Customer Reviews


32 Reviews
5 star:
 (19)
4 star:
 (10)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Of Ian Fleming's Best
Thunderball was the 9th James Bond book by Ian Fleming and it is one ofhis best 007 books.
The story sees secret agent James Bond 007 being sent to try and recovertwo atomic bombs that have been hijacked by the terrorist organisationSPECTRE, lead by their ruthless leader Ernst Stavro Blofeld, who has giventhe UK government 7 days to pay SPECTRE a ransom of...
Published on 28 April 2004 by Mr. C. Watson

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't leave me shaken OR stirred
The ninth of the classic James Bond novels, I was looking forward to this one after being completely gripped by 'Moonraker' and 'Live and Let Die' when I read them a few years ago. This one... wasn't so good. It was interesting and detailed, and it had a well thought-out plot and some well-timed humour. It had all the utter chauvinism one expects of 007, all simpering...
Published on 2 Feb 2010 by Miss E. Potten


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Of Ian Fleming's Best, 28 April 2004
By 
Mr. C. Watson (Glasgow) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Thunderball was the 9th James Bond book by Ian Fleming and it is one ofhis best 007 books.
The story sees secret agent James Bond 007 being sent to try and recovertwo atomic bombs that have been hijacked by the terrorist organisationSPECTRE, lead by their ruthless leader Ernst Stavro Blofeld, who has giventhe UK government 7 days to pay SPECTRE a ransom of £100,000,000 or thebombs will be detonated in two unspecified but high profile locations inthe US or UK. Whilst investigating in the Bahamas 007 meets Domino Petachia girl who is the lover of a millionaire explorer Emilio Largo who is inthe Bahamas with a group of businessmen with the intention of treasurehunting from his luxury yacht the Disco Volante. Bond becomes suspiciousof Largo and is convinced that Largo has stolen the bombs and is stowingthem on board his yacht and is using the treasure hunt as a cover to avoidarousing suspicion, but trying to convince the government and 007's boss"M" that there is a case for action proves difficult so Bond and CIA agentFelix Leiter must use their own with and recover the bombs before timeruns out.
This book sets a very fast pace early on and is a very engaging novelwhich leaves you wanting to turn to the next page quickly and it is a verysharp piece of work by one of the best thriller writers in history.
If, like me, you have seen the 1967 film version of this book it will helpyou to understand the plot and create a better picture in your mind of thestory that is taking place.
Even if you are not a Bond fan but enjoy a good thriller novel then thisis definitely worth a read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A surprisingly cinematic Bond novel, lacking some of the usual flair, 12 Feb 2012
By 
Jim J-R (West Sussex, UK) - See all my reviews
Of all the James Bond books, this one feels the most cinematic, though I do wonder whether my knowledge that the novel is based on an idea for a film influences me in feeling this. When two British atomic weapons go missing, M puts everyone on alert, and sends Bond on a mission to the Bahamas to track them down.

Thunderball seems to be different from the earlier books. Bond feels slightly less rough around the edges - he's mellowed perhaps? His over-opinionated ways are much lessened, and he comes across even as slightly vulnerable. The other characters are the opposite. Whereas before there was in depth background about Goldfinger, Rosa Klebb, Dr No and so on, in this book Largo seems to be nothing more than a puppet. Blofeld gets the rich detailed treatment in an early chapter, but is promptly ignored from then on, making Bond's battle with Largo feel rather perfunctory and impersonal.

The detail of the settings is also sparser than before. In earlier books the reader is treated to long descriptions about the different winds, visits to Harlem, casinos, cars and so on, all of which are missing from this book. Instead, the focus seems to be on action and actual investigation - it would be fair to say this is almost the first novel in which Bond has actually had to do some proper spying. It is written as if for the screen and not the page.

I would go as far as to say that the opening is probably my favourite section of the book. This is the part in which Bond is himself and has his usual foibles. It's the part that gives Blofeld such a brilliant background - setting up an ambitious idea on Fleming's part to have an enemy that could feature in several novels.

Overall though I'm afraid I didn't find it to be at the better end of the series, lacking the unique elements that characterise Bond's earlier outings. It's certainly not bad though, just perhaps more in line with a run-of-the-mill thriller.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent start to the SPECTRE trilogy, 2 Jun 2001
By A Customer
Having read all but the 3 SPECTRE novels I began this book with high expectations. I was not disappointed. The book holds a fantastic storyline; SPECTRE have highjacked two nuclear warheads and have threatened to use them if a huge ransom is not paid. Every agent in the western hemisphere is put on the job of finding these misiles. James Bond, having just returned from two weeks in at health club, is stationed in the Bahamas, the last place the missiles are expected to be... This book bursts with high-octane suspense and action towards the end. It has all the usual excessories: The location, the villain, the beautiful girl. It has it all!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fleming at his best!, 1 April 2000
By A Customer
This is not one of the best Bond-books... this is the best! I own my copy about ten years; i did read it four times in this period. I love all Bond-novels by Ian Fleming, but this one has to be the number one for me. The story is so fast... when you start reading it, you won't stop! The storyline is very credible. The end is perfect. Much better then both of the two movies ('Thunderball' & 'Never say never again'). A-must-read!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Bond's ninth outing., 28 Aug 2014
Ian Fleming's 9th Bond novel, and interestingly the one that I feel the film scriptwriters altered the least for big screen, although I am sure I read somewhere that it was written with a film in mind and that is how there came to be some infighting in the Bond camp over the film rights.

What starts as an order to attend a health farm by M, soon escalates into the search for missing atomic bombs and a ransom for $100,000,000. We are introduced to the mastermind Ernst Stavros Blofeld and the terrorist group SPECTRE..

As usual for a Bond book it contains plenty of action, beautiful women and a cleverly written plot. But for me, and it seems as if I am alone in this, it just didn't live up the previous novels (with the exception of Casino Royale which I didn't like). There just wasn't enough Bond in the book and too much time going into other characters backgrounds, especially those that would be killed of in as many pages as it took to introduce them. I did enjoy the book and Blofeld is an amazingly written baddy, even if most of the coverage is given to Largo.

All in all not a bad weapon in the Bond arsenal, just not the best.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Familiar Tale, 15 Feb 2010
By 
C. Green "happily low brow" (Quenington, Glos, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Thunderball (Paperback)
Some time ago I decided to read, or in some cases re-read, all of Ian Fleming's original James Bond novels in the order in which they were published. Having gotten as far as the short story compilation For Your Eyes Only (Penguin Viking Lit Fiction) however, I found that I needed to take a break from Bond for a while. Even with other books interspersed between each Bond adventure I'd had too much of 007 in too concentrated a period and had started to lose my critical perspective.

So I gave up on Bond for a few months, which meant that when I finally picked up Thunderball the character of 007, the world and time he inhabited (these are essentially period novels now) and Fleming's style all felt fresh again. Which turned out to be a good thing, because for anyone who has seen the cinematic Thunderball (and I have seen it many, many times, along with the remake Never Say Never Again) then the plot of the novel will by contrast feel far from fresh & new. Whereas the plots of most Bond novels, with the honourable exception of Dr No. & From Russia With Love, differ substantially from their cinematic namesakes, bar a few details 'Thunderball-the-movie' mirrors 'Thunderball-the-novel' almost exactly.

This doesn't make it a bad novel, just a rather familiar experience that as a consequence lacks real tension due to the corresponding lack of uncertainty over the eventual outcome. In some ways in fact, its inferior to the movie version. Certainly on paper the villain of the piece, Largo, is a far less charismatic and threatening character than he is as portrayed on screen by Adolfo Celi, the pacing of the book is too slow in places compared to the film, and the final underwater battle, although more 'realistic' on the page lacks the scale of the movie's grand finale.

There are positives however. As with all the Bond novels, the written word allows Fleming to go into far more depth when it comes to characterisations, motivations and settings than the films could ever hope to. You get a real feel for Nassau and the Bahamas in the late 1950's and the comparison between the later tropical scenes and the opening passage set in the dowdy health-spa down in Sussex brings it home to you how exotic Bond's overseas adventures must have seemed to readers back in Britain when the book was first published. In the character of Domino Fleming offers a female lead (I dislike the monika 'Bond Girl' for the characters in the books) who is far stronger and more proactive than Claudine Auger's on-screen portrayal. Yes, she's essentially Largo's kept woman but she's also tough and brave, withstanding torture in order to protect Bond and have her ultimate revenge.

As always there will be the inevitable complaints about Fleming's less than enlightened descriptions of afro-Carribean Bahamanians and his mysogynism, but as long as you treat Thunderball, as with all other Bond novels, as products of the attitudes of their time then these are minor niggles that can be ignored or forgiven. Inevitably the book also feels very dated, possibly more so than some earlier Bond adventures, but as I said before it should be treated as a period novel and not a contemporary adventure.

All in all, if you're a fan of the literary or cinematic Bond then you'll enjoy Thunderball in novel form, even if it does feel a little too familiar and comfortable at times. If however, you're looking for the perfect Bond novel I'd recommend tackling From Russia with Love (Penguin Viking Lit Fiction) instead, which has been my favourite out of the nine I've tackled so far.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't leave me shaken OR stirred, 2 Feb 2010
By 
This review is from: Thunderball (Paperback)
The ninth of the classic James Bond novels, I was looking forward to this one after being completely gripped by 'Moonraker' and 'Live and Let Die' when I read them a few years ago. This one... wasn't so good. It was interesting and detailed, and it had a well thought-out plot and some well-timed humour. It had all the utter chauvinism one expects of 007, all simpering secretaries and bourbon-swigging machismo - which is sort of part of the charm of these old stories. But 'Thunderball' just lacked the building suspense, the deadly peril, and the nerve-wracking finale of the other Bond stories I've read - all the things that really set the books apart from the cheesy action of the movies - and that really disappointed me. There were a couple of thrilling moments, but nothing to make me sit back and think, 'wow'. I'll still be reading more of 007's adventures, but I won't be hanging onto this one to read again.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thunderball: Ian Fleming - Thunderingly good adventure for Bond, 4 Jun 2013
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
First published in 1961, Thunderball is the ninth print outing (and the eighth full length novel) for Ian Fleming's superspy, James Bond. It's an absolutely cracking read, and my favourite of the series following Moonraker.

The book starts off with Bond sent to health farm by M. While there he runs into a certain Count Lippe, and as a result unwittingly incommodes the plans of a major new crime syndicate, SPECTRE. Not long after a couple of nuclear missiles are hijacked, and Bond is on his way to the Bahamas following up what seems to be a slender lead, but one that soon turns into a certainty and Bond is in a race against time to get the missiles back before a major city is wiped out.

This is a great read, with Fleming's trademark action set pieces, superbly colourful scene setting prose and larger than life villains. This is the first of the trilogy of books featuring Blofeld, though Bond doesn't actually come face to face with him here. Opening with a great description of the mother of all hang-overs (Fleming writing from experience) Fleming never really lets up with his great descriptive prose, managing to make every detail clear in the minds eye, making every location and character come to life. Right through to the final underwater battle you feel totally immersed in the action.

Another mark in favour of this excellent book is the slightly vulnerable depiction of Bond. Not quite the self confident impervious hero of earlier books (and of the big screen), this Bond has the occasional bout of self doubt, making him seem more human than before.

It's a thrilling read from a master of the form, 5 stars.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thunderball: Ian Fleming - Thunderingly good adventure for Bond, 4 Jun 2013
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Thunderball (Paperback)
First published in 1961, Thunderball is the ninth print outing (and the eighth full length novel) for Ian Fleming's superspy, James Bond. It's an absolutely cracking read, and my favourite of the series following Moonraker.

The book starts off with Bond sent to health farm by M. While there he runs into a certain Count Lippe, and as a result unwittingly incommodes the plans of a major new crime syndicate, SPECTRE. Not long after a couple of nuclear missiles are hijacked, and Bond is on his way to the Bahamas following up what seems to be a slender lead, but one that soon turns into a certainty and Bond is in a race against time to get the missiles back before a major city is wiped out.

This is a great read, with Fleming's trademark action set pieces, superbly colourful scene setting prose and larger than life villains. This is the first of the trilogy of books featuring Blofeld, though Bond doesn't actually come face to face with him here. Opening with a great description of the mother of all hang-overs (Fleming writing from experience) Fleming never really lets up with his great descriptive prose, managing to make every detail clear in the minds eye, making every location and character come to life. Right through to the final underwater battle you feel totally immersed in the action.

Another mark in favour of this excellent book is the slightly vulnerable depiction of Bond. Not quite the self confident impervious hero of earlier books (and of the big screen), this Bond has the occasional bout of self doubt, making him seem more human than before.

It's a thrilling read from a master of the form, 5 stars.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Solid if below average Bond book, 8 Nov 2008
The ninth Bond book is a good solid adventure yarn, and a welcome return after the unusual departure into short stories that was For Your Eyes only. However, it doesn't live up to the best of the Bond books, being a little slow moving and unsuspensful. Bond isn't often in any real peril, he always has a lot of support around him and he doesn't get captured. Thunderball is notable for introducing Blofeld, the most famous of all the Bond villains (though he isn't in the book vey much, the main baddie being Largo, his Number 2) and also for being one of only two Bond books to have two films made of it (the other is Casino Royal).
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Thunderball: James Bond 007
£3.59
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews