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Diamonds Are Forever (The James Bond Classic Library) Hardcover – August, 1997
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''[Diamonds Are Forever] is full of action and is extremely exciting; but the true highlights of the novel are Bond's relationships with Tiffany Case and Felix Leiter.'' --Raymond Benson, author of High Time to Kill
''The remarkable thing about this book is that it is written by an Englishman. The scene is almost entirely American and it rings true to an American. I am unaware of any other writer who has accomplished this.'' --Raymond Chandler, British-American novelist and screenwriter
''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 (London)
''A first-rate thriller, but above all, it's a terrific novel.'' --Jonathan Kellerman, New York Times bestselling author --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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.
Top customer reviews
For example, the novel is not the campy schlock that was put
on screen. It's straightforward drama and action throughout. It's as if the screenwriters took the basic premise of Bond versus diamond smugglers, threw in the tasty dish that is Tiffany Case, added a quick reference to the mud baths, and made the henchmen Wint and Kidd' s gay relationship (only briefly hinted at) more flamboyant in the final film, and cooked up everything else (even the whole Blofeld angle). Granted, this was at a time in the Bond film franchise where producers Broccoli and Saltzman began to stray more from Ian Fleming's original intent and make the James Bond character even more flamboyant on the screen than in the pages of the books.
Having said that, I was really surprised by the pacing of the novel, at this point Fleming's longest. It is a more carefully constructed yarn filled with accurate descriptions of locale and realistic moments of gambling and horse racing and action. And there's the sad yet very real back story that is Tiffany Case's past, which makes her an attractive foil for our hero. He does more than just physically rescue her, he saves her inside and out. And Bond's motives for saving his friends and defeating the bad guys are to the point and not the markings of a flashy secret agent with quick jokes and gadgets. It's a simpler yet more significant character who relies on his thinking and attention to duty.
I can understand why some people are not as big a fan of "Diamonds are Forever" (the novel) if they had the movie on the brain. Fortunately, I have not seen the film version all the way through, only a few clips here and there plus the trailer, so my reading the novel is not as influenced by the film version as, say, "Casino Royale" (which they got right in 2006). And it's as different as the book and film versions of Fleming's third installment, "Moonraker".
Still, it makes for good solid storytelling through and through from Bond's creator. And as opposed to the later cycles from John Gardner and Raymond Benson, I'm going through the Fleming originals as he meant them to be read.
More focus on the nature of diamond smuggling would have been cooler (and frankly more 007ish) than the undue attention to cartoon apings of American mobsters.
Compared to the sequence of books: Moonraker was much stronger, the stakes were higher, the writing was better, the VILLAIN was much better, and the ending was extremely satisfying. Despite the cool opening to this book, it lost steam fast. From Russia with Love completely blows this book out of the water.
Compared to the movie: Wint and Kidd were far more menacing in the book than the awkward, campy shenanigans in the film. Likewise, Shady Tree and Tiffany Case were more interesting characters here. I didn't cringe whenever they spoke. The choice of the master villain was much better in the movie (it was frankly disappointing here), but that character who shall not be named didn't even exist when he wrote this book.
Most recent customer reviews
Like other novels in this series it's a whirlwind globe trotting adventure.