I didn't know what to expect from my first Bond book that I finally read this week. It has been a whole year since I bought it and I've been saving it for a long time.
While I wasn't disappointed with the action and risky manoeuvres executed by Bond, there were many places where a reader would want to substitute the book for the crisp movement of the story in the movie. Some of the scenes, especially the horse racing bits, delve too deep into the inside aspects of the business. The casino parts are enlightening, though.
The alluring double-O 7 agent, with the license to kill is as charming as he is, in the movies. As is the norm, there are many insights that can be gleaned from the book. Bond seems more human in the novel. It is somewhat heartening to read about his feelings, fears, and even the guilt playing on his mind. The movie versions showcase James Bond as a more heartless womanizer and a carelessly slick, perfectly calm agent. Being privy to his thoughts, as he moves from one level of danger to another is thrilling, after years of watching the poker-faced versions on screen, playing women and criminals alike, with cool competence.
The book has only one hot 'Bond woman'. And Bond falls in love with her, making the story a nice combo of action, thrill, adventure and romance.
The train and ship scenes are nail-biting. However, one must admit that watching the movie is somewhat more satisfying.
Also, what I missed in the book are the fancy gadgets that Bond gets to use during the course of his work, that are especially more interesting, in the later films.
I like the way Fleming gives us an outline of the Diamond pipeline and also a glimpse of twisted psyche of the perpetrators, especially one who kills scorpions and ants, just because the 'brutes' are black in color.
Overall, it's a nice book to enjoy on a rainy day. I rate it 4.4 out of 5.
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Happy reading, readers.