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Moonraker Paperback – 26 Oct 2006

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (26 Oct. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141028335
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141028330
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 1.9 x 18.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 721,933 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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Western N.Y. on 20 Jan. 2007
Format: Paperback
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 By Victor HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 26 April 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Published in 1955, this is the third print outing for superspy James Bond, in a novel that stands out even among the pretty high standard of the series.

Bond is asked by M for a personal favour - will he go down to M's card club and investigate a possible case of cheating by Sir Hugo Drax, a man held so highly in the public estimation due to his sponsorship of a certain defence project that a whiff of scandal would be disastrous. After a tense and nerve wracking card game (for the reader as well as the participants!) he takes Drax at his own game. Soon, events take him to the site of a major missile launch overseen by Drax. There is a whiff of something wrong, imperceptible perhaps, but just a lingering note, and Bond is soon enmeshed in a desperate struggle to stop a madman.

It's a thrilling ride. Fleming writes with verve and passion, and manages to get the atmosphere across beautifully. In the card game you can feel Bond's sweat, and the car chase through Kent is a masterpiece of thrilling writing, it had me on the edge of my seat. But he is not afraid to contrast this with the humdrum, the descriptions of Bond's office life, wearily reading boring files. Fleming uses his usual eye for the grotesque to create an imposing villain, and an eye for detail that fills every scene and brings it alive in Fleming's own unique style. There is a reason his novels are still so popular when contemporaries such as Alistair MacLean are being forgotten, and one of those is the superior writing and story telling style. It's a really thrilling book, and a real nail biter in places. Thoroughly recommended read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 July 2003
Format: Paperback
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this on the recommendation of Stephen Fry. No, really - he (rightly) praises the first part of the book as a taut and accurate depiction of 1950s, post war (intelligence) establishment culture. It's a world dominated by men (of course), most of whom had a 'good war' and, when not out in the field, lead a fairly leisurely life in drab ministry offices. This is where we find our hero, Bond, whose temporarily humdrum existence is shaken up by M's invitation to Blades, an upper crust gambling establishment. The reason for the invitation is that M has discovered that one of Blade's members cheats at cards. So we first encounter Hugo Drax, whose caddishness (we suspect) extends far beyond the card table. Bond exposes him and Drax issues a thinly veiled warning. But there's more to Drax than cheating at cards, because he's building - at his own expense- Britain's first intercontinental missile. So is he a good egg after all?

I haven't read a Bond book for years and I was surprised at how good a descriptive writer Fleming can be: for example his description of the Moonraker rocket is both economical and evocative. But the plot really creaks, and I found myself losing interest once the action moves beyond London clubland. Interestingly, this is the only Bond novel wholly set in England- so no exotic locations, but there is a girl, whose character and abilities are sketched with some skill.

The other interesting aspect of the book is its rather mournful view of the state of the nation. It's set in an England caught between the glories of Empire and the realities of post war decline. National penury is of course represented by the Moonraker - a weapon the country can only afford thanks to a rich benefactor.
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