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Goldfinger | [Ian Fleming]

Goldfinger

James Bond is challenged by a maniacal superfiend: the world's cleverest, cruelest criminal. Complications abound. A beautiful golden girl turns up dead, and a friendly game of two-handed canasta turns into a deadly game of survival with ever-rising stakes: 15 billion dollars worth of U.S. government bullion. But 007 knows that Auric Goldfinger's rules remain brutally simple: heads I win, tails you die.
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Publisher's Summary

James Bond is challenged by a maniacal superfiend: the world's cleverest, cruelest criminal.

Complications abound. A beautiful golden girl turns up dead, and a friendly game of two-handed canasta turns into a deadly game of survival with ever-rising stakes: 15 billion dollars worth of U.S. government bullion. But 007 knows that Auric Goldfinger's rules remain brutally simple: heads I win, tails you die.

Shaken? Stirred? Check out 007's other assignments.

©1959 Glidrose Productions, Ltd.; (P)2000 Blackstone Audio Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Goldfinger is the most preposterous specimen yet displayed in Mr. Fleming's museum of superfiends...maniacally readable...excellent pieces of descriptive writing." (Observer)
"Goldfinger marks a turning point in the series. It separates the early books from the later ones, in that James Bond's character becomes more introspective as Fleming discloses his hero's thoughts more often, thus enabling the reader to dig deeper into Bond's feelings." (Raymond Benson, author of High Time to Kill)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (331 )
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4.3 (203 )
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Story
4.5 (201 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    DARBY KERN Green Bay, WI United States 05-22-12
    DARBY KERN Green Bay, WI United States 05-22-12 Member Since 2010
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    "One of Fleming's better books"

    "Goldfinger" is, in my opinion, one of Fleming's better James Bond books. The story is pure hokum, but it's told at such a fast pace that you don't need to worry about it. Raymond Benson called this "The Fleming Sweep" in his "The James Bond Bedside Companion," and it's in full force here. It's that drive that pushes the story along practically daring you to stop reading.

    This is also one of the rare occasions where the movie follows the book fairly well. The movie is plotted a little tighter and has more urgency but the book has better characterization- no surprise there.

    I'm a fan of Simon Vance's reading of the James Bond canon. He does it with a nice variety of voices and just the right hint of snobbery that Fleming includes in every story. I'm only a couple titles short of having the whole series for the time being, and Goldfinger is one of the best, right behind From Russia With Love, On Her Majesty's Secret Service and (maybe) Thunderball. Vance does a wonderful job with all of them.

    If you're wondering if the books are for you this is a good one to test the waters with, even though it's the book that ends the first half of the series. The books that follow have a different tone and villain(s). SMERSH is the primary villain in the first half, directly or indirectly. After Goldfinger SPECTRE takes center stage and the Russians play a much smaller role.

    If you've read all the books before (I did over 25 years ago) then this is a nice way to "relive" them. I Definitely recommend the series.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pork C. Fish Syracuse, NY 12-21-11
    Pork C. Fish Syracuse, NY 12-21-11 Listener Since 2010

    Touching Lives One Martini at a Time

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Like a French Nail Varnish"
    Would you listen to Goldfinger again? Why?

    The narrative is terse and witty with a great narrator. Fleming was a journalist before he became a novel writer and he has the ability to craft a great story with necessary, but minimal exposition. I read all the Bond novels in seventh grade and haven't since. Listening to the novels is a lot of fun because you pick up the dry wit of Fleming a lot better.


    What did you like best about this story?

    There is a great travelogue sequence in the novel. I also like how the plot was unveiled. At no time do we know more than Bond, however, the audience is never treated poorly. Plot points are revealed naturally through exposition. Bond's internal monologue sets up the next set-piece or reveal. Fleming knows how to keep you interested. Even his bad novels, and there are a few of those, have a great narrative flow.


    What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

    I love his ability to do the various voices naturally. There are a great deal of accents and foreign words and phrases in Fleming's books and Vance handles them well. He also does women's voices well, without resorting to major register-changes. Instead, he smooths out the gravel in his voice, gives a hint of accent. I actually prefer the Bond novels in audio form because of Vance. He handles exposition well. He hits beats and knows where punchlines are.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Fleming's novels rarely deal with the emotional lives of characters. In fact, I can only think of three where you may care about someone. What is fun about the novel is that it exists purely in the realm of a fantasy. Great food, drink, sex, cities, danger, gambling. And there is lots of humor. Goldfinger is just a lot of fun. But don't expect to care.


    Any additional comments?

    The best Bond novels are From Russia, with Love; On Her Majesty's Secret Service, and Diamonds Are Forever. Casino Royale is good, but so violent. If you don't care so much about the character progression, just listen to Russia. Vance reads it well and it is a great Cold War fantasy.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melvin New Orleans, LA, United States 07-10-12
    Melvin New Orleans, LA, United States 07-10-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Better than I expected"
    Where does Goldfinger rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I rank it on a scale of 1 to 10, about 8.5


    What did you like best about this story?

    I am comparing this story to the movie I saw back in the sixties. For a
    change, the movie actually stuck fairly close to the book, with some Chauvinistic deletions. Certain subject matterwas not transferred from book to movie. I love the suspense and the pure evil of Goldfinger. The scheme was well thought out!


    Which character – as performed by Simon Vance – was your favorite?

    Goldfinger.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    I can't think of one that has not been done already.


    Any additional comments?

    I may check out some other early Fleming novels for comparison.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Calliope Toronto, ON, Canada 04-18-14
    Calliope Toronto, ON, Canada 04-18-14 Member Since 2012
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    "unexpectedly enjoyable"

    The parts of the book I enjoyed the most were unexpected, probably because of how those parts differed from the movie that I've seen several times (though not recently). The James Bond presented here was more human and "rough", hardly the polished playboy of the Sean Connery-portrayed Bond of the movies, and I liked that better. More like the Daniel Craig Bond than the Connery Bond. Sadly, he's more chauvanistic than the character even in the 1964 movie, but I can write that off as a product of the author's time and place.

    Nevertheless, it's still an enjoyable secret agent romp with a good villain, good Bond, and a typical happy ending. The narration was very good, and definitely helped keep the story moving.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Richmond, Va, United States 10-05-13
    Amazon Customer Richmond, Va, United States 10-05-13
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    "Gold is the KEY!"

    This is a great listen and I highly recommend it. I love the 007 books, actually much better than the movies, and this audio DOES NOT DISAPPOINT!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. A. Moody Raleigh, NC USA 05-14-12
    M. A. Moody Raleigh, NC USA 05-14-12 Member Since 2001
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    "Better plot than DAF, not as good as some others"
    Would you listen to Goldfinger again? Why?

    This was my second listen to Goldfinger and it held up about as well as I remembered. It is a solid novel although the plot is a bit more unbelievable than many.


    What other book might you compare Goldfinger to and why?

    It is like many of the other Bonds; a combination of smart decisions and luck.


    What about Simon Vance???s performance did you like?

    SV is an excellent performer. All aspects were great.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No, but again, it was my second listen.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Walter D. 04-24-12
    Walter D. 04-24-12 Member Since 2007
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    "One of best books ever!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I think even the females in my life would like this one.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Goldfinger?

    The scene where he finds the card cheating set up.


    Which character ??? as performed by Simon Vance ??? was your favorite?

    Bond of course.


    Any additional comments?

    I've listened to more than 100 audio books and this is one of the best!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bradley Essexville, MI, United States 03-19-12
    Bradley Essexville, MI, United States 03-19-12

    kotrbab1

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    "Good story, not Flemings best, in my opinion."
    If you could sum up Goldfinger in three words, what would they be?

    Murder, Smuggling, Super-villans


    What other book might you compare Goldfinger to and why?

    Very similar to Ian Fleming's Live and Let Die. Similarities exist in both stories between villans which are running personal smuggling ring, with a loose attachmnt to James Bond's arch enemy SMERSH.


    What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

    Simon Vance does a great job during his performance. For now on anytime I read a Bond novel I will always have Vance's character voices in mind for characters such as Bond, M, etc.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I listened to the book over a couple nights before bed.


    Any additional comments?

    Good book, a little far fetched in the end, but wraps up into a good story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Carmichael, CA, United States 12-05-10
    William Carmichael, CA, United States 12-05-10
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    "Good stuff."

    Worth the money. Worth the money. Worth the money. (How many times do I have to write this?)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Miles GE 04-19-08
    Miles GE 04-19-08 Listener Since 2007
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    "Impeccable"

    The action-oriented espionage classics by Ian Fleming are always an enjoyable read, or in this case, listen. The audio is great, and the narrator's voice and accent create an enthralling, believable production of the literature.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
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