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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bravo, Mr Bond!
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...
Published on 28 July 2008 by Jay Lew

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Happenstance, Coincidence and Enemy Action
If your only experience of James Bond has come via the big screen, then Ian Fleming's original creation may come as something of a revelation. Gone are all traces of the debonair, suave and entirely self-assured silver screen version of 007; Fleming's version of the character is altogether more fallible and often haunted by self-doubt. Fleming's version is more nuanced...
Published 24 months ago by Steve Benner


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bravo, Mr Bond!, 28 July 2008
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent release in the series, 18 Oct 2012
By 
S. Lindgren - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Goldfinger (Audio CD)
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Goldfinger is probably the best known of all Fleming's Bond stories, and here we have the complete book, unabridged, spread across 8 CDs and read, rather well, by Hugh Bonneville.

It is not my favourite Bond novel -Casino Royale and the oft-forgotten Man with the Golden Gun are my pick, along with the two volumes of short stories- but it's still a good adventure story, with gloriously caricatured figures and sharply observed details. If you are only used to the films, the novels and their comparative lack of gadgets and sometimes slow pacing may come as a shock -personally I prefer that, but to each their own. Just something to be aware of when making a decision whether or not to buy. Likewise, if you have read some of the books and don't care for the books, an audio book version isn't likely to change your mind, other than perhaps helping give a better feel of the atmosphere.

As with the other readings in the series, this is a straight audio book, without any additional frippery, effects, music or other distractions. Hugo Bonneville's pacing is excellent, as you would expect, and he never gets in the way of the text, giving a good feel of the atmosphere Fleming was trying to create. The packaging is solid, but as in the other releases, the discs are held on a single central clip, which is something I dislike: the discs can bend significantly when being extracted, and it hampers swift access. Given the price though, this is not a major objection.

Overall, well worth a purchase if you like Fleming's novels and want an audiobook version of Goldfinger.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Up to the usual Bond series standard, 1 Mar 2008
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). Later, Bond has a desire "to put Oddjob and any other Korean firmly in his place, which, in Bond's estimation, was rather lower than apes in the mammalian hierarchy" (pg 181). These are just two examples: there is plenty more of this stuff in the book.

Because these words and thoughts are attributed to both Bond and Goldfinger, you get the impression that the prejudice doe come from Fleming himself rather than just his characters. But you have to remember the period in which these books were written, and not take this stuff too seriously.

The famous 1965 film follows the book quite closely. All the memorable characters and set pieces are there: Bond sniffing out Goldfinger's method of cheating at cards, the rigged game of golf, Bond pinned down on a table with a laser/circular saw threatening to cut him in half (the classic lines from the film - "Do you expect me to talk?" "No, Mr Bond, I expect you to die") are not in the book, sadly), Pussy Galore and her team of lesbians, Oddjob and his bowler hat, and the heist on Fort Knox. However, in the book (and rather less ingeniously than in the film) Goldfinger does intend simply to rob Fort Knox rather than irradiate its gold.

Disappointingly, the last third of the book lacks suspense and drags a little.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Happenstance, Coincidence and Enemy Action, 23 Dec 2012
By 
Steve Benner "Stonegnome" (Lancaster, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Goldfinger (Audio CD)
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If your only experience of James Bond has come via the big screen, then Ian Fleming's original creation may come as something of a revelation. Gone are all traces of the debonair, suave and entirely self-assured silver screen version of 007; Fleming's version of the character is altogether more fallible and often haunted by self-doubt. Fleming's version is more nuanced than you'll find portrayed in the films, often at odds with the world as it is. There is also no snobbery about him, either; rather the exact opposite, as he often finds himself having more in common with the men he is sent after than for those whom he serves. And while driven by a deep sense of honour and of chivalry, he is, if anything, even more sexist, misogynistic and homophobic than his silver screen alter ego. These latter unpleasant traits really come to the fore in "Goldfinger", the seventh of the novels, dating from 1959 -- and rather showing its age, these days.

Fleming's original storylines are generally far more involved and much better structured than the bastardised versions adopted by the film franchise. This isn't so true of "Goldfinger" however, which has as somewhat rambling and unsatisfying storyline in the book -- effectively being three story episodes stitched together to make a larger narrative, in places making even less sense than the screenplay. Bond's role in the book, particularly in the later stages is more as passive observer than as action figure, giving the story an unbalanced and unsatisfying feel.

For those who would rather have books read to them than read them for themselves, AudioGo's series of complete and unexpurgated CD audio books of Ian Fleming Bond stories, released under the series title, "007 Reloaded", offer an excellent alternative to printed copy. This volume is admirably read by Hugh Bonneville across a total of 8 CDs, with a total running time of approx 7hr 45mins. As a recording, this release can be highly recommended, despite the weaknesses in the book's storyline.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My first Bond book. So much better than the film, 11 Nov 2014
By 
Mister G (Bristol) - See all my reviews
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This is the first Bond book that I have read. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is so much better than the film.

It is good to see the background behind the story - the parts that were either changed or omitted when making the film. For example, reading about Felix's background was an eye opener - I knew about him from the films but didn't know his history and how he came to be involved with James Bond.

Elements of the story are, of course, far fetched such as the assault on Fort Knox but that did not stop me from thoroughly enjoying the book.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Goldfinger - James Bond's Seventh Adventure - Lacking The Midas Touch, 6 May 2014
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After completing a mission in Mexico James Bond is waiting at Miami airport for a flight home when he is recognised by Julius Du Pont who was there that night in Royale (Casino Royale). Du Pont requests Bond's help to uncover why a man called Auric Goldfinger keeps taking a fortune off him at cards. Bond unravels the scam and gets Goldfinger to pay up.

On his return home Bond is assigned to track Goldfinger as large amounts of undeclared Gold bullion is disappearing from the British economy. The Secret Service has been approached by the Bank of England to investigate and the belief is Goldfinger is helping SMERSH.

The story takes in a game of Golf, travel through the French countryside to Switzerland and the attempted raid on Fort Knox. Goldfinger maybe not the traditional Bond Villain but with his henchman Oddjob they make a formidable team.

The real problem I have with this is would Goldfinger have allowed Bond to survive when he he had the chance to get more than even? Getting all of those crime syndicates to work together?Then there is the females who feature. There is the Masterton sisters (Jill and Tilly) and how could Pussy Galore change like that?

The plus points Felix Leither makes a return in another well written book by Ian Fleming. But overall not how a Bond adventure should be.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't Put Down ! You'll want to buy the set., 28 July 2009
By 
This review is from: Goldfinger (Paperback)
I read most of the 007 books when I was a young lad. They we're given to me by my Brother-in-law. Because of the price I bought several novels. I'm not kidd'in you I could'nt put 'em down. There BRILLIANT ! FANTASTICALLY written ! In many ways much more dramatic then the films. You can't help imagining Connery being the Bond in the books as well as the films. Look lets cut to the chase buy one of these books I promise you that you won't be dissapointed you'll want to read another & another.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Even I am not capable of that, Mr Bond, 12 Sep 2013
This review is from: Goldfinger: James Bond 007 (Vintage Classics) (Paperback)
Bond's seventh outing under the pen of Ian Fleming. I have been reading the Bond books in order and have to say that with each novel they just keep getting better.

As with the film Bond is pitted against Auric Goldfinger and his personal assistant Oddjob. So many reviewers here seem to give away the plot twists that make the book different from the film, so I won't go into any plot detail. Suffice to say that there is enough of a difference to allow the reader a few oohs and aahs as they follow Bond on his journey.

Fleming (in more than any of the previous novels) allows us into the thoughts and feelings of Bond on various subjects - or are they Flemings?....

Views on Koreans, Homosexuals and short men are expressed. But any reader should place the book in the context of the time that it was written. Too many people seem to give a book a negative review because it fails to meet todays PC attitudes.

As usual with Fleming excellent descriptions of people and places are included that allows the reader to really get involved. The only reason that I have given the book 4 stars instead of 5 is the whole chapter dedicated to an almost shot by shot narrative of the golf game got a little weary.

As any fans of the film will tell you the most iconic shot is Bond spread-eagled under the laser beam. And the immortal 'Do you expect me to talk Goldfinger....' replied with 'No Mr Bond, I expect you to die!' The book in my opinion far exceeds this dialogue, and is replaced by these words:

Bond:"Then you can go and f*** yourself" Goldfinger: "Even I am not capable of that, Mr Bond")

Pure brilliance.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting to compare with the film, 15 Nov 2012
By 
hfffoman (Kent) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Goldfinger (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Watching old James Bond films takes you back in time but the books feel even more dated. James Bond's comments about Koreans being apes, and lesbians having mixed up hormones caused by 50 years of emancipation, will take your breath away. Look at this extraordinary conversation between Bond and Goldfinger:

"I was very impressed by that chauffeur of yours. Where did he learn that fantastic combat stuff?

...Have you ever heard of Karate? No? Well that man is one of the three in the world who have achieved the black belt in karate. Karate is a branch of judo..."

The golf match between Bond and Goldfinger contains so much golf detail, it takes more than half an hour of narration, including Bond's agonizing over whether to cheat. I normally find anything to do with golf excruciatingly boring but I have to admit that this detail created a realistic feel.

I found it interesting to see how the tongue in cheek, witty film compares with its source, a book that takes its absurd story seriously. You have to keep reminding yourself that crazy villains trying to take over the world from subterranean superbases were a new idea in Fleming's day. The concept simply didn't exist in the popular imagination as it does now. Fleming's original readers didn't half-laugh, as we do at the films, they were supposed to take the books seriously, to be impressed by the power and technology, appalled at the villainy. The Bond that emerges is more of a real human than the film character. He has fears and insecurities, curses his mistakes and worries about pain and defeat.

I have several of this set. My favourite was On Her Majesty's secret Service. (I reviewed it separately so won't go on about it here except to say that I found David Tenant the best of the readers.) Hugh Bonneville's reading is also good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Interesting Book Mr Fleming., 12 Nov 2012
By 
Glenn Cook (South Cave, near Hull UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Goldfinger (Audio CD)
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Note this is a review of the Unabridged Audio Version read by Huge Bonneville

The original book Goldfinger was published in 1959 and was the seventh appearance of Bond. The book is of its time.
Now I had better explain that.

The world and its attitudes were altogether different from the world of today.
Make no mistakes Bond is very much a man of that time with his attitude to Lesbians and Koreans!
The big impression is that Flemings Bond is a Sexist and racist.
Once you get over that startling conclusion you are left with the book/

The reader or should that be listener in this case needs to take that into consideration - the book is a lot different to the abridged nature of the film.

This CD unabridged version is very long at 8 CDs length but it is a very entertaining 8 CDs.
The reader is Hugh Bonneville now perhaps better know for his portrayal of Lord Grantham in the televison series Downtown Abbey.
He is a good and entertaining reader and has done a good job.
He has good pace, characterises well and is an enjoable narrator.

Back to the
The book may be broken down into 3 phases.
Bond meets Goldfinger by accident. Bond is requested to find out how Goldfinger manages to cheat at cards. Bond investigates and in the subsequent game of golf they he turns the tables on Auric Goldfinger.
Later Bond meets Goldfinger who it turns out makes his money moving gold around the world.
he is accepted in Goldfingers world and invited to his house.
Goldfinger has the usual cast of flunkies including Oddjob the dog eating Korean- yes I kid you not!
And Pussy Galore who turns out to be a Lesbian.
But Bond soon cures her of that the old fashioned way! (Yes it is that clichéd)
The set has s an interesting interview with Bonneville and this really explains some of the - well what's the word? - peculiarities of Bond and his views?
that even Bonneville found unexpted.

This is my third in the series and I must admit I am enjoying the ride.
On Her Majesty's Secret Service
Dr No (Unabridged)
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Goldfinger: James Bond 007 (Vintage Classics)
Goldfinger: James Bond 007 (Vintage Classics) by Ian Fleming (Paperback - 6 Sep 2012)
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