- Series: James Bond (Book 13)
- Paperback: 169 pages
- Publisher: Thomas & Mercer; Reprint edition (October 16, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1612185576
- ISBN-13: 978-1612185576
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.4 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 126 customer reviews
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- #2271 in Books > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers & Suspense > Spies & Politics > Espionage
- #3491 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Action & Adventure > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Mystery
- #4933 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Action & Adventure > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thriller & Suspense
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The Man with the Golden Gun (James Bond) Paperback – October 16, 2012
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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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With that, I have reached the end of his final full-length book, The Man with the Golden Gun, and I have to admit that it is the first book to which I am disappointed. It is not up to the quality of the previous books. And the reasons are many. First, the book starts off with promise of Bond's return to action after disappearing off the radar for nearly a year after the end of You Only Live Twice, finding him acting suspiciously in the possible employ of the KGB. But that soon fizzles out without further information. Fleming had left out a lot of back story that remains unwritten.
Then, it abruptly jumps to Bond returning to Jamaica to infiltrate and stop the plot of Scaramanga, the self-titled man with the golden gun, who comes off as a ruthless drug dealer intending to transport marijuana to the United States. He is far less flamboyant and charismatic than the version of the character I remember seeing in the film of the same name. Let's face it, Christopher Lee made a more memorable impression.
Finally, the plot and action seem more in tune with License to Kill or any standard episode of Miami Vice than an Ian Fleming book. To me it's not as convincing. While there are sparks of the Fleming magic, it doesn't always work.
Sadly, there is a preoccupation with death in this novel, as with his two previous books. The tragic death of Bond's wife Tracy at the end of On Her Majesty's Secret Service, followed by Blofeld' s death in You Only Live Twice, not to mention Bond's obituary, and the constant stream of Death references here, suggest that Fleming somehow knew that his own death was imminent, which seems to lend supposition to the rushed quality of the book, that it was important to get one final full-length completed before he died. Had he lived longer, he would have very likely fleshed out the book again.
Still, with all its flaws, The Man with the Golden Gun is a fairly good addition to the James Bond series, just not up to the quality of the previous books.
. Not quite a trilogy in the modern sense, but am continuing story of what it would take to break Bond, and what it would take to bring him back. It stands alone as a Bond adventure with Cuban sharpshooter. Once you get over Bond's/Fleming's occasional misogyny, it's an exciting adventure in the Bond tradition.