Matt's Reviews > Moonraker

Moonraker by Ian Fleming
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May 08, 2010

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bookshelves: mystery-and-espionage

In writing a review of 'Moonraker,' the third novel of Ian Fleming's famous James Bond series, there are two major points that stick out at me that I feel to be worth mentioning.

The first of these is that 'Moonraker' frees itself of the difficult and entirely non-political correctness off 'Live and Let Die,' and in that sense becomes a much easier book to read. The first one hundred pages of its predecessor make you squirm at the language, but that is not the case here.

Secondly, 'Moonraker' is the first of Fleming's Bond novels to be far and away truly superior to the later film version. The film version, starring Roger Moore as Bond, is well regarded as one of the weakest films in the series. It is campy and silly, while this original novel is fun, intense, and has a cool villain in Sir Hugo Drax that is much better than the film version (though I would say the same for the novel version of Mr. Big in LALD).

The book isn't without its flaws, however. Though overall well-written, 'Moonraker' does have moments where the prose seems to ramble a bit. The science of the titular Moonraker missile is laughably bad, but is at the very least amusing. These are minor flaws that do not take away from the novel being a fun read, and my favorite of the series thus far.
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