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The Man with the Golden Gun Paperback – 26 Oct 2006

4.4 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (26 Oct. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141028238
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141028231
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 1.5 x 18.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 882,173 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Ian Fleming traces the intricacies of counter-espionage with all the efficient authority of 007's own secret reports" (Sunday Times) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

There is only one Bond. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
The late Ian Fleming wrote this final Bond thriller just before his sad passing in the early 60s. The big question was with this and "You Only Live Twice", also "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" did the early films influence changes to his original character? The answer is no. The Bond of the books remains as consistent as he was in "Casino Royale" and "Live and Let Die". The book follows neatly on from "You Only Live Twice" which I would reccommend reading first. Bond has been missing for over a year and his department have already argreed he is dead. In fact he has suffered from amensia and has become corrupted and brainwashed by the KGB. He is sent back to London in an attempt to assainate M, his boss, in a heart stopping and most suspensful opening. Yet when he fails M insists against all odds he should earn a chance to be reinstated, he sends his top man to Jamaica to elminate the millionare hit man, Paco Scaramanga. Fleming's Jmaes Bond ever faithful to his hatred of killing a man in cold blood leds 007 to pass up the perfect opportunity of expiring his enemny and is forced to take a much more dangerous path, he gets inside the man's gang, yet some of the other members are not all what they seem and Scaramanga does not trust Bond as far as he can throw him, and it is only a matter of time before he will realise that Bond is not the man he is pretending to be!
An exciting start leds to some fairly dull moments during the middle of the novel, yet it is not long before things start getting hotter again. Bond is once again portrayed wonderfully by Fleming showing us how his mind works and devealing deep in to his emotions, something that none of the actors in the films could successfully do.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is another piece of good writing from Ian Fleming. The story puts Bond up against Scaramanga a villain who holds his own with any Bond has encountered.

Like any of the Bond stories they start where the last one ends with a trigger of memory returning of his previous life and having to leave his lover Kissy Suzuki in Japan and head for Vladivostock in the Soviet Union. Unknown to him Kissy is pregnant.

James Bond eventually reached London and is trying to contact M. He has been away for about a year or more and believed to be missing in action.

When eventually a meeting is arranged with M. Bond tries to kill him. However this is stopped and Bond is sedated. In the time he has been In the Soviet Union he has been brainwashed by the KGB. Now the plan is to return him to his former self.

After treatment James Bond is passed fit to return to active duty and eliminate a hired assassin called Scaramanga who has clients like the KGB and the Mafia.

Bond has tracked Scaramanga to a location he knows well. Jamaica. Also there working is his former secretary. The delightful Miss Mary Goodnight

Soon Bond and Scaramanga paths cross. Along with Mary Goodnight, Bond also has help from his good friend Felix Leither.
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There is a widely held opinion that Ian Fleming had lost faith in his creation towards the end of the James Bond series and the dreadful preceding story, "You only live twice" made me approach this story with trepidation. Bond's adventure in Japan saw the author writing on auto-pilot with the plot being totally risible and the action limited. It is a shockingly poor book. Mercifully, "The man with the golden gun" returns to the same territory of earlier Bond novel with the secret agent pitted against the assassin Scaramanga in the familiar territory of Jamaica and sees Fleming compose a straight-forward a credible plot with a climax that will have you quickly rushing through the pages.

The opening chapters see James Bond rehabilitated from the misfortunes of the previous two novels and quickly dispatched to familiar territory where he is to hunt down the notorious hit man. Pleasingly, the book recalls earlier Bond novels such as "Diamonds are forever" , "Dr No" and "Live an let die" whilst retaining the leanness of the short stories which I feel represent Fleming's best writing and reveal James Bond as a more hardened and ruthless individual. In the longer books, Bond is far more human and fallible - a million miles from any of the screen versions.( The shorter stories probably reveal Daniel Craig's impersonal version as nearer the mark. and the character is slightly more ruthless and cold-blooded than in the more familiar titles.)

Of the series, this is one of the best if not quite as good as "From Russia with love" or "The spy who loved me" and if the writing is a bit scraggy and maudlin at the conclusion, it is fair to say that the excitement levels never let up.
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This is easily the most disappointing of the thirteen true James Bond books (why yes; I do consider the following books written by different authors to be non-canon) and honestly I think it would be unfair to blame Fleming for the result. He died writing it after all so its understandable that he wouldn't have been at his best, and it WAS finished off by the author of the terrible ''Colonel Sun.''
Put simply, this book absolutely squanders its own potential. The ''Manchurian Candidate'' style plot could have been awesome if it was done in the style of ''From Russia With Love'' but instead it is wrapped up literally within the first chapter and is almost never mentioned again.
Scaramanga himself is nothing but a henchman compared to SMERSH or SPECTRE and is only dangerous because he is a good shot. The film version as cheesy as he is, was far more menacing than this guy. And even if he wasn't, even if you believe that he is a formidable and impressive villain, you simply cannot say that he is more interesting than the brainwashing plot could have been.
Its still a good book mind, I would recommend it to you, but if you don't feel like reading the other twelve books in the series PLEASE read this after ''Casino Royale'' or ''From Russia With Love.'' Fleming at his best is miles away from Fleming at his worst.
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