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Moonraker [Paperback]

Ian Fleming
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)

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Book Description

26 Oct 2006
At M’s request, Bond has gone up against Sir Hugo Drax at the card table, on a mission to teach the millionaire and head of the Moonraker project a lesson he won’t forget, and prevent a scandal engulfing Britain’s latest defence system. But there is more to the mysterious Drax than simply cheating at cards. And once Bond delves deeper into goings on at the Moonraker base he discovers that both the project and its leader are something other than they pretend to be …

Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (26 Oct 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141028335
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141028330
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 11.1 x 18.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 497,956 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

Moonraker is a treat of a classic Bond spy thriller. There is intrigue at M's exclusive gambling club "Blades" on Park Lane where Sir Hugo Drax, a multi- millionaire business tycoon, revered by the British public because of his Moonraker missile defence programme, has been accruing millions of pounds at the Poker table. Why would Drax wish to make more money? How could he be achieving such success against the world's premier gamblers? As "the best card-player in the service", Bond is called in to find out the answers.

Bond quickly adjudges Drax a "bullying, boorish, loud-mouthed vulgarian" and, more importantly for his mission, a cheat at cards. Bond beats Drax at his own game, winning thousands of pounds and severely unsettling the millionaire in the process. His advice to 007 before leaving the club is: "I should spend the money quickly, Commander Bond." Indeed.

Never one to ignore a hot tip, Bond is preparing to splash his winnings on a Rolls-Bentley Convertible and three diamond clips when he hears of a double-shooting at Drax's Moonraker base. Concerned about the possibility of sabotage, Bond is sent undercover to investigate, but things just don't add up. Why are the workforce all German--this is post-war Britain after all? On the job, Bond meets Special Branch Agent Gala Brand, planted onsite ostensibly as Drax's private secretary. Despite initial fractious relations, the two spies grow to respect each other and eventually discover the frightening and horrific truth about Drax and Moonraker. Here the plot speeds up and we are treated to some vintage Fleming lines: "Bond set his teeth and rode his car as if she was a Lipizaner at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna."

Moonraker is a finely honed Bond novel displaying all of Fleming's distinctive innuendo and humour. Head and shoulders above the more recent action-packed bestsellers. --Julian Broster --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Irresistibly readable (Observer ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moonraker - A Five Star James Bond Novel 20 Jan 2007
A true masterpiece from the creator himself. I've always loved Moonraker, but this reading, like all other previous ones, just got more enjoyable. I find the main location of this novel, and the only location, England to perfectly suit the dark and nasty story that lurks in this book, the pure mind of the villain, Drax, is clearly shown in Chapter 22, Pandora's Box, and it is shown off to a good extent. This story works with just one location, because it allows everything else to take first place in the story with great emphasis, namely the characters and the plot, which are key in Moonraker.

Yes, it's interesting to note minimal references to Die Another Day --

He suddenly decided to be ruthless. "I'm told that Five and Five is your limit. Let's play for that. -Moonraker, Chapter 6.

Let's play for this. I picked it up in Cuba, I believe it's one of yours. -Die Another Day

The character of "good old" Sir Hugo Drax is one of Fleming's best villains ever, pure mania driving his obsession with fury and his loyalty to the Moonraker project, and any scene with Bond antagonizing him is done very, very well. The description he gets during the card scene, and how Bond uses his deformities to anger him during his telling of his true identity is very effective.

Gala Brand, the woman who is just as apt as James Bond, a true heroine who fights the whole way with Bond for the cause, and whose frosty exterior quickly melts away as soon as she gets to know Bond, without the watchful eye of Drax, Krebs, and Walter. I find their golden day encounter to be a very effective chapter, with the swimming, bleeding flowers, and the cliff accident, that is exciting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars At least it's better than the movie 8 Mar 2014
By Inspector Gadget VINE VOICE
Moonraker is notorious among Bond fans for being the height of the 70s stupidity which pulled the series very, very far from Ian Fleming's tone. I have not seen it for years but I recall it basically being TSWLM in space with a dumb outer space laser battle, and, of course, the pigeon doing a double take.

It had basically nothing to do with the 1955 novel apart from Bond, the villain Hugo Drax (in name only) and the title. Ev-er-y-thing else is completely different. While the movie was an expensive epic that tried to be Bond meets Star Wars, the novel is very low key and focuses more on investigation and some mystery.

M calls Bond to his office with concerns about popular high-flyer Sir Hugo Drax cheating at cards at a swanky London club. Why would a multi-millionaire want to earn a pittance and risk his reputation by cheating? As soon as Bond begins observing, and growing suspicious, of Drax there is a tragedy at his nuclear facility. The Moonraker project (basically a big nuke - an early version of an ICBM) is due for a test launch in a couple of days but when one of Drax's men apparently goes mad and does a murder-suicide Bond is moved in to investigate and soon discovers that Drax is not the man he claims to be.

I found a few similarities to Goldeneye in regards to Drax's motivations, but aside from that it will all be completely new to those of you who have just seen the movies. Fleming details a lot of the south east coast of England and many country backroads, that's about as as close to space as you get. It's maybe a bit too quaint compared to modern spy novels but does seem to be cutting edge for its time.

The ending is a bit of a downer though, but realistic. I so wish that the movies were made in chronological order.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true fan should read these stories 12 Nov 2013
By KK_Bing
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you love 007 it's worth reading these stories as it gives you a better insight into the characters and the way the story develops. Instead of focusing on the gadgets and the women like the movies do the story develops as do the characters.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They should film this! 16 Dec 2012
By AndyMG
Format:Audio CD
For me Moonraker remains the worst of the James Bond Movies (With Quantum of Solace coming a very close second) It was just silly and over the top - UNLIKE THE NOVEL - which was thrilling, exciting, tense and a terrific read. If only they had filmed this story - maybe they still will. To re-discover Moonraker being so brilliantly read is like discovering an old master piece. 10/10.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Re-discovering Bond - Forty Years On 28 July 2003
By A Customer
It was very interesting to re-read this book after nearly forty years and to re-discover the original James Bond of the Ian Fleming novels. The book, needless to say, is very different to the film version. No trips into outer space, no Jaws, no Roger Moore style one-liners! Instead we get an enjoyable and entertaining secret agent story rooted firmly in the 1950s in which disappointed Nazi Sir Hugo Drax plots to destroy London with a guided missile while all the time pretending to be a benefactor dedicated to protecting Britain from her Iron Curtain enemies. The other interesting thing about this book is that it has a British setting. No exotic foreign locations for "Moonraker" - all of the action takes place in London and Kent, with references to such places as Dover, Deal, Maidstone and Canterbury. This is also the one and only Bond novel in which our hero fails to get the heroine into bed. Gala Brand keeps her honour and goes off to marry a police colleague at the end of the narrative. "Moonraker: the novel" makes an enjoyable antidote to the flights of fancy of some of the later films and proves to the present reviewer that 007 belongs in the Cold War era of the 1950s and early 1960s - not in the very different world of the early 21st century!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Time to remake the movie set in the Fifties?
The third of the James Bond novels, published in 1955. I was brought up on the movies rather than Ian Fleming's books, and 'Moonraker' with Roger Moore and Lois Chiles was always... Read more
Published 29 days ago by Bridgwater Lad
2.0 out of 5 stars A bit disappointing
I feel a bit let down as I didn't laugh once. I've seen all the Austen Powers adaptations and they were hilarious.
Published 2 months ago by Stephen Woolhouse
4.0 out of 5 stars Moonraker - James Bond's Third Adventure - A Good Read
This picks up about six months after the end of Live and Let Die. Now rested Bond meets with his superior M who requests that he comes with him to his club and try and spot if Sir... Read more
Published 3 months ago by John Mulkerrin
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect!
My husband travels regularly to London and beyond - audio books are perfect for him during the journey - and he is a Bond fan which makes this series of titles perfect :)
Published 3 months ago by Ms. A. Heywood
5.0 out of 5 stars Retro Double-O
A very imaginative and original adventure story. Books are often better than their film counterparts and it's certainly true of this one. Read more
Published 4 months ago by William J. Bale
5.0 out of 5 stars 00 Heaven.
I would recommend this series of books. Quite large print, making them easy to read.
Allied to a very prompt delivery at a very cheap price.
Published 4 months ago by Darren Sheppeard
3.0 out of 5 stars Weak third novel in the Bond series
'Moonraker' is one of the weakest novels in the original Bond canon. 007 gets no further afield than 1950's Dover in this particularly lacklustre tale, where he pits his wits... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Jl Adcock
4.0 out of 5 stars so, so, so much better than the film
Started reading the Bond books again 20 years after I first did, and this is my favorite so far... Good characterization of the villain, the heroine is an independent, feisty... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Tunbridge Tone
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb
Nothing like the movie. This is a superb thriller and perhaps one his best books. I have no idea what went on in the bridge game but the rest of it was edge of seat stuff. Read more
Published 5 months ago by S. Rafiq
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, and different to the film which made all the more...
I think this is my favourite bond novel so far, I'm reading them in order and this one I particularly enjoyed. It has a good pace, and the story keeps you tuning those pages.
Published 5 months ago by Al
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