This is a vintage Ian Fleming James Bond novel with an interesting plot if unconvincingly set in New York CIty that never existed and the Caribbean. It moves fast and it has a fair share of significant violence. There is an unsettling issue that needs a fair notice.
A warning, this book is dated and not politically or racially correct.
Unfortunately it fully displays a wide range of stupid prejudice that I am not sure was fair even in the time of this novel (1950's). Leave it to a British author to wallow in slighting American and Caribbean Blacks. I read this book as a young teen when it was off the press and remember the discordant racism dripping in the pages. I do not remember the universal racial inability and attitudes that this author wants to overlay on black Americans with a broad brush. Thank God, we have progressed. Ian Fleming would have you think that Harlem was a deep South segregated city full of flunkies and felons. As you may suspect, the menial jobs go to a certain ethnicity throughout and wherever. They are servants always in this book. So this book is an ugly little period piece.The reason I spent a little too much time on this issue is that the author used racial stereotypes and prejudice to style his way along, thinking it was very cute. It wasn't then and it most assuredly is not now. Ian Fleming was an excellent story teller. He served in the British Secret Service, hence his books ring somewhat true as he served in several overseas stations and that enriches the stories. The James Bond of this novel is not the same James Bond of the movie (a very dated entry in the Bond series now). The story is more simple than the film but with plenty of hair-raising action. I must say the the premise is somewhat obscure even at the end of the novel.
I have purchased some additional James Bond novels and have enjoyed the stories from the past that stick to more European plots.
lThe narrator did an excellent job, good pace and storytelling skills abounded. Of course the UK accents were very important and done perfectly.
I'm open to any book as long as it is true to itself.
James Bond in the book is much harder than Bond from the films, making him a much more interesting character. Moments of real excitement. I cannot believe that I liked this book so much.
What happened to Felix Leiter was a real shocker. I would have never guessed Fleming would do that, especially in one of the first 007 books.
Already did. And I hate to say it, but I rather enjoy the movie versions of Bond's adventures better than the source material...so far. (Though Dr. No might be my favorite--next to the Daniel Craig 007s it's one of the most believable/faithful IMO.)
I've seen all the Bond flicks, and I guess I've come to expect the gadgets and outlandish action.I read Casino Royale years ago and enjoyed it. Recently I decided to start reading all the books, in the order they were written. They are SOOO different from the movies. Much more realistic, but not nearly as entertaining.
I've always heard that these books, considering the time they were written, are very racists and sexists. I had very little interest in Bond or his affairs and I could care less about what he goes through or even how he comes out of any given situation. The narration was stuffy at best and, I thought I'd never say it but, the movie is a whole lot better than the book. Guess the movie was done when audiences were a little more socially conscious.