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Goldfinger (James Bond) Paperback – October 16, 2012
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"The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10 comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, The Lying Game. Pre-order today
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From Library Journal
The allure of James Bond was best described by Raymond Chandler, who insisted that 007 is "what every man would like to be and what every woman would like to have between her sheets." Who can argue with that? This month marks the 40th anniversary of the film release of Dr. No, which was the first Bond adventure to make the big screen, and two big coffee-table books are being published to honor the occasion (LJ 10/1/02, p. 96). Shockingly, Fleming's original novels have gone out of print, but Penguin here reproduces a trio of the British secret agent's early outings, released in 1952, 1958, and 1959, respectively, sporting stylish cover art. These stories were racy for the nifty Fifties but are quite tame by today's standards. Still, they can be fun.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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.
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Top customer reviews
‘Goldfinger’ begins promisingly enough. Bond is stranded in Miami and meets a man he barely remembers who witnessed his ‘Casino Royale’ triumph over SMERSH embezzler Le Chiffre in the first Bond book. This man unwittingly introduces him to his next diabolical villain. It quickly becomes apparent that Goldfinger is not only the richest man in England already but possesses a pathological lust for gold and will lie, cheat and steal to acquire more of it.
It is not surprising that Goldfinger is another SMERSH operative (actually more of a freelance criminal that merely sees them as another way station on his route to even more spectacular wealth). When Bond reports back to M in London he is informed that Goldfinger has been surreptitiously ferreting gold out of England, melting it down and recasting it in his Swiss factory. Until the point that Bond is captured and strapped down with a chainsaw heading between his legs the novel is on pretty secure footing.
Suddenly the plot takes an unconvincing turn. Goldfinger is yet another ‘talking villain’ who makes the fatal mistake of sparing Bond’s life, thinking that he can bend Bond’s will to serve his nefarious purposes. Not only has Goldfinger passed up a handful of opportunities to simply execute Bond and go on about his plans but he stops to explain those plans, fueling Bond’s survivalist mind with his own plans for escape. Goldfinger’s master crime is a massive heist of all the gold in Ft. Knox. It sounds absurd and no amount of Fleming’s clever and eloquent exposition ever convinces me that such a plan could ever work, even in the outrageous universe of James Bond.
The last quarter of the novel is chaotic. It is as though Fleming had taken his time unfolding a brilliant setup, realized he was closing in on his word limit and frantically wrapped up the story somewhat messily. His gift for describing environments and how they figure in with villain’s scheme and how Bond defeats villain and escapes relatively unscathed abandons him here. Juxtaposition is choppy and Fleming speeds from one unfinished action piece to the next. Goldfinger and his men are embarking on Ft. Knox. Is the population of Ft. Knox already dead? Goldfinger revealed to Bond that the substance he slipped into the water supply was deadly, not merely a strong sleeping potion. Suddenly the cavalry arrives in the form of U.S. troops and trusty C.I.A. ally Felix Leiter. Has the day been saved? Not quite so fast. Bond is heading home on B.O.A.C. airlines and suddenly realizes Goldfinger, Oddjob and Pussy have hijacked the plane. Huge Oddjob is sucked out the window that Bond has shattered (were airplane windows so easily broken even in 1959?) like a massive tube of toothpaste. Pussy decides to ally herself with Bond and Bond chokes the life out of Goldfinger. Altogether a fairly quick, messy resolution.
This is actually the rare instance in which the film actually improved on the novel. The unfolding of the plot in the film was far more believable and logical (within the context of the Bond universe). Homosexuality (specifically lesbianism) is addressed in the novel through the common view that it was an aberration. Pussy’s conversion to heterosexuality by the irresistible James Bond is no more convincing in the novel than it is in the film. Pussy is a paper thin character, uttering ‘Hello Handsome’ and Brooklynese wise girl criminal clichés before suddenly deciding she will aid Bond. The memorable image of the gold-painted girl is not dramatized but recounted by the girl’s vengeful sister.
‘Goldfinger’ is a seminal James Bond book primarily because it serves as a gateway to the world of Bond and possesses all of the characteristics that most people associate with the series. As a novel, it is flawed and messy, certainly in relation to its two brilliant predecessors, ‘From Russia With Love’ and ‘Dr. No.’ It provided filmmakers with the raw material to make a superior film that would translate the books into film while solidifying a formula that certainly possesses longevity.
The Goldfinger movie follows the book's plot with some subtle and some not so subtle differences. However, the movie is an excellent adaptation of the novel.
The character development is much better in the book. It got both the Kindle book and the Audible recording. It was a great listen after reading the book so many years ago. When there is a really good scene, I'll break away from the recording and read it first. Then come back to the recording. It really gives you an interesting perspective on how your brain processes the written vs. spoken word for the same story. I'll probably listen again in a year or so. It was that good.
I feel it's good to get a couple of the very early Bond books read or listened to, before reading Goldfinger. It helps you understand the Bond character much better. Fleming only brushes lightly on Bond's background in each subsequent book, so it's nice to have the perspective of the early titles to fill in the mental blanks.
Bond, James Bond..... What an iconic line!
Most recent customer reviews
The women in this book seem somehow more real to me; not sure why, especially one named "Purdy Galore."
James Bond continues to be the best man at outfoxing Goldfinger.