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Diamonds are Forever (Penguin Modern Classics) [Paperback]

Ian Fleming
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 Jun 2004 Penguin Modern Classics
Tiffany Case is the sort of beautiful, devil-may-care blonde who could get a man into deep trouble - if he wanted.She stands between James Bond and the leaders of a diamond-smuggling ring that stretches from Africa via London to the States. Bond uses her to infiltrate this gang, but once in America the hunter becomes the hunted. Bond is in real danger until help comes from an unlikely quarter..

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Diamonds are Forever (Penguin Modern Classics) + From Russia with Love: James Bond 007 (Vintage Classics) + Moonraker: James Bond 007 (Vintage Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; New Ed edition (3 Jun 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141187530
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141187532
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 410,112 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ian Fleming was born in 1908 and educated at Eton. After a brief period at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, he went abroad to further his education. In 1931, having failed to get an appointment in the Foreign Office, he joined Reuters News Agency. During the Second World War, he was personal assistant to the Director of Naval Intelligence at the Admiralty, rising to the rank of Commander. His wartime experiences provided him with a first-hand knowledge of secret operations.

After the war he became Foreign Manager of Kemsley Newspapers. He built his house, Goldeneye, in Jamaica and there at the age of forty-four he wrote Casino Royale, the first of his novels featuring Commander James Bond. By the time of his death in 1964, the James Bond adventures had sold more than forty million copies. Dr No, starring Sean Connery, was released in 1962 and the Bond films continue to be huge international successes. He is also the author of the magical children's book Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

The novels of Ian Fleming were immediately recognised as classic thrillers by his contemporaries Kingsley Amis, Raymond Chandler and John Betjeman. With the invention of James Bond, Ian Fleming created the greatest British fictional icon of the late twentieth century.

(The picture is reproduced with the permission of the copyright owners, Ian Fleming Publications Limited and the Ian Fleming Will Trust)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Diamonds Are Forever, Ian Fleming's fourth Bond novel, has all the hallmarks of a classic 007 adventure and whilst it lacks some of the strength and depth of other books in the series it nevertheless has much to recommend it. The plot concerns a ruthless syndicate known as the Spangled Mob who are running a diamond smuggling pipeline out of Africa into the USA. This is costing England millions of pounds and James Bond is sent to investigate. A promising set up, but it soon becomes apparent that the syndicate's only aim is to get rich and as Bond novels go it is slightly disappointing that this is the sum total of the villains' project.

On a more positive note, Tiffany Case is an excellent Bond girl who plays an integral part in the book. The relationship that develops between her and Bond is highly convincing and well-observed and the book is rich in dialogue between the two. On the topic of marriage:

Bond: "Most marriages don't add two people together. They subtract one from the other."

Tiffany: "But it depends what you want it to add up to. Something human or something inhuman. You can't be complete by yourself."

As suggested by the syndicate's comparatively (in Bond terms) modest ambitions, Diamonds Are Forever lacks a really good principle villain, but it does have well-portrayed minor contenders in the form of the duo Wint and Kidd, two violent and ruthless killers. There are some tense moments in the novel and although there is no real action until well over half way through it, once it starts, it is almost non-stop until the end.

One of the outstanding features of this adventure remains the way Fleming wrote the character of Tiffany. Her relationship with Bond adds humanity and life to Diamonds Are Forever. --Jamie Campbell --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Probably the most forceful and driving writer of thrillers in England (Raymond Chandler ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yep, it is a classic 21 Jun 2004
I first read this when I was in my teans and now I am in my mid-forties I thought it was time for a revisit. I'm a Bond fan, love the films and have read all the various books from Fleming through to Benson and I have to admit I was surprised how much I had forgotten about this book, my memories having been tarnished by the film and the more modern versions of Bond.
Initially I was astonished how old this book was (1956!) and this is more of a detective story with a Bond that is over confident and too casual at times who is at odds with the emerging American mob.
In many ways it does show its age, and this adds to the charm.
Well worth reading to remind oneself where and how it all started...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Published in 1956, this is the fourth outing in print for Ian Fleming's spy James Bond. Here Bond is sent out to follow a diamond smuggling pipeline and to close it down. Inserted into the pipeline undercover, he has to deal with ruthless American Gangsters the Spangled mob, working his way through various scrapes with fixed horse races, hot mud baths and runaway steam locomotives before finally getting to the brains of the operation.

It is written with all of Fleming's verve and eye for detail. The opening paragraphs are adsorbing, and the big set pieces, especially the locomotive chase, are thrilling and breathtaking. These are the real strengths of the book. However, it does have a weakness in that the plot really isn't up to much, and the villains are less than impressive. Fleming tries to talk them up, but there is never really any feeling of threat or danger. And the plot does have a few holes in it. In all, these weaknesses are overcome by the strength of Fleming's writing. Even with unimpressive villains and a weak plot it is still an exciting read. Fleming had a real flair for adding in little descriptive touches that really build a vivid image in the mind's eye and transport the reader to the scene, I always find it adsorbing. On balance, 3 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A change of direction for in Bond in his fourth outing as he takes on American organised crime in the shape of the Spangled Mob who are smuggling diamonds from Southern Africa via London to the United States which is having an impact on the markets.

This story involves gambling in casinos and race meetings Bond travels across the United States. Along the way Bond meets his friend Felix Leither by fate on the Street. Leither is no longer with the CIA following the injuries he received (In Bond's second adventure - Live and Let Die). He is now working for the Pinkerton Detective Agency. Leither updates Bond on the Spangled Mob and that he is working on corruption in horse racing.

There are some thrills in the Nevada dessert and on the liner crossing the Atlantic. In general this story is slow paced and the two brothers that head up the Spangled Mob lack the charisma of Bond villains. Their two heavies Wint and Kidd are good.

Bond's love interest Tiffany Case has a good part in this and her background and current activities are well described in another well written book by Ian Fleming.

However, in general this lacks something all round.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Diamonds Are Forever - An Enjoyable 007 Thriller 27 July 2006
I think this may be the most underrated James Bond book by Ian Fleming. It literally is a thrilling read. While not his very best, it is a true gem, just with some rough edges.

Tiffany Case is one terrific leading lady by Fleming, one of his better ones, I think. A woman with a strong wall surrounding her for the most part, and one that you do not get to call all the shots with. She goes through quite a change in the story from being the frosty version we meet with Bond's alias of Peter Franks to the much happier one during their nighttime escape and Queen Elizabeth trip.

If there is one problem with this book, it is the obvious one, the villains. Yes, they are hardly some of Fleming's best. Jack and Serrafimo Spang, the beginning and end of the pipeline from England/Africa to the USA, while described as being some of the toughest of the bunch, and made out to be quite the villains, are never given enough actual time in the book to show off exactly what they are. Serrafimo gets a few minimal scenes with Bond, and Jack save for spoilers...hardly in the book much at all. Wint and Kidd are fairly good though. They receive a general amount of time to be shown as a threat to Bond, as odd as they both may be.

The location switching is often claimed as a huge fault of this book, I even used to always harp on that myself, but I've come to see that it really doesn't bother me much at all. London and the USA are done fairly well for me, and I really, really love the moving around in this book. I like reading about the Tiara in the US, and the House of Diamonds, it just feels like a James Bond book.

Very excellent little aspect in this book...

A strong story overall, at times it gets murky, such as in the horse racing, and that sort, but I don't think anything in this story detracts too heavily from the overall plot.

Death is Forever. Diamonds are Forever. And this book is Forever. 4/5
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
With 007's fourth adventure, Fleming returns Bond to the USA for most of the action, affording the reader a really vivid travelogue style book packed with observations about the States in the mid-fifties. The plot itself is no great shakes - Bond gets involved in trying to track down a diamond smuggling operation that stretches from Africa, through Europe and on to Las Vegas and the west coast of the States - and at times seems to go nowhere fast.

Fleming is particularly good at set piece action in this book, especially the chapter set in the mud room, which still bristles with tension and suspense no matter how many times you've re-read the book. But, as became typical as the series progressed, Fleming seems to tire of all the effort he's made in the early stages of the book, and the last third of Diamonds Are Forever falls away badly, with a train chase through the desert and a finale set on the Queen Elizabeth cruise ship heading back to England.

It's way, way better than Moonraker, but not quite as tight and taut as the one that follows - From Russia, With Love, which for many enthusiasts is perhaps the high point in the series. But you can see Fleming developing the formula here, the writing remains bright, direct and crisp in that journalistic style he was well-known for, and over fifty years on this is still an enjoyable enough read.

The Kindle version is well-formatted with no silly errors, and the recent update of some of these e-book versions with introductions from contemporary authors (available as free updates if you ask) makes the Kindle series attractive and competitively priced.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars None
As usual Fleming has delivered a sensational piece of work, classic bond book with all the mystery that you expect to find
Published 6 days ago by JJ
3.0 out of 5 stars DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
It is not one of the best Bond books. The story didn't have the excitement found in other Bond books.
Published 4 months ago by John Blake
5.0 out of 5 stars Book or Movie
Wanted to see if the books were anything like the Movies. Except for the name James Bond nothing like the move. Good book though worth reading
Published 4 months ago by Terry in UK
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Bond story
Bond heads to America to take on the Mafia. Plenty of action and intrigue. Fleming's fourth Bond novel and so far his best written.
Well worth reading.
Published 12 months ago by Mr Blofeld
5.0 out of 5 stars Diamonds are Forever: James Bond 007
Diamonds are Forever, James Bond 007, a cracking read, fabulous use of language, well paced, full of susupence and excitement.
Published 13 months ago by ineedaname
4.0 out of 5 stars cracking good listen for bond fans
i love james bond stories by ian fleming, so having them on audio is very helpful, good easy listening in bed or in the car. Read more
Published 14 months ago by currer bell
4.0 out of 5 stars I still want to read more
While I am working away from home I have decided to read all the Bond novels. Each one so far has been a great romp. Read more
Published 14 months ago by S
4.0 out of 5 stars Diamonds are Forever, Ian Fleming, Paperback 2009.
James Bond 'Diamonds are Forever' by Ian Fleming, paperback 2009 edition with beautiful cover artwork by Michael Gillette. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Adam Mason
5.0 out of 5 stars Another fine novel from Fleming
The fourth book of 007 from Ian Fleming once again does not disappoint. If anything, DAF has more action and clever sub-plots that come together well than the three precious... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Matthew Plummer
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard Boiled
Maybe not quite as good as the earlier books, but still an excellent read. Surprisingly hard-nosed, amoral & vicious if you are only used to the movies. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Mark Rawsthorne
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