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Thunderball: Ian Fleming - Thunderingly good adventure for Bond,
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.