no exception. But this isn't his strongest work. The theme switches from gangsters to western to Agatha Christy-esque cruise-ship drama. It doesn't really all hold together. Fleming also keeps introducing new villains. He is most effective with Wint and Kidd, who have an ominous presence throughout the book. Fleming perfects the ominous presence with Donovan Grant in his next book, FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE, but Wint and Kidd are adequately eerie and threatening.
Less effective are the Spang brothers. The Spangs seem to be the embodiment of Fleming's inability to make up his mind about who his villain was going to be. What little personality these characters have (along with appearance and even one of their names) changes almost every time they are mentioned. They don't catch on as other Bond villains do, which is perhaps why they didn't translate even in name into any Bond movie.
Another flaw of the book, and to some degree the series, is that Bond seems to be going along for the ride in DAF. He forgets or doesn't notice the most obvious clues (and is surprised by Wint and Kidd), lets his guard down at the mud baths, and generally doesn't prove why he's so special. He and the girl, Tiffany Case, come close to falling in love...but why?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Glenn Miller on December 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
This fourth book in Fleming's series doesn't quite hold up to the three previous Bond novels. The problem is that Fleming tries to create a far more complicated plot while at the same time fitting it into the 220-page formula of the previous Bond adventures. The end result feels like a pat adventure in which everything is bundled up in far too quick a fashion. The resolution of Bond's relationship with the ever-present female foil is oddly dropped in the final chapter. Are we to believe the two of them rode off happily into the sunset? Settled down and had children? Does she appear in the series' fifth novel? Who knows... like so many other elements in this particular entry, these questions and more are left unanswered. It's a shame. After the tight plotting and good character development of Moonraker, Fleming uncharacteristically dropped the ball on this particular one. Perhaps the publishers were pushing him too hard to meet a deadline. Diamonds could have been a classic, given the plot Fleming was playing with. Unfortunately, he falls a carat or two short.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Donald J. Bingle on April 13, 2007
Format: Paperback
One almost gets the impression that both Ian Fleming and Bond were coasting on their reputations in this book. The plot is about comparatively low stakes for a spy novel, the pace is leisurely, Bond is oddly passive (Felix Leiter and Tiffany Case save the day as often as Bond does) and not particularly clever (at one point he almost blows his mission because he apparently got bored waiting for something to happen to move it along), and the villains and action sequences are just not that memorable, at least not in a good way. Strangely enough, that means that the book suffers in comparison both to the movie (which, while hardly five-star, had some quirky, memorable moments) and John Gardner's later Bond novels, which dig deeper into both the characters and the settings of the world of 007. While not actively bad, DAF does little to show you why Bond became a literary or cultural phenomenon. Donald J. Bingle, Author of Forced Conversion.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 2, 1998
Format: Hardcover
The fourth novel in the 007 series is a step back in a certain way, being a straight action/adventure Police story with certain familiar elements of the Bond world and some links to the spy genre. Maybe the American Mafia isn't quite an atractive adversary (the Spang brothers don't look so menaceful, even if they are, and the idea of a chief disguised as ABC is not used at its full potential). The early chapters, placed in London, and the Saratoga scenes are sometimes boring. The reappereance of Felix Leiter is one of the highlights, but the scene is more dialogue than else. The situations aren't as gripping as those of the previous novels, save some fine moments (the mud bath, the final sequence on the cruise ship, the Spectreville western scenario, the car chase in Las Vegas). The final is excellent, but the action there too brief. All in all, it's still the best 007 adventure in the US and is on the whole much better than the film. It also has the first appearence of the word "Spectre" in any form in a Bond book (Spectreville).
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By gobirds2 TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
What a tantalizing cover this edition has. It really captures the enigmatic quality this particular James Bond novel by Ian Fleming exudes. In one sense this is Ian Fleming's homage to the mystique of the American gangster. Fleming's vision of the American gangster is one of a twisted, often emotionally and physically, violent character teeming with idiosyncrasies. They are a peculiar bunch to say the least. James Bond appears to be more the knight in shining armor in this novel than in most written by Fleming. Much of this can be attributed to the tough but sympathetic character of Tiffany Case whom Bond becomes emotionally attached and must rescue. It is interesting how in the film series the two primary directors, Terrence Young and Guy Hamilton, were influenced by the literary Bond created by Fleming. Hamilton seems to have been greatly influenced by this novel more than any of Fleming's others. We see Fleming's 1950's version of American hoodlums show up in Hamilton's "Goldfinger," "Diamonds Are Forever" and even at the beginning of "The Man With The Golden Gun." More importantly this novel demonstrates Bond's affinity for the ever-fleeting notion of true love. Tiffany Case is the diamond in the rough that touches Bond's heart. This novel equally contains engaging scenes between James Bond and "M" and the overall description of the diamond smuggling pipeline is pure Fleming. This novel is highly recommended reading giving more insight into the psyche of James Bond.
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