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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fleming's GOLDEN final novel!
The late Ian Fleming wrote this final Bond thriller just before his sad passing in the early 60s. The big question was with this and "You Only Live Twice", also "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" did the early films influence changes to his original character? The answer is no. The Bond of the books remains as consistent as he was in "Casino Royale" and "Live and Let...
Published on 4 Mar 2003 by Mr. B. D. Fackrell

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the best send off
This is a strange, sad, little novel.

Apparently there's some debate as to whether this posthumously published book was actually finished by Fleming before he died, or completed by other hands. To me it does seem far less polished than any of the other James Bond adventures (but then the same could be said about Phillip Marlowe's swansong `Playback' and...
Published 23 months ago by F.R. Jameson


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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fleming's GOLDEN final novel!, 4 Mar 2003
The late Ian Fleming wrote this final Bond thriller just before his sad passing in the early 60s. The big question was with this and "You Only Live Twice", also "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" did the early films influence changes to his original character? The answer is no. The Bond of the books remains as consistent as he was in "Casino Royale" and "Live and Let Die". The book follows neatly on from "You Only Live Twice" which I would reccommend reading first. Bond has been missing for over a year and his department have already argreed he is dead. In fact he has suffered from amensia and has become corrupted and brainwashed by the KGB. He is sent back to London in an attempt to assainate M, his boss, in a heart stopping and most suspensful opening. Yet when he fails M insists against all odds he should earn a chance to be reinstated, he sends his top man to Jamaica to elminate the millionare hit man, Paco Scaramanga. Fleming's Jmaes Bond ever faithful to his hatred of killing a man in cold blood leds 007 to pass up the perfect opportunity of expiring his enemny and is forced to take a much more dangerous path, he gets inside the man's gang, yet some of the other members are not all what they seem and Scaramanga does not trust Bond as far as he can throw him, and it is only a matter of time before he will realise that Bond is not the man he is pretending to be!
An exciting start leds to some fairly dull moments during the middle of the novel, yet it is not long before things start getting hotter again. Bond is once again portrayed wonderfully by Fleming showing us how his mind works and devealing deep in to his emotions, something that none of the actors in the films could successfully do.
The film version has a completely different plot but the sharp reader may spot one or two nods to the movie of the same name, yet they are not really linked.
As for it's faults, once again, Fleming gives a fairly plain villian, most of the time the bad guys of the books are fairly wooden and too similar to each other, not really proving equal to Bond. Yet, Scaramanga's threat is coloured by other character's description of him. It is not as good as its predessor, "You Only Live Twice" but it comes close, Bond's dreams are beautifully descriptive and so is Fleming's descripton of his female counterpart, Mary Goodnight, who is unfortunately under used in the novel.
All in all, it is a good Fleming Bond novel, there have been some better and others worse. I feel one would need to read other Bond books first to get used to the style to improve their reflections. As previously mentioned, it follows on nicely from "You Only Live Twice" a slightly better book which would make this one benefit from being read first.
However there was only one true James Bond and he lived in the 1950s and early 1960s, on the pages on Ian Flemings brilliant spy novels. This is the final outing of the World's most famous spy before Flemings health sadly failed. And it is great final bow too!
Thanks for reading!
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Golden Shot Comes From Bond, 16 July 2014
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This is another piece of good writing from Ian Fleming. The story puts Bond up against Scaramanga a villain who holds his own with any Bond has encountered.

Like any of the Bond stories they start where the last one ends with a trigger of memory returning of his previous life and having to leave his lover Kissy Suzuki in Japan and head for Vladivostock in the Soviet Union. Unknown to him Kissy is pregnant.

James Bond eventually reached London and is trying to contact M. He has been away for about a year or more and believed to be missing in action.

When eventually a meeting is arranged with M. Bond tries to kill him. However this is stopped and Bond is sedated. In the time he has been In the Soviet Union he has been brainwashed by the KGB. Now the plan is to return him to his former self.

After treatment James Bond is passed fit to return to active duty and eliminate a hired assassin called Scaramanga who has clients like the KGB and the Mafia.

Bond has tracked Scaramanga to a location he knows well. Jamaica. Also there working is his former secretary. The delightful Miss Mary Goodnight

Soon Bond and Scaramanga paths cross. Along with Mary Goodnight, Bond also has help from his good friend Felix Leither.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Man With The Golden Gun; Ian Fleming - Redemption or death for Bond. Or both..., 13 Sep 2013
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
First published in 1965, The Man With The Golden Gun was the thirteenth print outing (and twelfth full length novel) for superspy James Bond. It was the second to last Bond book by Ian Fleming, and published posthumously.

Following the events of `You Only Live Twice', in which Bond had lost his memory and was travelling to Russia to try and recover his identity, we meet a Bond seemingly in command of his faculties once again and trying to make contact with his old boss, M. But there is something amiss, Bond has been brainwashed by SMERSH and has been sent to assassinate M. Following the failed attempt Bond is rehabilitated, and M sends him on a potentially suicidal mission in order to reprove his worth and loyalty to the service. That mission is nothing less than to assassinate Francisco Scaramanga, AKA the man with the Golden Gun.

Bond is soon immersed in Carribean life as he tries to get close to his prey. A stroke of luck places him right next to Scaramanga, but it turns out the hoodlum is into something deep and Bond feels he must investigate and put a stop to the whole show rather than just kill Scaramanga. Aided by his old friend Felix Leiter and his ex-secretary Miss Goodnight, he goes through a tense and thrilling set of adventures as he winds towards one of the best finales that Fleming ever wrote.

Some complain that this book feels a little unfinished and rough around the edges. I have to say that I think this is a blessing. The Bond books had been getting increasingly overblown with greater degrees of grotesquery as Fleming tried to outdo himself with ever more imaginative descriptions. Here there is a feeling of restraint as Fleming had not had time to go back over the bare bones of the story and add too much flesh before he died. But the unadorned story is still a real thrill ride with plenty of painful and well imagined set pieces. It's a great read, 5 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Man With The Golden Gun; Ian Fleming, unabridged reading by Kenneth Branagh - The man with the golden voice, 13 Sep 2013
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Man with the Golden Gun (with Interview) (Unabridged) (Audio Download)
First published in 1965, The Man With The Golden Gun was the thirteenth print outing (and twelfth full length novel) for superspy James Bond. It was the second to last Bond book by Ian Fleming, and published posthumously.

Following the events of `You Only Live Twice', in which Bond had lost his memory and was travelling to Russia to try and recover his identity, we meet a Bond seemingly in command of his faculties once again and trying to make contact with his old boss, M. But there is something amiss, Bond has been brainwashed by SMERSH and has been sent to assassinate M. Following the failed attempt Bond is rehabilitated, and M sends him on a potentially suicidal mission in order to reprove his worth and loyalty to the service. That mission is nothing less than to assassinate Francisco Scaramanga, AKA the man with the Golden Gun.

Bond is soon immersed in Carribean life as he tries to get close to his prey. A stroke of luck places him right next to Scaramanga, but it turns out the hoodlum is into something deep and Bond feels he must investigate and put a stop to the whole show rather than just kill Scaramanga. Aided by his old friend Felix Leiter and his ex-secretary Miss Goodnight, he goes through a tense and thrilling set of adventures as he winds towards one of the best finales that Fleming ever wrote.

Some complain that this book feels a little unfinished and rough around the edges. I have to say that I think this is a blessing. The Bond books had been getting increasingly overblown with greater degrees of grotesquery as Fleming tried to outdo himself with ever more imaginative descriptions. Here there is a feeling of restraint as Fleming had not had time to go back over the bare bones of the story and add too much flesh before he died. But the unadorned story is still a real thrill ride with plenty of painful and well imagined set pieces. It's a great read, 5 stars.

Branagh's reading of the book is excellent. He really has a golden voice that just draws you in. He has an innate feel for the rhythm of the book, and transmits a quite boyish sense of excitement at being involved in the project that is wholly fitting to the Bond books. Also, based on this, can I start a petition here for Branagh to be the next on screen Bond villain?

On 4 discs in a spindle case, and lasting just over 4 hours, this is a great way to pass a few hours in the car. I loved it, 5 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'He's the man...the man with the Midas trigger...', 9 Mar 2009
Oft maligned as the weakest of Ian Fleming's secret agent novels (it was also his last) The Man with the Golden Gun is a thoroughly enjoyable tale of the titular mercenary `Scaramanga' and 007's seemingly suicidal mission to assassinate this thorn in the side of Secret Services around the world.
The novel is certainly unconventional compared to its predecessors; there is no plot as such and Bond, after attempting to murder his boss - M - in the opening chapter, is both irreparably damaged and at the same time stoically determined to redeem himself and continue to serve his country, no matter what the cost. This is a lean and sparing thriller, which serves its purpose as both disposable fun and poignant final chapter in the (original) career of the world's most famous spy.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another fast-moving, (slightly less) prejudice-laden adventure, 23 May 2008
By 
Nicholas J. R. Dougan "Nick Dougan" (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
The imminent arrival of "Devil May Care", the latest Bond Novel, by Sebastian Faulks under licence from the Fleming Estate, seemed a good time to re-read this, the last of Fleming's Bond novels, which was published posthumously in 1965, Fleming having died of heart failure in 1964. (Octopussy, published later, was a collection of short stories.) Fleming had almost killed Bond off at the end of "You Only Live Twice", and I wonder whether he had intended to write a further book at that stage - or whether, indeed, he had expected to have the chance.

Bond returns to London, brainwashed by the KGB, on a mission to kill M, fails, is restored to sanity (or at least, his normal mental state) and is sent on a suicide mission in the Caribbean to find and despatch the eponymous "Pistols" Scaramanga. He finds him in Jamaica - convenient, of course, because that was Fleming's holiday home, where he had a bungalow, called Goldeneye, next door to Noel Coward's (more impressive) one. Several Bond stories, of course, are set in Jamaica, which had a touch of exoticism and where Fleming could easily provide all necessary touches of local colour.

As a result we get little of the taste of living the 50s/60s high-life in England, but much local detail from a Jamaica which has probably also vanished. As was often the case, Bond passed up the chance to complete his mission when he could have done so easily, instead infiltrates his enemy's organisation, is rumbled, gets a helping hand from ex-CIA man Felix Leiter and an improbably named female (in this case, Mary Goodnight), escapes to fight a desperate battle with his quarry, and prevails, suffering serious (but survivable) wounds in the process. Formulaic? - not half! So why have I enjoyed this and all Fleming's other books so much?

Bond stories are first and foremost gripping tales, and Fleming wrote them brilliantly. Had Bond been a more regularly efficient agent, (as he tends to be in the short stories), content simply to carry out his mission and go home, then the stories would have been shorter and less interesting. The fictional hero has to take his time, work out his foibles, and interact with the target. I find Fleming's Bond novels fascinating as a comment on attitudes prevailing, or perhaps just hanging on, in 1950s society. Fleming suggests that Britain was still a "great power" when in fact there were now just two superpowers. Bond's sexism and racism are breathtaking by modern standards, although this book is much less prone to either. Fleming clearly greatly loved the Jamaicans - especially Jamaican comrade "Quarrel", sadly killed in the course of Dr No - although it was a reverence influenced by his strong class awareness: at best, I feel, he admires and respects them as subordinates, much as he does his Scottish housekeeper May. Interestingly, in this novel, he seems to take a swipe at homosexuality - suggesting that Scaramanga, a very active womaniser, was in fact gay, and much other pseudo-psychological nonsense beside. Given that Fleming was himself bisexual, and clearly wrote in part to amuse Mr Coward next door, I do wonder what to make of this. One day I'll read one of the many biographies and try to find out.

This is a great novel if you like action stories with a touch of period detail and can view the prejudice from a distance (God forbid that you like it!) - although I would recommends starting with Casino Royale and working forwards. They are not particularly good value for money, as you can finish them within a few hours if you wish. I wait, with interest, to see how Faulks renders Bond. I suspect that he will be more politically correct, for a start, and clearly rather longer . That will be fine if the story is as fast and exciting.

This edition, by the way, has the best thought out cover - Scaramanga's gun as a gold-plated long-barrelled Colt 45 revolver with home made dum-dum bullets, the two birds feature in the story, there were drummers and exotic dancers.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Don't expect the movie version..., 27 Feb 2014
By 
Brian Coates (UK) - See all my reviews
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I've recently got back into James Bond after more years than I care to admit to and was immediately reminded of why I liked Ian Fleming back then. He has a flair for description, especially when he's dealing with exotic locations (many of which have changed out of all recognition since the 50s when he wrote the novels. His action sequences are completely realistic and have authentic consequences, as opposed to the "take a bullet, shrug it off" style of some modern authors.

As per my headline, this is a completely different beast from the Roger Moore movie of the same name; this Scaramanga is nothing like the smooth, suave Christopher Lee character (excellent though he was). This Scaramanga is an all-out thug, double-crossing everyone in sight and scratching around for cash to pay off his more persistent creditors when he can't just dispose of them. It rattles along at a fast pace, though there are so many heroes and villains packed into some of the middle scenes, it's hard to keep track of who is Mafia, CIA, KGB and assorted other organisations; you have to keep leafing back (not as easy on a Kindle, incidentally; any chance of a multi-page thumbnail diplay, Amazon?) to check their affiliations to assess the significance of their actions from time to time or the plot gets away from you.

I believe this is one of the less-read JB novels but it shouldn't be. I wouldn't suggest it as an introduction to Bond, though - read the novels in sequence starting with Casino Royale and the character makes much more sense as he develops.
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4.0 out of 5 stars not the same has the film, 15 Oct 2013
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enjoyed the book better then the film. even though they nothing like it each other apart from the character names.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The man with the golden gun, 4 Sep 2013
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This is a great book. Scaramanga came across as a skilful killer and Bond did his usual best to eliminate the opponent.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cool, 5 Aug 2013
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Really good book, I was interested from start to finish, it was a totally amazing book.
S.w age 11, 2013
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