Sean Kottke's Reviews > Doctor No

Doctor No by Ian Fleming
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's review
Dec 16, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: 2011, adult-recreational

The last official stop in my trip through the Ian Fleming canon of Bond books is one of the better ones. Bond investigates the deaths of British agents in Jamaica and their possible link to a mysterious guano farmer named Doctor No. He finds international intrigue, the beautiful Honey Rider, and some nasty animal antagonists. The plot moves briskly with satisfying action, and it has some of the existential thoughtfulness that marks the best of the Bond books. It also matches "Live and Let Die"'s racism, so it's not aged as well as others in the canon. The movie is a pretty faithful adaptation, and a good first film in the series. Why EON Films increasingly felt the need to radically tinker with perfectly serviceable and entertaining source material in future films is beyond me, but this one is a winner. As a post-script to this little project, I will be revisiting "Goldfinger" next, the one novel and film I remember most fondly when I first set out to read the Bond canon twentysomeodd years ago.

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