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Moonraker: James Bond 007 by [Fleming, Ian]
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Moonraker: James Bond 007 Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 110 customer reviews

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Length: 314 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Amazon Review

Moonraker is a treat of a classic Bond spy thriller. There is intrigue at M's exclusive gambling club "Blades" on Park Lane where Sir Hugo Drax, a multi- millionaire business tycoon, revered by the British public because of his Moonraker missile defence programme, has been accruing millions of pounds at the Poker table. Why would Drax wish to make more money? How could he be achieving such success against the world's premier gamblers? As "the best card-player in the service", Bond is called in to find out the answers.

Bond quickly adjudges Drax a "bullying, boorish, loud-mouthed vulgarian" and, more importantly for his mission, a cheat at cards. Bond beats Drax at his own game, winning thousands of pounds and severely unsettling the millionaire in the process. His advice to 007 before leaving the club is: "I should spend the money quickly, Commander Bond." Indeed.

Never one to ignore a hot tip, Bond is preparing to splash his winnings on a Rolls-Bentley Convertible and three diamond clips when he hears of a double-shooting at Drax's Moonraker base. Concerned about the possibility of sabotage, Bond is sent undercover to investigate, but things just don't add up. Why are the workforce all German--this is post-war Britain after all? On the job, Bond meets Special Branch Agent Gala Brand, planted onsite ostensibly as Drax's private secretary. Despite initial fractious relations, the two spies grow to respect each other and eventually discover the frightening and horrific truth about Drax and Moonraker. Here the plot speeds up and we are treated to some vintage Fleming lines: "Bond set his teeth and rode his car as if she was a Lipizaner at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna."

Moonraker is a finely honed Bond novel displaying all of Fleming's distinctive innuendo and humour. Head and shoulders above the more recent action-packed bestsellers. --Julian Broster

Review

Irresistibly readable (Observer )

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1138 KB
  • Print Length: 314 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (1 July 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008FQBD7K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 110 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #13,198 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A true masterpiece from the creator himself. I've always loved Moonraker, but this reading, like all other previous ones, just got more enjoyable. I find the main location of this novel, and the only location, England to perfectly suit the dark and nasty story that lurks in this book, the pure mind of the villain, Drax, is clearly shown in Chapter 22, Pandora's Box, and it is shown off to a good extent. This story works with just one location, because it allows everything else to take first place in the story with great emphasis, namely the characters and the plot, which are key in Moonraker.

Yes, it's interesting to note minimal references to Die Another Day --

He suddenly decided to be ruthless. "I'm told that Five and Five is your limit. Let's play for that. -Moonraker, Chapter 6.

Let's play for this. I picked it up in Cuba, I believe it's one of yours. -Die Another Day

The character of "good old" Sir Hugo Drax is one of Fleming's best villains ever, pure mania driving his obsession with fury and his loyalty to the Moonraker project, and any scene with Bond antagonizing him is done very, very well. The description he gets during the card scene, and how Bond uses his deformities to anger him during his telling of his true identity is very effective.

Gala Brand, the woman who is just as apt as James Bond, a true heroine who fights the whole way with Bond for the cause, and whose frosty exterior quickly melts away as soon as she gets to know Bond, without the watchful eye of Drax, Krebs, and Walter. I find their golden day encounter to be a very effective chapter, with the swimming, bleeding flowers, and the cliff accident, that is exciting.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Like another recent reviewer, I read this following Stephen Fry's recommendation of it in his latest autobiography. And he's right. Moonraker is a gem of a book that I'd somehow missed (along with the film). Fleming brilliantly captures post-war/Cold-War London in this early Bond novel that is distinctive for being wholly set in London and Kent, and one that couldn't be simpler and sparer in its set-up and climax. When they made the film, they ditched this contained Englishness and went (I now understand) for something ludicrous involving space, volcanoes and Roger Moore, completely missing the essence of the book. Hugo Drax is a vividly drawn Bond villain and again the film-makers lost the plot completely when casting him (as well as Bond). In the book, we get the definitive James Bond - excelling at the card table, flaunting his connoisseurship of exotic alcoholic drinks and canapes, chasing the girl, and of course, saving London (if not the World). I'd love to see Sam Mendes and Daniel Craig have a go at this one.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Those expecting to blast of with Roger Moore, check in your space suit here. Fleming's novel taps into class, Cold War paranoia about the bomb, and the seeming willingness of the British government to attach itself to quick fix Tsars (some things never change). Bond stays firmly on the ground and in the UK while trying to stop a not so old enemy with grand designs. A cracking yarn which combines the excess of the big bases and grand villains with some hard edged realism from what seems a fairly innocuous start. Well worth the trip.
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Format: Paperback
My project to read all of Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels in order continues! The third Bond novel, Moonraker, was completely different from the movie bearing the same name; the character of Drax does feature and there is a tenuous link to space travel but sadly there were no excursions on Space Shuttles or henchmen with metal teeth or throw-away Sir Rodge quips or massed lazer battles when orbiting the Earth. The story is based in 1950s Britain (no exotic locations) and revolves around a fiendish Nazi plot to drop an atomic bomb on London.

The book itself is split into three distinct parts:

Part 1: Bond playing a high stakes cards, like Casino Royale. Some nice tension but the description of the card game was dull
Part 2: Murder mystery section
Part 3: Where most of the action happens along with the launch countdown
In part 1 I liked that it included elements not found in either the movies or earlier books. For example, Bond gets to hang out with M (who is fleshed out as a character) and the day-to-day routine of a 00 agent is covered; reading files, going to the canteen, thinking about his salary, etc.

The Britain portrayed in the book seems rather bankrupt and despondent; post-war decline is apparent and the Empire is slowly coming to an end so much so that the country can only afford the Moonraker weapon because Drax will buy it for them. It also seems obvious right from the start that Drax is a villain and to a certain extent this dampens down the suspense but it’s still fascinating to read about Bond uncovering the exact details of why a death occurred (part 2).

As for the characters, I’ve already mentioned M and I did enjoy Drax; he definitely makes for a more memorable scoundrel.
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