Diamonds Are Forever
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Diamonds Are Forever (James Bond (Original Series) #4)

3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  7,588 ratings  ·  364 reviews
Tiffany Case, a cold, gorgeous, devil-may-care blonde, stands between James Bond and the leaders of a diamond-smuggling ring that stretches from Africa to London to the United States. Bond uses her to infiltrate this gang, but once in America the hunter becomes the hunted. Agent 007 is in real danger until help comes from an unlikely quarter, the ice maiden herself.
Paperback, 304 pages
Published April 1st 2009 by Penguin Books, Limited (UK) (first published 1956)
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Robert
If I were a woman, I might conduct a séance, and then throttle the spirit of Ian Fleming. He’s not a bad guy, mind you, but just once, I’d like to see a female character give James Bond a run for his money. So far I’m still waiting for a return on my initial investment. And I know this is one investment that probably won’t pan out, but I can still hold onto a faint glimmer of false hope.

Vesper Lynd did come close, but she ultimately failed when paired next to Bond’s wit and charm. Tiffany Case,...more
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: 3.5* of five

Again a reminder that these reviews are for the movies by these titles, NOT Fleming's books. I wasn't at all drawn to the book I read, and I've since sampled a few others, and to me they're repellently dated.

So this 1971 outing is based on the 1956 novel, and marks the last *canonical* film Connery made. Never Say Never Again wasn't a Broccoli-produced film, and made use of a story not ever precisely made into a novel, so...

Jill St. John spends a good deal of time scantily cl...more
Carmen
Jul 06, 2014 Carmen rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bond Fans
Shelves: fiction
James Bond vs. the American Mafia. James Bond's beloved M gives him the assignment to destroy a diamond pipeline. In going after the diamond smugglers, Bond travels to America and is paired up with a woman working for the diamond smugglers - one Tiffany Case. He travels to New York City, Saratoga Springs, and then to Las Vegas.
...

The book, as so many Bond books do, focuses heavily on gambling. We have copious amounts of, not only card playing, but horse racing in this novel. If this bores you, I...more
El
So because George Lazenby couldn't make it as James Bond in the previous movie, Sean Connery was back for Diamonds Are Forever, which the trailer (behind the link) points out a whole lot. "Hey guys, we made a mistake with that other guy, but look! Connery! COME BACK!"

Also making a come back with this movie was Shirley Bassey singing the theme song, as she did for Goldfinger. (The theme songs are nearly as important to me as the films themselves.) For those of us who pay attention (or at least re...more
Richard
5/10

Probably the weakest Bond novel in the series to this point which was somewhat surprising to me as the film is a fond favourite (who would have thought that the screen and page could differ?!). This more felt like Bond visits various locations with a little bit of spying on the side.

The setup is no different to any other, Bond meets M and gets his mission (I do enjoy the relationship these two have), Bond sets off on mission and finds a lady to admire and try to woo (book Bond is not as sua...more
Matt
'Diamonds Are Forever,' although the weakest of Ian Fleming's James Bond series to this point, is the second consecutive Bond novel to be far superior to the later film version. 'Diamonds' suffers from a sub par plot and a nearly non-existent and overwhelmingly boring villain.

Where the novel does have a redeeming quality, however, is in Tiffany Case, the Bond girl. Case is a stone cold fox straight out of a Depression era noir, and by far the most interesting and capable Bond girl of the series...more
F.R.
One of the strengths of Fleming - which I'm discovering on re-reading these books - is his descriptions of locations. Mid-way through Diamonds Are Forever, Bond goes to Vegas. The portrayal of the desert town with sand blowing over the strip is incredibly well done and really places the reader there. I suppose it isn't just his sense of location, he is also good at capturing the time in which he is writing, really bringing the fifties to live. As oppossed to say a Mike Hammer novel (a character...more
Cyndi
How do I find myself with feelings of sadness for James and his life of international duplicity? Still, after 4 Bond novels, the end of the adventure leaves me with soft feelings for the often misogynist 007. Who knew???

This was a well crafted piece. Good story, somewhat more assertive female foil and nice continuity. Now to #5.
S.
Good but not brilliant.
The writing is excellent in itself: Wickedly wonderful descriptions of locations, Americanisms and the Las Vegas gambling culture in particular.
The story is reasonably interesting, although it all attains a sense of pantomime in the Wild West section.

I liked Tiffany Case; I would say she's the first woman since Vesper where we're given a more than perfunctory peek into the woman's background.
The reference to Vesper through the jazz record is a nice and bittersweet touch.

B...more
Matt
Review: Diamonds Are Forever

Maybe you can strike a blow for Freedom, Home and Beauty with that rusty old equalizer of yours. Is it still the Beretta?
-Felix Leiter to James Bond, Diamonds are Forever

With diamonds as the catalyst for action and adventure in Ian Fleming’s fourth James Bond novel, Diamonds are Forever features Bond investigating the diamond smuggling pipeline between Africa, the United States and Britain. When the British government realizes that over two million pounds worth of di...more
Jerome
Not much can be said about the literary merits of "Diamonds are Forever". You read it because it's the original conception of an iconic fictional character. You read it for a quaint romp through 50s America as imagined by an Englishman. You read it to draw comparisons with the movie. Yet be warned, Bond doesn't really do much. The reader gets more details on Bond's eating, drinking, showering and napping habits than anything else. The "mystery" is on par with, say, a "Rockford Files" episode, co...more
Gerald
As I may have pointed out before on these pages, I have been venturing back into the Bond novels with the idea that the contrasts with 'Sixties sexual mores and concepts of maleness may be enlightening or amusing or both.

Ian Fleming was masterful in his descriptions when the setting was in Britain. And I thought he did a nice job of describing Istanbul, not that I would know from the couple of times I've been there for visits of only a few days.

But sally onto American soil, and, I'm sorry, the v...more
Matthew
"There's nothing so extraordinary about American gangsters," protested Bond. "They're not Americans. Mostly a lot of Italian bums with monogrammed shirts who spend the day eating spaghetti and meat-balls and squirting scent over themselves."

Ian Fleming's fourth James Bond novel, Diamonds Are Forever, sees 007 tasked with infiltrating a diamond smuggling pipeline that runs from Africa to the United States, masterminded by a horde of mobsters that could have easily been ripped from the pages of an...more
Aaron
Either Fleming is stuck in a rut or I am. The fourth novel in the 007 series follows the formula that the third (Moonraker) avoided. Bond scouts out his mission, flashes back to Bond's interview with M, infiltrates the villain's organization, meets the girl, etc. As with Live & Let Die, the job is a treasure hunt (diamond smugglers) rather than actual espionage. But because it involves the Mafia, the spy element feels slightly more authentic than it has in previous novels.

Or it would if Flem...more
Dave Russell
This was much better than Live and Let Die. The sadism was more sadistic, the suspense more suspenseful, and there's a kick ass chase scene involving a fricking train. Although the main bad guy (actually bad guys--twins) weren't as interesting as Mr. Big from LALD, the two henchmen--Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd (gay hitmen!)--more than made up for it.
James
Bond is investigating a diamond smuggling ring. Shades of the film of the same name, but they changed a number of things. As usual with Bond adaptations, the book outshines the film again.
Bookworm1858
I tried to read Casino Royale some time after seeing the movie-I enjoyed the movie but not the book. But I decided to give Fleming another chance and I chose Diamonds Are Forever mostly based on the cover.

Summary: James Bond is sent to investigate the smuggling of diamonds from South Africa to America.

I really liked the description of the airplane on page 50 of my copy: the passengers are served cocktails and caviar on the two hour flight from London to Ireland. I feel lucky to get two drinks an...more
Frank Hughes
Possibly the weakest of the James Bond novels, written (it seems) to finance Fleming's trip to America that included New York City, Upstate New York (later the setting for "The Spy Who Loved Me"), and Las Vegas. More a travelogue than a novel, which is its singular joy. Early in the novel Bond flies to America, in the days before jetliners. Fleming's detailed account of the crossing on a prop driven Stratocruiser is a masterpiece, dripping with atmosphere and detail that now seems unbelievable,...more
Clark Hallman
Diamonds Are Forever, first published in 1956, was the fourth James Bond novel written by Ian Fleming. James Bond is a British Secret Service agent in the MI6 (Military Intelligence, Section 6) agency that deals with foreign intelligence. In this novel James Bond (007) goes undercover to investigate a diamond-smuggling operation moving uncut diamonds from Sierra Leone to the United States. It turns out that the smuggling is headed by two mobsters, the Spang brothers. Bond infiltrates the smuggli...more
James
Not as good as the first three novels of the Bond series. A lot of unnecessary stuff about horse races and Leighter's new position and role. Bond wasn't quite the Secret Service man he's made out to be in the previous novels, being unable to resolve the blindingly obvious, to which Flemming mildly explains away with the fact that love blinded him... It's almost painful for the readers who can figure it out in a heartbeat, before Bond is even involved with his new girl Tiffany mind you.

The action...more
Nicholas
Yet another Fleming book that clearly outshines its poor theatrical adaptation. There's little real development of Bond's character from start to finish, but for once the female lead is an actual human being with believable motivations (although she quickly turns into the usual pile of boring, fawning putty once Bond lays the charm on her).

For the most part, Fleming sticks to his usual formula and it's an enjoyable ride. At the very least, an enjoyable window into the burgeoning era of jet trave...more
James
After the slight doldrums of Moonraker, James Bond is put in charge of unraveling a diamond smuggling syndicate. Stepping in as a courier, he infiltrates the gang - an American mob - and makes his way to Las Vegas. Unlike the movie, which diverts quite wildly in places from the novel, the story is more or less contained in Sin City, though the finale on the cruise ship is still shared, to a degree.

This is the first novel where Bond does not go up against SMERSH, the assassination branch of the...more
Jason Reeser
One of the lesser Bond outings. I've never been a fan of this movie, and though the book is quite different from the film, it has the same lack of excitement. There is practically nothing that sets this book apart from other pulp novels of the time. The villains are hum-drum, more cartoonish than Fleming's usual suspects, and Bond himself is rather boring. Without looking at the dates, I'd guess this book was later in the series, and Fleming was simply writing to fulfill his "one-book-a-year" pa...more
Justin
Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars

This was better than Moonraker, but not by much. James Bond is back at it again, bumbling his way along and getting out of scraps not by his wit and suave cunning, but by shear dumb luck. I guess I am too much the product of the movies that I grew up watching, I just have a hard time with the simpleness and shear luck that the written James Bond has.
Benjamin Thomas
The fourth novel in the original James Bond series by Ian Fleming was first published in 1956. This time around, Bond is charged with stopping a diamond smuggling ring whose pipeline runs from Sierra Leone to Las Vegas. Reportedly, much of the background research that Fleming did for this book was used in his non-fiction book, The Diamond Smugglers, published the next year in 1957.

Most of the action of the novel takes place in Saratoga Springs, NY, the Tiara Hotel in Las Vegas, and aboard the Qu...more
Ari
My fourth summer Bond. Moonraker was a bit of a flop but this was slightly better.

The stories have quite little resemblance with the movies. Which is good in most cases :-)

Another adventure without any mentioning of SMERSH. Now the bad guys were American gangsters who got what they deserve, in the name of her majesty the Queen.

The values during fifties differ a lot from nowadays. Everybody smokes, much or more. Drinking hard liquors is quite alright and a woman's "occupation" can be "unmarried"...more
Steven
Strongest part of this story is James Bond himself. Everything else was pretty dull.

The mission. The casino scenes (really, some crooked blackjack deals and three spins of the roulette wheel?). Our Bond girl, Tiffany Case, was unconvincing as a good partner for James. Our villains in this story, american mobsters, die off a bit too easy.

The climax was a bit lame compared to the previous three stories.

In fairness, there was one additional part of this book that I liked beside Bond's character: t...more
James Hoch
This book was very boring and descriptive in the first chapter or two, but it quickly turns exciting and suspenseful. James' mission is to find the end of the drug smuggling pipeline.The book has everything you'd find in a James Bond movie and you can almost hear the Bond music playing while you read it. It is a very exciting and intense book. I'd recommend it to teenagers and adults looking for a good Action/Mystery book.
Mike (the Paladin)
Bond actually seems to fall in love in this one, and almost loses Tiffany, but manages to save her. From Africa to New york to california back to Africa..Torture, a train chase, gun play, violence, high adventure. Felix is back, but bunged up and if I tell anymore it might be a spoiler...they might be called "fun" books if not for all the killing, but then that's what a 00 is you know, a license to kill.
Lance
Though I'm only three into the series, this is my least favorite so far. The female character is not as complex as the others and Bond becomes a kind of "sexual" savior. The climax of the story was also a bit too abrupt and unsatisfying. The resolution did make up that a bit. As always, though, far more engaging and interesting than the movie.
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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...more
More about Ian Fleming...
Casino Royale (James Bond, #1) From Russia With Love (James Bond, #5) Goldfinger (James Bond, #7) Live and Let Die (James Bond, #2) Moonraker (James Bond, #3)

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