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Goldfinger: James Bond 007 Paperback – 4 Oct 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 123 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; First Edition edition (4 Oct. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099576074
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099576075
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 613,878 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Nobody does this sort of thing as well as Mr Fleming" (Sunday Times)

"Highly entertaining" (New York Times)

"Mr Fleming is the best thriller writer since Buchan" (Evening Standard)

"Everything happens in this one - and you believe it" (Saturday Review)

Book Description

There is only one Bond.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
For any Bond afficionado this novel is a 'must read'. Fleming's descriptive knack with very few words is underestimated. The golf game is a masterpiece of its kind, breaking up the technicalities of the sport with an evocation of beautiful, peaceful England in high summer as a backdrop to the deadly intent of the game being played out against lengthening, afternoon shadows. There is plenty of depth to the plot and the background story of gold, delivered to Bond by Colonel Smithers of the Bank of England, is interesting in itself, particularly when viewed in comparison to today's money markets. The revelation that Goldfinger is not just an obsessive meglomaniac but also in thrall to the Russians is a masterly detail that gives real substance to the cold-war ploy to rob Fort Knox. The gangsters necessary for Goldfinger's purposes are deployed with a light, almost amusing, touch but none of the heroines have much empathetic appeal, not even the fabulously named Pussy Galore. The Masterton sisters are very one-dimensional. Jill is only there, really, to kickstart the second part of the story and, although Fleming tries to make Tilly interesting with her lesbianism, she comes across instead as 'neither flesh nor good, red herring'. In fairness, this is how Bond sees her when he deliberates patronisingly over her mixed up hormones. There are remarks about Japs and Koreans that would never make it into print today, but the joy of Bond is that he is so much a product of the 1940s and '50s, forever politically incorrect. I know many people love the films, but for me the books are incomparably better.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is so much better than the film.

It is good to see the background behind the story - the parts that were either changed or omitted when making the film. For example, the book reveals Felix's background and how he came to be involved with James Bond.

Part of the value of reading the book is that it includes things that could never make it into a screenplay, for example Bond’s thought processes. He is always alert, aware of gestures which are designed to look innocent such as a stranger in the street who casually asks Bond, like a hawker, if he wants a woman. Bond declines, so the stranger offers him dirty photos and reaches into his pocket to pull some out to show him. ‘The gesture of the hand slipping into the coat was so well known to Bond, so full of old dangers, that, when the hand flashed out and the long silver finger went for his throat, Bond was on balance and ready for him’.

You get to see a side of Bond that never comes across in the films. After murdering the above man, Bond says that he doesn’t like killing people. But it is his job. ‘Regret was unprofessional – worse, it was death-watch beetle in the soul’. The quality of the prose is superb.

There is a darkness to Bond that does not come out in the film (though it has started to be expressed in the Daniel Craig films). Bond, at an airport to catch a flight, watches an aircraft take off. ‘The windows in the transit lounge rattled softly. People got up to watch. Bond tried to read their expressions. Did they hope the plane would crash – give them something to watch, something to talk about, something to fill their empty lives? Or did they wish it well? Which way were they willing the sixty passengers? To live or to die?
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
More of an interesting or curious read rather than a good one - although it certainly isn't a bad book. The plot moves along at pace but it really isn't a convincing story. The pivotal moment when Goldfinger chooses not to kill Bond just makes no sense.

What makes it interesting is trying to fathom out what Bond is really all about as well as the added dimension of seeing how the book varies from the film. What makes it curious is trying to make sense of the sometimes subtle, sometimes blatant homophobia, racism and misogyny in the book.

It's the sort of thing that could make a good book club read; a good story and plenty to spark a lively debate. I think I'll propose it for the next Glasgow book club meeting.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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 through Fleming’s Bond adventures.

A truly unlikable villain, really well brought to life in all of his coldness, with some superb scenes of a criminal mind at sinister work and great descriptive writing of scenes and places.

This is gilt-edged Bond magic.
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By Andromeda Descendent TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 7 Oct. 2012
Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I've watched Bond films all my life. I'm also a very active reader of books. Part of me has always wondered if I should ever put the two together and read one of Ian Fleming's original novels. Through this audiobook I was finally able to find out if I had been missing out on a good read all this time. The most important thing that struck me is that it is not a situation where you can compare like against like.

The films are, of course, all about the action. Expecting the novels to be similar, I was initially surprised and annoyed with the extremely slow pace of the first half of this novel - to put that in context, half the book amounts to four CDs - In the first CD, Bond is between assignments in Miami and decides to take up a businessman on his request that he find out how someone called Auric Goldfinger is cheating him at cards. Bond finds out, turns the tables on Goldfinger, and then takes his own cut for his trouble. Noticing that Goldfinger's accomplice's "breasts thrust against the black silk of the brassiere" (Did Fleming ever win the "bad sex award"?), Bond takes her off with him as well.

Back in London, and onto the second CD, Bond learns that Goldfinger only likes to cheat people as a hobby - he's actually suspected to be one of the world's richest criminals. Bond gets a long lecture on how people can get rich by moving gold about. To be fair, it's almost interesting - although in another piece of terrible Fleming hyperbole Bond finds himself "smothered by this cataract of gold history" - but then Bond spends the third CD playing golf with Goldfinger, and although there is cheating and counter-cheating going on, still there is no action. Come CD4, Bond thinks Goldfinger has taken him into his confidence and is invited to his house.
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