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The Man with the Golden Gun

James Bond, Book 13
Narrated by: Kenneth Branagh
Length: 4 hrs and 56 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (208 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

If you try to assassinate your boss - even though brainwashed at the time - you must pay the price. To redeem himself James Bond is sent to kill one of the most lethal hit men in the world…Paco "Pistols" Scaramanga. In the sultry heat of Jamaica, 007 infiltrates his target's criminal cooperative - only to find that Scaramanga's bullets are laced with snake venom. When the end comes, every shot will count.

This audiobook includes an exclusive bonus interview with Kenneth Branagh.

Blackstone Audio, Inc. James Bond and 007 are registered trademarks of Danjaq LLC, used under license by Ian Fleming Publications Ltd

©1965 Ian Fleming (P)2014 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good combination of book and narrator

This is a short Bond novel and feels like it needs a little filling out, which I guess isn't a surprise, as this was the novel Flemming was working on before he died, and he (reportedly) was never really satisfied with the result. However, it still has the structure and characters of a good story, and combined with a wonderful narrator (Kenneth Branagh), it was a very good listening experience. I particularly like this Bond villain, Scaramanga, for his easy attitude and bravado, and I also like the setting of Jamaica in the 60s. The written character of Bond is much more complex and self-reflective than that in most of the Bond movies (even though it's not as fleshed out in this novel), and it's a Bond I like. And there's still good action and attraction, just like people expect of Bond in movies and books.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Darwin8u
  • Mesa, AZ, United States
  • 05-21-18

Not only secret but secure

"The past could be forgiven, but not forgotten – except with the passage of time."
- Ian Fleming, The Man with the Golden Gun

I can't really call this an unfinished novel. It was finished, just not by Ian Fleming. He wrote the first draft and died. So, this obviously is the last James Bond novel. I'm not enough of a Ian Fleming fan to recognize how/where/if the lack of Ian Fleming made a huge difference to the drafting. I think the end of the novel, with Jones refusing certain honors, may not have found their way into the final novel if Ian Fleming were in control through the whole process. It seemed too final, too sentimental.

This novel returns Bond to active duty after losing his memory in the last novel. It also sends Bond back to Jamaica. It was good Bond, just not great bond. Seemed like a comfortable Ian Fleming wrting from a confident spot. The shootout was a bit of a disappointment, but Scaramanga’s last few moments were spectacular.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Brenda
  • CENTRAL POINT, OR, United States
  • 11-24-15

Love Kenneth Branagh

The story is about what you expect from James Bond and a host of villains. Kenneth Branagh makes the story very listenable with excellent characterizations

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Amazing

One of the best audiobooks mostly due to the narrator. Kenneth Branagh is amazing and so good at accents, I actually thought that some characters were played by someone else entirely. Loved the performance!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Kevin Branagh Excels!

The Man with the Golden Gun has come to life again for me after having read it for the first time 50 years earlier. Kevin Branagh mastery of storytelling coupled with his prowess for creating believable character voices and personalities is without equal and very entertaining. This was truly fun filled and exciting revisit of a classic Bond thriller.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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007's Jamaican finale

As I listened to Kenneth Branagh play out the numerous colorful characters in Fleming's final James Bond novel, I forgot that it was the same actor doing all the voices, at times. No surprise really when you consider it is one of the world's finest actors doing the reading, but his performance really brings the proceedings to life. He is especially good with the two principal villains, the assassin Scaramanga, and the KGB agent Hendricks. As some critics have pointed out, this novel is less well developed than the four or five preceding it, but the plot, situations and the character details leave a tantalizing record of what might have been if Ian Fleming had lived long enough to finish it properly. As it is, it is great fun, and significantly different from the Roger Moore film version.

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  • rev dp
  • san jose, california
  • 06-12-19

Nothing like the movie

A bit raw in parts. Bond struggling with killing somebody?? This would not make for a good Bond movie.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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The final full length James Bond novel

This book is the final Bond full length novel and picks up not terribly long after You Only Live Twice. At the end of that story, an amnesiac Bond leaves for the U.S.S.R. to figure out who he is. As this book starts out, we find that this did not go well. In fact, Bond is back in the U.K. and brainwashed. That's chapter one.

One thing leads to another and soon James is on a mission to end a world class assassin.

I find that I am liking Ian Fleming's writing more with each book. Recommended.

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Short But Sweet

Kenneth Branagh's narration of this novel is excellent, probably one of the best in this series of 007 audio books. Although it is one of the shortest audio books in the series, Branagh's reading of it alone makes it worth a listen.

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Great story

It was better than the movie. It’s plot was more realistic and entertaining than expected.