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Dr.No (James Bond 007) Paperback – 22 Dec 2001

4.7 out of 5 stars 148 customer reviews

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Paperback, 22 Dec 2001
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (22 Dec. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141002875
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141002873
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 2.1 x 18.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (148 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,092,245 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Raw brilliance" (Daily Telegraph) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

There is only one Bond. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Steve Benner TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 Dec. 2012
Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
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, often haunted by self-doubt and is generally much more of a misfit in the world. Fleming's version is more nuanced than you'll find portrayed in the films: whilst never comfortable when it comes to killing anyone, Fleming's Bond is nevertheless far more brutal and violent than his screen incarnation should the need arise. There is also no snobbery about him, either; rather the exact opposite, as he often finds himself with greater of admiration for and with 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.

Although "Dr. No" was the first Bond story to appear in the cinema (1962), it is in fact the sixth of the Bond novels, dating from 1958. Its action follows hard on the heels of "From Russia, with Love", in which Bond only narrowly escaped death by poisoning. At the beginning of this story he is still recuperating somewhat from that earlier ordeal and he is assigned the job which eventually leads him to tangle with the eponymous villain of this piece -- another encounter from which he emerges badly scathed -- almost as a holiday assignment in the sun.
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Full of tension and action, this is again more poignant than the film but with many more of the same story points within it.

Great tension and a sadistic rival for Bond to champion.

A colourful, cracking read with more description than might have been expected, but which also reintroduces us to some old friends, but doesn’t stint on the pace or the action.
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James Bond has now recovered from the effects of the poison that he was injected by Rosa Klebb at the end of his last outing In From Russia With Love.

To get him back to work with what is deemed a return with light duties. M assigns him to investigate what has happened to John Strangways and his Secretary.

Strangways is the British Secret Service man in Jamaica. The popular view is that the pair have ran away together. Bond knows Strangways and helped him the last time he was in the West Indies when he was involved in the hunt for Mister Big in Live and Let Die. He knows that something is not right.

On arrival in Jamaica Bond is reunited with Quarrel the Cayman islander who was a great assistance in tracking Mister Big. After some searching around Bond finds that Strangways was investigating a Doctor Julius No the owner of Crab Key a private island that does not welcome visitors and is within Jamaican territorial waters.

Bond and Quarrel decide to sail over one night. The next morning they meet Honeychile Rider who is collecting shells on the beach. Soon they are hunted by Doctor No's henchman and Bond and Honey are captured and taken to secret location that is within a mountain and goes down to a depth below the sea.

When they meet Doctor No he advises them that he is originally from Peking, the son of a local Chinese girl and German missionary. In his younger years he got involved with criminal gangs and stole some Gold from them which he has used to finance this location and is giving help to the Soviet Union in their attempts to sabotage American Rocket tests that are taking place nearby. He confirms that Strangways got in his way and paid the price and intends to do the same to Bond.
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Dr No was the first Bond film in the early 60s and I have had an interest in James Bond material ever since seeing the film. I have many of the original paperbacks in my book collection but these are becoming quite 'tatty' so it is a pleasure to be able to download the books onto my Kindle and enjoy reading them all over again. Dr No is a classic Bond villain - the book differs from the film quite a lot towards the end but Dr No still gets to meet his maker! Recommended.
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The immediate appeal of the Bond books is t5he possibility to contrast them with the films and to see just how much they differ. If I am honest, the films seem to add somet5hing to the books which enhances t5he story. By contrast, Fleming's originals are frequently more low key.

With the exception of "Moonraker" which is pretty poor as a film and not one of Fleming's finest either, the films seem to be quite faithful to the book but on the page Bond seems more like someone who has stepped out from a black and white film. The sexiness and the exotic of largely missing from the page and the writing is fast and slick yet by no means the great literature that some will have you believe. Fleming's writing is lean but he can also be quite clunky and give the impression of losing interest in the plot. "Dr No" is very similar to the story in the film up until the final denouement which ends in a twisted version of Orwell's "Room 101" as Bond is encouraged to escape through a tunnel and encounter a variety of challenges. The ultimate "challenge" is, admittedly, a bit silly. However, it is good to see some of the traits from the films manifest themselves at last in this adventure.

For all it's faults, "Dr No" is a good read if not as good as "OHMSS" or the more sophisticated "FRLW." I was glad that the character of Quarrel had far more dignity than in the film where he became an "Uncle Tom" stereotype that makes uncomfortable viewing these days. That said, Honeychile Rider, by contrast, seemed a bit ridiculous and appeared to have been added to the story at titilation. I felt the book was enjoyable and seemed to set the scene quite well. Unfortunately, the film's conclusion certainly has the edge on the novel and Dr No's motives are more easily resolved.
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