Diamonds are Forever Paperback – 23 Apr 2009
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Diamonds Are Forever, Ian Fleming's fourth Bond novel, has all the hallmarks of a classic 007 adventure and whilst it lacks some of the strength and depth of other books in the series it nevertheless has much to recommend it. The plot concerns a ruthless syndicate known as the Spangled Mob who are running a diamond smuggling pipeline out of Africa into the USA. This is costing England millions of pounds and James Bond is sent to investigate. A promising set up, but it soon becomes apparent that the syndicate's only aim is to get rich and as Bond novels go it is slightly disappointing that this is the sum total of the villains' project.
On a more positive note, Tiffany Case is an excellent Bond girl who plays an integral part in the book. The relationship that develops between her and Bond is highly convincing and well-observed and the book is rich in dialogue between the two. On the topic of marriage:
Bond: "Most marriages don't add two people together. They subtract one from the other."
Tiffany: "But it depends what you want it to add up to. Something human or something inhuman. You can't be complete by yourself."
As suggested by the syndicate's comparatively (in Bond terms) modest ambitions, Diamonds Are Forever lacks a really good principle villain, but it does have well-portrayed minor contenders in the form of the duo Wint and Kidd, two violent and ruthless killers. There are some tense moments in the novel and although there is no real action until well over half way through it, once it starts, it is almost non-stop until the end.
One of the outstanding features of this adventure remains the way Fleming wrote the character of Tiffany. Her relationship with Bond adds humanity and life to Diamonds Are Forever. --Jamie Campbell --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"The remarkable thing about this book is that it is written by an Englishman. The scene is almost entirely American and it rings true to an American. I am unaware of any other writer who has accomplished this" (Raymond Chandler)
"James Bond is one of the most cunningly synthesized heroes in crime fiction" (Observer)
"A brilliant story that maintains the promise of an extremely clever introduction" (Manchester Evening News)
"Once again Ian Fleming has brought it off" (Birmingham Post) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Part of the success of this novel stems from Fleming reining in his excesses and this book is better for Bond being up against American organised crime so that the more incredible elements that can spoil some of Fleming's writing are absent. I would also have to add that the fact that the last third of this novel is effectively a chase sequence does add to the excitement, especially as the heroine is not quite so two dimensional as in other 007 outings. In fact, Tiffany Case is probably one of his best crafted female characters. I'm not convinced by Victor's review that the villains lack menace and it is more a case that Fleming shelved the more absurd elements for a more credible picture of how well ingrained organised crime was in to many aspects of American society. The novel is assisted by the return of Felix Leiter whose life-threatening injuries incurred in "Live in let die" manifest themselves in him being far more gung-ho and reckless.Read more ›
The book also showcases Flemings skill as a travel writer with a depiction of mafia dominated 1950's Vegas that conjures up the sound and smells of that bizarre town with all its gaudiness and the desperation of punters chasing the "easy" money. Through the middle strides Bond tough, but by no means immortal, constantly suprised by the ingenuity and cruelty of the mafia men he goes toe to toe with and even periodically afflicted by self doubt and agonising between love and the life of the secret agent.
Initially I was astonished how old this book was (1956!) and this is more of a detective story with a Bond that is over confident and too casual at times who is at odds with the emerging American mob.
In many ways it does show its age, and this adds to the charm.
Well worth reading to remind oneself where and how it all started...
This story involves gambling in casinos and race meetings Bond travels across the United States. Along the way Bond meets his friend Felix Leither by fate on the Street. Leither is no longer with the CIA following the injuries he received (In Bond's second adventure - Live and Let Die). He is now working for the Pinkerton Detective Agency. Leither updates Bond on the Spangled Mob and that he is working on corruption in horse racing.
There are some thrills in the Nevada dessert and on the liner crossing the Atlantic. In general this story is slow paced and the two brothers that head up the Spangled Mob lack the charisma of Bond villains. Their two heavies Wint and Kidd are good.
Bond's love interest Tiffany Case has a good part in this and her background and current activities are well described in another well written book by Ian Fleming.
However, in general this lacks something all round.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Always good to read the original story rather than the movie take. It has been said that Bond in the books can be misogynistic but the relationship development with Tiffany would... Read morePublished 14 days ago by Amazon Customer
Damian Lewis does a fine job in converting my least favourite Bond book into a story I really enjoyed listening to. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Greystone
Much, much better than the film – and I never thought I would say that.
Excellently brings to life diamond smuggling, the seedier side of the American underworld and... Read more
I am reading all of the Bond Books again in chronological order. These books are a clear demonstration of how our views on political correctness have changed down the years. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer