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Live and Let Die (James Bond 2)
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Live and Let Die (James Bond (Original Series) #2)

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3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  12,101 ratings  ·  787 reviews
Bond is sent to Harlem to uncover the criminal operation of Mr. Big, voodoo baron and black master of crime. Those Mr. Big cannot possess he crushes; those who cross him will meet painful ends.
Audio CD, 6 pages
Published January 1st 2009 by Blackstone Audiobooks, Inc. (first published January 1st 1954)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jeffrey Keeten
”He held the tip between finger and thumb and very deliberately started to bend it back, giggling inanely to himself.
Bond rolled and heaved, trying to upset the chair, but Tee-Hee put his other hand on the chair-back and held it there. The sweat poured off Bond’s face. His teeth started to bare in an involuntary rictus.
The finger stood upright, away from the hand. Started to bend slowly backwards towards his wrist. Suddenly it gave. There was a sharp crack.
‘That will do,’ said Mr. Big.
Tee-Hee r
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Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: 3.5* of five

It's the 1973 first outing by Simon Templar...I mean Roger Moore!...that I review here.

Holy pimpmobile! I'd forgotten this was the blaxploitation Bond flick. Appallingly racist. Horrifyingly insultingly so. And may I just say, "INTRODUCING JANE SEYMOUR" is the most chilling phrase I've ever in all my life seen on a movie screen?

Introducing. Jane. Seymour. As in, "not seen on the big screen before?" She was in some other stuff...but nothing as big as Bond. And the horrible th
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Robert
James Bond on the page certainly comes across a lot different than James Bond on the big screen and LIVE AND LET DIE only serves to further hammer this point home. Ian Fleming has created a debonair masterpiece, with more than a hint of chauvinism. Sure, he uses terms then that he probably couldn’t get away with today, but this book was first published in 1954, so you have to roll with it a bit. If you’re a woman, or you’re easily offended, you might want to hesitate before picking it up.

The act
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Carmen
Buckle your seatbelts, ladies and gentlemen - we're in for another wild ride of racism and misogyny in the second James Bond book.

James Bond dives into the world of "Negro criminals," traveling from New York City to Florida to the grand finale in Jamaica. All this is on account of some old gold coins from a legendary pirate treasure showing up. The British and American governments have the idea that Mr. Big is in possession of the treasure - a huge, towering black man whose nickname comes not o
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Angela
Okay, I'd known that Ian Fleming is on record as having been a racist and sexist bastard, but somehow I had managed to not really notice that much the first time I'd taken a spin through the Bond novels. And there were a couple of bits I took issue with in my recent re-read of Casino Royale, sure, though they were few and far between.

But Live and Let Die? Wow, chock full of extremely blatant racism. Enough that it actively interfered with my ability to enjoy the story at all, and made it difficu
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James
If read through the wrong prism, much like the notorious Tintin In The Congo, Live and Let Die will appear very racist. It is interesting that, despite being the second Bond book, it took so long to become a movie. Consider this: the book was released in 1955, five years before The Beatles formed. The song for the 1973 film was performed by a Wings-era Paul McCartney.

But more telling is Fleming's choice to make Bond's first true nemesis an African American, blending Voodoo and the mystery of bl
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Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
JAMES BOND: "Oh, Solitaire, I really want to make love to you right now in this hot, cramped compartment on a moving train with someone right outside the door trying to kill me, but---I have this broken finger, you see, which makes sex absolutely out of the question, so I'll have to exploit you at a later date."

SOLITAIRE: "Oh, James, I don't mind, because I always dreamed of being kissed exactly the way you just kissed me. And I only met you a couple of days ago, but I wanted to tear my clothe
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Richard
6/10

The literature version of Bond pales in comparison to the movie version, or certainly is the case here. The literature Bond also doesn't have a cool theme tune unlike the movie version.

I vaguely knew the plot down to watching the movie (multiple times as a child) but also noted a couple of pieces of information used in other movies. Things moved along relatively slow throughout with Bond starting out in New York and learning of Mr Big and his crime enterprise and ending in Jamaica with quit
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Karolina
I was told that "Live and Let Die" was slightly racist as a movie, but I figured I'd read the book before watching. To be honest, I've never seen a Bond movie from beginning to end (and am somehow, indeed, alive. Shocking, no?)

But seriously, ignore these claims of overt racism I see in the other reviews. The most racist thing I found in this book is the use of the word "negro." It was not an ethnic slur until a decade later; as a matter of fact, it was the most polite and neutral term of the day
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Mike
This second book in the James Bond series was quite exciting. Full of dangers from poisonous fish, voodoo and a sophisticated crime syndicate based in Harlem. I found the action in this one (especially at the finish) to be raised several notches above the previous book (Casino Royale). The setting moved from NYC to St. Petersburg to Jamaica which kept things interesting. Bond remained the vulnerable hero that Fleming created in the first book, even to the point of shedding a tear after a particu ...more
BrokenTune
This review was first posted on BookLikes:
http://brokentune.booklikes.com/post/...

When a few years ago I was told that my work was sending me to New Orleans, my immediate need was to find a copy of Live and Let Die, because, well, a part of the film is set there and the surrounding swamps of Louisiana - and I like a Bond story.

So, I got comfortable in my seat on the cross-Atlantic flight and opened my book. A few chapters into the story it suddenly dawned on me...
The book is totally different
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Gary M.
To charge this book with racism, as many reviews have done so, is absurd. The book and attitudes were of the time and obviously these views are expressed within the pages. The same charges could be aimed at Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie, Bulldog Drummond and any classic character.Or what about Shakespeare - could we call the bard homophobic for not representing gay characters in his plays? Do we start judging classic works by modern standards? The book uses the word Negro a lot but at the tim ...more
Colby
Growing up, my father was a huge James Bond fan. I have an early memory of him taking my cousin to see a re-release of Thunderball in the theater. Dad used to talk about how much he'd loved the Bond novels when he was younger, and any time a Bond movie was on television he would watch. I never quite got it. I couldn't get into the movies and the books bored me terribly. (To be fair, I think I only tried On Her Majesty's Secret Service; and I was eleven.) The Bond I remember most vividly is Pierc ...more
El
As far as the movies go, we have moved beyond Sean Connery and we are now in the Roger Moore years, a surprisingly refreshing change, I must admit. Younger, fitter, less embittered (which is the impression I was feeling from Sean Connery in the last movie).

Bond returns to America in this book and I am still amazed (yet amused) at how Fleming viewed Americans. He makes comments about the food (Americans can't boil eggs), the cars, the people, the accents. In the movie we see bumbling American cop
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Jeremy Hurd
I thought the story was much better than Casino Royale. James Bond himself seems more like a human and less like a sociopathic automaton in this book, which scores more points with me, but he doesn't seem to be a very good spy--he's always getting caught and injured, mostly because his deep cover has been blown even before his plane touches down. Maybe the problem lies with fictional British intelligence itself.

The first half of the novel is almost laughably racist--through the eyes of 1950's Br
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Scoats
It's a good thing I read The Man With the Golden Gun out of order or I would have completely rethought my previous good opinion from 25 years ago of Ian Fleming's James Bonds books.

Live and Let Die is even worse than Casino Royale, neither of which I recall reading in my youth. In this 2nd Bond book, as a narrator, Fleming again comes off as a pompous, condescending bore. Even worse is the constant racism. To be fair, Fleming probably didn't have a lesser opinion of "The Negro" than he did anyo
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Evan Leach
In Live and Let Die, the second of Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels, a change has come over our hero. The cold, callous secret agent of Casino Royale has softened a bit: he’s (at least temporarily) morphed from Daniel Craig’s hardened killer to the great Sir Roger Moore:

img: Roger Moore

007 is off to the colonies in order to investigate a large number of mysterious gold coins that have begun popping up throughout the United States, and how this might be connected to the Queen’s enemies in the Kremlin. His search
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Eric Farr
In Live and Let Die, James Bond comes to America to investigate the gold-smuggling ring of the African-American crime boss Mr. Big, who also happens to be an agent of SMERSH. Bond is at first interested in the case because of the chance for revenge, but he becomes more invested as he is reunited with his friend, Felix Leiter, and encounters the lovely Solitaire.

I might as well deal with the elephant in the room immediately: this book is certainly part spy thriller, but it is also part racial com
...more
Michael
It's always interesting to look back on the original source material for James Bond and find out how radically different and how strangely similar the movies and the novels can be.

After faithfully following the Ian Fleming novels for the first several installments, each Bond film slowly began to take greater liberties with the novel's plots to the point where they just began to borrow titles and little else from their literary predecessors.

"Live and Let Die" is firmly in the middle of this trans
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Aaron
007 would appreciate the snobbish observation that the Bond books are more substantial than the movies. This one (#2 in the series) is nothing special though. Or, let's say, what makes it special is how candidly racist it is. Seriously, I was embarrassed to read this on the subway.

As with Casino Royale, Bond's not engaging in cloak-&-dagger so much as adventure in Cold War costumes. MI6 suspects that the crime lord of Harlem (Mr. Big) is also a Soviet agent who's financing his ops with recov
...more
Mark
This might indeed be the most controversial books written by Fleming as he was bend on creating a coloured criminal mastermind because as he saw that the coloured society was bound to create great people so the same could be said for the underworld. Fleming sketched a somewhat questionable mood around this idea, even if it was perhaps not quite his idea to be racist at all. It has been the last 20 years that the PC thinking have made us look skeptical towards the writing of before and became jud ...more
James
Not my favourite Bond story in either film or novel format. Maybe my dislike of the film coloured my opinion of the book to, but I found it just too much of a paranormal story for Bond. Probably one of the more racists views of Bond and the secret service that he operated in. While it's fiction it does make slightly uncomfortable reading at times...
Gerald
Odd combination of likes and dislikes on this one. Dislike the portrayals of African-Americans, which was stereotyped and dated even in the 'Sixties. Very much liked the detailed descriptions of underwater life. Conclusion, Fleming had a lot of first-hand experience with scuba diving, and seemingly none at all with living blacks.
Dave Russell
Note to Sebastian Faulks who is writing the next Bond book: We don't need to know what Bond eats and drinks at every meal. In fact unless the food is poisoned the fact that Bond even eats is an irrelevant detail.
Paul
Another good Ian Fleming book with a “mere mortal” James Bond (as opposed to the near-superhero Bond that Hollywood has made the character into, this book is quite different from the movie in its setting and storyline, and the climactic scene is reminiscent of the end of the “For Your Eyes Only” movie, which makes it a bit strange at the end for one like me who has seen the movies and has just gotten around to the books, but it fits so much better with “Mr. Big” – the antagonist – and his wantin ...more
Elizabeth
Either I've never seen Live and Let Die or this book is nothing like the movie.
John Yelverton
Not quite as good as it's predecessor, but it's still a great novel.
Charlene
This is the second installment of James Bond's ongoing adventures, and after the lackluster excitement (for me) of the first book Casino Royale, I was hoping this one would have something more of the magic of James Bond. Unfortunately it didn't. Bond's interest and sort of romance with Solitaire was much more interesting than the relationship in the first book, but I still felt the lack of real connection between them, since it was mostly mutual, instant physical attraction. Which of course one ...more
David Finlayson
One of the things I enjoy about Ian Fleming's James Bond novels is the time capsule they have become for the post-war 20th century. Contemporary descriptions of the world as it existed then are at once charming and nostalgic. Unfortunately, overt male chauvinism, xenophobia and racism are also part of Fleming's world. While I usually overlook the occasional slur or off-color remark and secretly enjoy Fleming's romantic fantasies (I'm a white male), I found this book's distasteful and patronizing ...more
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Why do we read certain books? 7 48 Aug 22, 2013 09:05PM  
  • Scorpius (John Gardner's Bond, #7)
  • The Facts of Death (James Bond, #2)
  • Colonel Sun (James Bond, #15)
  • James Bond: The Authorized Biography of 007
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Ian Lancaster Fleming was a British author, journalist and Second World War Navy Commander. Fleming is best remembered for creating the character of James Bond and chronicling his adventures in twelve novels and nine short stories. Additionally, Fleming wrote the children's story Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and two
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More about Ian Fleming...

Other Books in the Series

James Bond (Original Series) (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • Casino Royale (James Bond, #1)
  • Moonraker (James Bond, #3)
  • Diamonds Are Forever (James Bond, #4)
  • From Russia With Love (James Bond, #5)
  • Doctor No (James Bond, #6)
  • Goldfinger (James Bond, #7)
  • For Your Eyes Only (James Bond, #8)
  • Thunderball (James Bond, #9)
  • The Spy Who Loved Me (James Bond, #10)
  • On Her Majesty's Secret Service (James Bond, #11)
Casino Royale (James Bond, #1) From Russia With Love (James Bond, #5) Goldfinger (James Bond, #7) Moonraker (James Bond, #3) On Her Majesty's Secret Service (James Bond, #11)

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“And don't get hurt,' [Dexter] added. 'There's no one to help you up there. And don't go stirring up a lot of trouble for us. This case isn't ripe yet. Until it is, our policy with Mr Big is 'live and let live'.'

Bond looked quizzically at Captain Dexter

In my job,' he said, 'when I come up against a man like this one, I have another motto. It's 'live and let die'.”
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“The gain to the winner is always less than the loss to the loser.” 16 likes
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