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Goldfinger (James Bond 007) Paperback – 4 Apr 2002

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (4 April 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141002859
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141002859
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 2.5 x 18.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,671,911 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Nobody does this sort of thing as well as Mr Fleming" (Sunday Times)

"Highly entertaining" (New York Times)

"Mr Fleming is the best thriller writer since Buchan" (Evening Standard)

"Everything happens in this one - and you believe it" (Saturday Review) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

There is only one Bond. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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First Sentence
James Bond, with two double bourbons inside him, sat in the final departure lounge of Miami Airport and thought about life and death. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Sonia Carey on 28 July 2008
Format: Paperback
For any Bond afficionado this novel is a 'must read'. Fleming's descriptive knack with very few words is underestimated. The golf game is a masterpiece of its kind, breaking up the technicalities of the sport with an evocation of beautiful, peaceful England in high summer as a backdrop to the deadly intent of the game being played out against lengthening, afternoon shadows. There is plenty of depth to the plot and the background story of gold, delivered to Bond by Colonel Smithers of the Bank of England, is interesting in itself, particularly when viewed in comparison to today's money markets. The revelation that Goldfinger is not just an obsessive meglomaniac but also in thrall to the Russians is a masterly detail that gives real substance to the cold-war ploy to rob Fort Knox. The gangsters necessary for Goldfinger's purposes are deployed with a light, almost amusing, touch but none of the heroines have much empathetic appeal, not even the fabulously named Pussy Galore. The Masterton sisters are very one-dimensional. Jill is only there, really, to kickstart the second part of the story and, although Fleming tries to make Tilly interesting with her lesbianism, she comes across instead as 'neither flesh nor good, red herring'. In fairness, this is how Bond sees her when he deliberates patronisingly over her mixed up hormones. There are remarks about Japs and Koreans that would never make it into print today, but the joy of Bond is that he is so much a product of the 1940s and '50s, forever politically incorrect. I know many people love the films, but for me the books are incomparably better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Greshon on 1 Mar. 2008
Format: Paperback
The seventh (1959) instalment in the Bond series is up to the usual high standard (only Diamonds are Forever has disappointed so far), and is another fine adventure story. Goldfinger's focus on mind games rather than physical adventure is more From Russia With Love than Live and Let Die, Moonraker or Dr No, but Goldfinger is a little more fast-paced than From Russia With Love, and simpler in structure. The focus is on Bond all the way. In Casino Royal Fleming manages to make a game of cards very interesting, even for the non-card player. He pulls off a similar trick here with an 18-hole round of golf.

The male chauvinism, of course is in there. When Bond first meets Tilly Masterton, "Their eyes met and exchanged a flurry of masculine/feminine master/slave signals" (pg 149). On page 222 Bond laments "giving the votes to women" and argues that, as a rsult, "feminine qualities were dying out and being transferred to males", making "panises" out of both sexes, who are "not yet comletely homosexual" but are "confused" - what a theory! As in the film, Pussy Galore changes her sexual orientation when she meets Bond. The book, however, delves into the causes of her lesbianism (and, by extension, the cause of lesbianism in general in the Fleming world picture) - it stems from chillhood sexual abuse.

There is also the usual racial superiority - there is some shocking prejudice against the Koreans (of which race Oddjob is a member). At one point, Goldfinger explains to Bond how he supplies his Korean workforce with "street women" from London: "The women are not much to look at, but they are white and that is all the Koreans ask - to submit the white race to the grossest indignaties" (pg 129).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By SirChutney on 10 April 2015
Format: Paperback
My project to read all the original Fleming Bonds continues!

Published in 1959 Goldfinger is the seventh book in the original James Bond series. Yet again (as with Live and Let Die and Dr. No) we see Bond having to sort out an American problem; plus he offends most readers along the way, for example:

* Bond bemoans “giving the votes to women”
* Bond is such a man that lesbian Pussy Galore falls for him (the “cause” of lesbianism being child abuse or woman winning the right to vote)
* Koreans are sub-humans
* Avoid all homosexuals and Mexicans, and
* People who suffer with cleft palates are generally unintelligible

There are lots more examples of sexist, misogynistic, homophobic and racist passages, these are just the highlights (or lowlights). But like I’ve said in previous reviews that these books should be set into context of the time in which Fleming wrote them. I tended to mentally skip over them allowing me to enjoy Goldfinger as a thrilling and enjoyable adventure.

The book is almost like three short stories which Fleming glued together. The first “Happenstance”, concerns Goldfinger cheating at cards, next we have “Coincidence”, containing the extended golf match (more of which below) and finally “Enemy Action”, the raid on Fort Knox. While there are common threads running through the whole narrative it is at times a little wordy and sprawling. Towards the end of the book the suspense starts to dip and the story struggles a little as Bond seems to be more of an observer as opposed to an instigator or driver of the action.

The novel opens with Bond musing over life, death and how he fits into the world.
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