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.
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