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The Man With the Golden Gun (James Bond (Original Series) #13)

3.53  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,697 Ratings  ·  319 Reviews
Bond was a good agent once, said M. There's no reason why he shouldn't be a good agent again. Get me the file on Scaramanga. If we can get him fit, that's right-sized target for 007. But that's suicide, sir! A brainwashed James Bond has tried and failed to assassinate M, his boss. Now Bond has to prove he is back on form and can be trusted again.
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Published 2006 by Penguin Books (first published January 1st 1965)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Richard Derus
Rating: 3* of five

I felt generous. The 1974 film, which is what I'm rating, is more or less a 2-star experience. Oh me oh my...an AMC Hornet, an AMC Matador, Simon Templar....I mean Roger Moore!...wearing loser suits...I mean leisure suits!...and the most horrendously offensive Southern stereotype sheriff in the history of moviemaking adds up to some seriously noxious stuff. Then there's the damnfool idiot chop-socky pandering, and the concomitant "Oriental" stereotypes...ugh.

Maud Adams is GORGE
...more
Carmen
Apr 28, 2015 Carmen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bond fans
James Bond knew that he was not only disobeying orders, or at best dodging them, but also being a bloody fool.

I feel like the spark has gone out of this series. Ever since (view spoiler), things haven't been the same in Bond-world. We have a more muted, contemplative man in the place where Bond, once so full of life, stood.

We start out this novel with James Bond, who was missing and presumed dead after the events at
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El
Oh, dear.

I mentioned in my last review that the Bond movies are often loosely based on the Ian Fleming novels. I believe the movie for this one took the title of the book annnnd... that's about it.

That's not true. Of course James Bond was in both the book and the movie. Silly.

And the villain, Scaramanga - he was in both too. And, okay, Bond's secretary, Mary Goodnight - she had some big parts in both.

But, here, watch the original trailer. There is nothing that happens in this trailer that actual
...more
F.R.
Jul 19, 2011 F.R. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a strange, sad, little novel.

Apparently there’s some debate as to whether this posthumously published book was actually finished by Fleming before he died, or completed by other hands. To me it does seem far less polished than any of the other James Bond adventures (but then the same could be said about Phillip Marlowe’s swansong ‘Playback’ and Chandler was alive when that came out). After a bizarre opening where is a hypnotised Bond tries to kill M (suggesting that ‘The Manchurian Candi
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James
The final, and widely regarded as weakest of the Bond novels. Published after his death, it is also widely believed to have been 'finished' by Kingsley Amis. That said, while the book is a little easier going that previous Bond novels it's still an enjoyable book.

Bond returns to London a damaged man, attempts to kill M, but is given one last (again) chance to redeem himself. A suicide mission to assassinate Scaramanga: the man with the golden gun.
Sandy
Jun 10, 2014 Sandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
English author Ian Fleming had a very systematic and orderly routine that he employed in the creation of his 14 James Bond books (12 novels, plus two collections of short stories). Each winter, he would vacation at his Goldeneye retreat at Oracabessa, on the north shore of Jamaica, and write a bit each day; reportedly, around 2,000 words. As revealed in Raymond Benson's "James Bond Bedside Companion," Fleming would start the day with a swim and breakfast, followed by a few hours of work and then ...more
Benjamin Thomas
Jun 15, 2016 Benjamin Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller-spy
Many reviewers mark this as their least favorite Bond novel but I for one still found much to enjoy. It is the final novel in the series (two short novellas follow) and reportedly was written in Ian Fleming’s last year of life and in fact was published posthumously. Indeed, it is one of the shortest of Fleming’s novels and most agree that he simply didn’t have time to flesh out and polish the final manuscript.

The story begins with a rather bizarre segment wherein Bond has been brainwashed to ass
...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Dec 22, 2015 Mike (the Paladin) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spy-fi, action
Bond has arrived back in the UK after disappearing and being presumed dead. Well...a man claiming to be Bond has arrived. Once he has been vetted and found to be the real 007 he has an interview with M...and tries to kill him.

Now this is just the set up so don't worry, it's not a spoiler. This novel was published after Fleming's death and you can tell it's not as "finished" as the other novels. I go 4 stars (as I couldn't brim myself to go lower). Still I think the book is enjoyable and will ple
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umberto
Aug 28, 2015 umberto rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spy-fiction
I enjoyed reading Ian Fleming’s “The Man With the Golden Gun” immensely due to his in-depth style with detail background and good narrative based on his career as a journalist and wartime service experience in the Naval Intelligence Division in World War II (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Fle...). First published in 1965, this novel starring James Bond as the once popular 007 secret agent has since suggested its seemingly contemporary linguistic usage in which we can see from the following ex ...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
I love the James Bond films, but the plots of these novels never make much sense to me.
Rick Brindle
Jan 17, 2015 Rick Brindle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Seriously, why are people reviewing the film versions on a book site?
OK, so published after Fleming died, and not fully edited, so no need to pick over the details. Suffice to say the a more polished version might have avoided some of the pitfalls evident in the premise as we have it.
So 007 is offered a chance to redeem himself, after being brainwashed by the KGB into attempting to assassinate M. His mission, to kill the number one hired gun, Scaramanga, the man with the golden gun. Gaps in the
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Ian
Jan 02, 2015 Ian rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
There’s a story that Fleming had told people he planned to become a writer once World War II ended, but one of his upper crust friends told him, “Oh Ian, don’t. You don’t have the brains for it.” And he didn’t, you know. Have the brains for it. The 007 novels, and I’ve now read them all except for Octopussy The Living Daylights (which is on the TBR), range from bad to terrible. And The Man with the Golden Gun is toward the terrible end of the scale. Of course, the film bears no resemblance to it ...more
Greg
Mar 13, 2013 Greg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just finished reading an original first edition of Ian Fleming's last Bond novel preceding his heart attack and death at 56 years old in August 1964. Wasn't sure whether this novel would provide a dated or contemporary read. Wasn't sure if the Bond film of the same name would cloud the visuals of my read. On both counts I was pleasantly surprised. Man with the Golden Gun read as a spy novel would today with excellent pacing and story. The action and level of "hardboiled" descriptive language was ...more
Jerome
Jun 30, 2012 Jerome rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
ublished the year after Fleming's death in 1964, it is a matter of debate whether "Gun" was properly finished by Fleming or reworked by other hands. Clearly it lacks the same glossy polish of earlier Bond novels, retreading plot points in routine, humorless fashion. Sent to Jamaica to kill "Pistols" Scaramanga, a hired killer responsible for shooting several fellow agents, Bond blunders his way in no time at all into his target's confidence, despite the fact Scaramunga has been warned an English ...more
Edward Waverley
Last night I closed the back cover of the final Bond adventure. I have now read all of the novels and short stories of 007, have you? You ought to if you haven't. I started out with Goldfinger, jumping into the middle of the saga on the strength of Anthony Burgess' claim that it is the best in the series. (I wound up preferring Moonraker myself.) Goldfinger was good enough to lead me all the way through the 12 novels and the two books of stories in the past few years.

About TMWTGG itself. Most fa
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Carson
Jan 19, 2014 Carson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The typical beef with this novel is - as it was published after Fleming's death and he traditionally added much of the details in additional edits - it lacks the description and in-depth analysis of Bond novels past. Nevertheless, while it does not 100% capture its potential, you cannot help but pick up this sequel to the Blofeld trilogy after the events at the conclusion of You Only Live Twice. Chronologically, these are the final months of Fleming's 007 story and it concludes with Bond resurfa ...more
Matthew
Another good Bond book. Shorter - so a quick read.

This book is late in the Ian Fleming Bond timeline, so this Bond shows a bit of age, some wear and tear, and is not quite as invincible as you would expect.

Also, if you are familiar with this title because of the movie - this book is very different from the movie. It makes me wonder because by the point this book was released, they were already making the movies. You would have thought that they might at least have tried to make them close to the
...more
Rob Thompson
The Man with the Golden Gun is the twelfth novel (and thirteenth book) of Ian Fleming's James Bond series. It was first published in 1965, eight months after the author's death. The novel is not as detailed or polished as the others in the series and reads like a rough draft. Much of the detail contained in the previous novels is missing. This was often added by Fleming in the second draft. Publishers Jonathan Cape passed the manuscript to Kingsley Amis for his thoughts and advice. His suggestio ...more
Tracey
If I had never seen the Bond movies and this was the first Fleming book I had ever read, I would seriously wonder what all the hype was about.
Bond has returned to active service after being in the hands of the Russians for a year, he has been brainwashed. What results from that is really good and made a better story than the next half of the book.
It was an ok read but this just did not resonate for me.
Sean McBride
This, the last of the James Bond novels from Ian Fleming, was actually more of a novella than an actual novel. It was terribly short and had the structure of a short story, with very little verisimilitude (even for a Bond novel). This book felt like a final bow, especially with the last line, which felt like more of an epithet than an ending. There was some great action, and the last showdown between Scaramanga and Bond was worth it. There's only one more collection from Fleming (Octopussy and t ...more
Gretchen
Sep 30, 2014 Gretchen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure
Any Bond fan will tell you that he will never settle down with one woman; that he loves his job because it is filled with the thrill of change, excitement, and the unexpected. So when Bond has a moment of "introspection" in the final lines and draws similar conclusions, the result falls flat. The earlier books build a tension in Bond, that despite his inclination toward his roving lifestyle, he does have a genuine desire to marry and build a home of his own. The reader knows it will never happen ...more
Tom Romig
Jun 28, 2014 Tom Romig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yes, as with all James Bond books, the plot is preposterous, the characters are caricatures, and the action is in the realm of male fantasy (sometimes 14-year-old male fantasy), but isn't that the point?! A good friend from high school, Mike McCarty, and I read most of Ian Fleming's books by the time we were in our early 20s. We knew, of course, that, while they had little connection with reality, they paradoxically enlivened our reality in harmless, cheerful ways. The two of us were working at ...more
brian dean
The book was fine, but not special. How did this series and this character grow into the huge film franchise?

First, it is interesting to recall what the "00" means. These men are licensed to kill, they are assassins. It's hard to make a hero with that source material.

Anyway, Bond is sent to the Caribbean to kill Scaramanga, the man with the golden gun. Once he finds Scaramanga, he passes up two chances to kill him and the way Scaramanga dies (I'm not giving anything away am I?) is not due to cle
...more
Adam Stone
The Man with the Golden Gun is the final full length James Bond novel written by Ian Fleming and starts of interestingly with Bond attempting to assassinate M and ends up with Bond being sent on a mission to get rid of hired gun Scaramanga, the self-style man with the golden gun.

The book is the shortest of all of the James Bond novels and is the weakest on that Fleming has ever written. This was written during the last months of Ian Fleming’s life and he died before he was able to do any rewrit
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Brian
Sep 28, 2011 Brian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
* The thirteenth Bond book.

* Sixth appearance of Leiter.

* The last Bond novel by Ian Fleming, published posthumously. (The fourteenth and last Fleming Bond book is the anthology Octopussy.)

* Perhaps the shortest novel, it begins with a Manchurian Candidate-like opening (that, unfortunately, isn't terribly exciting) then moves into more familiar territory as Bond takes on "Pistols" Scaramanga, the head of a cooperative of criminals that includes Mob-types and a KGB agent.

* Once it gets going, it'
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L. (Climbing Mt. TBR one page at a time)
While I've seen plenty of James Bond movies, this was actually my first book of the famous spy. I know there's always a difference between the book and the movie based on the book, but I was surprised how little the two had in common besides the title and a handful of character names.

Bond isn't the suave, dry-witted ladies man we've all come to know. In fact I don't think he gets laid once in the book. He doesn't have one martini, shaken not stirred, although he does drink alot. That's something
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Erik Graff
Jul 13, 2010 Erik Graff rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bond fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: literature
While at Lincoln Junior High School I had two sets of friends. Ralph Bloomdahl and his younger brother, Steve, were the ones in the neighborhood, Ralph having been in class with me since I moved to Park Ridge, Illinois in fifth grade. Like me, he wasn't popular, but at least he wasn't unpopular. In school he was quiet. Outside of school he, Steve and I were into drawing and invented role-playing games involving homemade scooters consisting of old roller skates nailed to pieces of wood and a comm ...more
David
Jun 27, 2011 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Man With the Golden Gun achieves what it sets out to do, which is to provide a short, entertaining story that can be read in a day or two. I have now read all of the Bond novels, some of which I had read thirty years ago in my teens, and most are quite good. On the negative side, there is a lot of racist, sexist, macho stuff that can be a bit jarring. On the positive side, these books are written with fun and adventure in mind, and if you approach them with those expectations, they all enter ...more
Mark
Oct 05, 2013 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the fans of Ian Fleming's 007
James Bond returns from the dead only to attempt to assassinate his boss M. It turns out that after the events in "You only live twice" James Bond suffered from memory loss and when he walked into Russian hands they decided to use the damaged man for their own purposes.

After being restored to health Bond is send on a mission to redeem himself or to get killed by one of the Cubans.Russians deadliest and efficient killers, Francisco "Pistols" Scaramanga. Scaramanga is known as "The Man with the Go
...more
Andy
Jan 30, 2013 Andy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, 2013
I read this many many years ago as a teen and had no recollection of it aside from the shocking (for my younger self) assassination attempt at the beginning. What starts off promising is then swiftly ignored. What I enjoy about Goodreads is finding out some of the back story and reading about some of the controversy related to this book (in the other reviews and comments) is almost more enjoyable.

Anyway, the story (once it kicks into the main mission) is a bit humdrum and though Scaramanga is an
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Goodreads Librari...: Alternate book cover 3 15 Aug 10, 2014 07:05AM  
James Bond 5 53 Jan 17, 2013 11:39AM  
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2565

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...

Other Books in the Series

James Bond (Original Series) (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • Casino Royale (James Bond, #1)
  • Live and Let Die (James Bond #2)
  • 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)

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