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Moonraker (James Bond 007) Paperback – 4 Apr 2002


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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (4 April 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141002980
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141002989
  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 11.1 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,512,233 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)


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5 of 5 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 Inspector Gadget VINE VOICE on 8 Mar 2014
Format: Paperback
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 By KK_Bing on 12 Nov 2013
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 By Victor HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 26 April 2013
Format: Paperback
Published in 1955, this is the third print outing for superspy James Bond, in a novel that is 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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