Goldfinger Unknown Binding – 1961
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Top Customer Reviews
Easy to see why they became such a success.
On his return home Bond is assigned to track Goldfinger as large amounts of undeclared Gold bullion is disappearing from the British economy. The Secret Service has been approached by the Bank of England to investigate and the belief is Goldfinger is helping SMERSH.
The story takes in a game of Golf, travel through the French countryside to Switzerland and the attempted raid on Fort Knox. Goldfinger maybe not the traditional Bond Villain but with his henchman Oddjob they make a formidable team.
The real problem I have with this is would Goldfinger have allowed Bond to survive when he he had the chance to get more than even? Getting all of those crime syndicates to work together?Then there is the females who feature. There is the Masterton sisters (Jill and Tilly) and how could Pussy Galore change like that?
The plus points Felix Leither makes a return in another well written book by Ian Fleming. But overall not how a Bond adventure should be.
"Bond came to the conclusion that Tilly Masterton was one of those girls whose hormones had got mixed up. He knew the type well and thought they and their male counterparts were a direct consequence of giving votes to women and 'sex equality'. As a result of emancipation, feminine qualities were dying out or being transferred to the males."
Poor, confused, Tilly is one of two Lesbians (the initial letter is always capitalized here, which somehow gives the impression of something distasteful being held at arm's length) in this story. While she comes to an unfortunate (but, according to Bond's view, deserved) end, it turns out the other - the not-at-all ironically named Pussy Galore - was really just waiting for the right sort of man to come along and - literally - push the right buttons to turn her straight (and presumably save her from the debilitating effects of having been given the vote all those years ago). Elsewhere, Bond is careful to keep his prejudices unsullied by experience ("This Korean matched up with what he'd always heard about Koreans" [p113]), which naturally justifies him "putting [...] any [...] Korean firmly in his place, which, in Bond's estimation, was rather lower than apes in the mammalian hierarchy" [p181].Read more ›
Published in 1959 Goldfinger is the seventh book in the original James Bond series. Yet again (as with Live and Let Die and Dr. No) we see Bond having to sort out an American problem; plus he offends most readers along the way, for example:
* Bond bemoans “giving the votes to women”
* Bond is such a man that lesbian Pussy Galore falls for him (the “cause” of lesbianism being child abuse or woman winning the right to vote)
* Koreans are sub-humans
* Avoid all homosexuals and Mexicans, and
* People who suffer with cleft palates are generally unintelligible
There are lots more examples of sexist, misogynistic, homophobic and racist passages, these are just the highlights (or lowlights). But like I’ve said in previous reviews that these books should be set into context of the time in which Fleming wrote them. I tended to mentally skip over them allowing me to enjoy Goldfinger as a thrilling and enjoyable adventure.
The book is almost like three short stories which Fleming glued together. The first “Happenstance”, concerns Goldfinger cheating at cards, next we have “Coincidence”, containing the extended golf match (more of which below) and finally “Enemy Action”, the raid on Fort Knox. While there are common threads running through the whole narrative it is at times a little wordy and sprawling. Towards the end of the book the suspense starts to dip and the story struggles a little as Bond seems to be more of an observer as opposed to an instigator or driver of the action.
The novel opens with Bond musing over life, death and how he fits into the world.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Read this years ago and recently re read. Still as good and far more entertaining than the daft films.Published 11 months ago by johnwardharrison
The famous golf scene apart, which is a masterclass in sporting tension for those with even no understanding of the game, this is one of my favourites so far as I work my way... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Jules
A pure gold triller, so typical of Ian Fleming's James Bond. Gold bars, cars, golf and trains and Pussy GalorePublished 12 months ago by Paul J. Smith
I’ve read quite a few of the different Bond novels now, and I’m sorry to say that Goldfinger was probably my least favourite so far. Read morePublished 13 months ago by SocialBookshelves.com