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The Man With the Golden Gun

(James Bond (Original Series) #13)

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  10,181 ratings  ·  539 reviews
‘Mister, there’s something quite extra about the smell of death. Care to try it?’

After a year missing in action, Bond is back... brainwashed by the KGB and on a mission to assassinate M. To prove his worth to the Service, he must hunt down and eliminate his fiercest opponent yet: “Pistols” Scaramanga – The Man With The Golden Gun. Ian Fleming’s final 007 novel is a fitting
Paperback, 214 pages
Published September 6th 2012 by Vintage Classics (first published 1965)
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Average rating 3.57  · 
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(B-) 71% | Satisfactory
Notes: James Bond infiltrates an evil corporate retreat and suffers from a bout of "Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?" disease.
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 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
Just an okay 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
Feb 09, 2014 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
aPriL does feral sometimes
Ian Fleming’s James Bond series has been up to now written with a Clint Eastwood terseness of expression interspersed often with existential emo angst. Although the thirteenth novel, 'The Man with the Golden Gun', published under Fleming’s name is posthumous, it is based on a draft manuscript found after Fleming's death. Honestly, I couldn't tell the difference between this novel's style of writing and the previous books in the James Bond series.

James Bond is trying to establish his identity at
Sep 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A close cousin of the adventure story is the western. This concept comes across strong in this last Bond novel completed during Fleming’s lifetime. (It was published eight months after his death in 1965).

Ian Fleming was a long time heavy drinker and smoker and these two poisons combined and contributed to his early demise. The creator of James Bond and the author of thirteen Bond books, Fleming died at age 56 in 1964. His last recorded words were an apology to the ambulance drivers for having in
Mar 28, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
M.’ s voice was gruff. ‘007 was a sick man. Not responsible for his actions. If one can brainwash a man, presumably one can un-brainwash him. If anyone can, Sir James can. Put him back on half pay for the time being, in his old Section. And see he gets full back pay and allowances for the past year. If the K.G.B. has the nerve to throw one of my best men at me, I have the nerve to throw him back at them. 007 was a good agent once. There’s no reason why he shouldn’t be a good agent again. Within ...more
"The past could be forgiven, but not forgotten – except with the passage of time."
- Ian Fleming, The Man with the Golden Gun


I can't really call this an unfinished novel. It was finished, just not by Ian Fleming. He wrote the first draft and died. So, this obviously is the last James Bond novel. I'm not enough of a Ian Fleming fan to recognize how/where/if the lack of Ian Fleming made a huge difference to the drafting. I think the end of the novel, with Jones refusing certain honors, may not have
Jun 10, 2014 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
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
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-hand, espionage
Found at a thrift store. Research for a WIP.

This is apparently the last and least developed novel of Flemming's lifetime. Published even though the author died before he could get past the first draft.

No wonder it was terrible.

Not much help to me.
Mike (the Paladin)
Dec 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: action, spy-fi
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
Jul 13, 2011 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
Kenya Wright
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not as much action as I expect from Bond, but it's Bond. Great read. Very sexy. ...more
Stephen Robert Collins
This was the first 007 book I read what a surprise I got the books had nothing to do with the Movies the only thing the same was the name James Bond & Salamada & his golden gun solid gold.
But as I was told by an expert no gun could be made of gold as gold would explode it's a soft metal far too soft to be made into a gun
Bond is True blood English so Sean Connery is ghastly as he is Scottish & Daniel Craig has wrong colour hair & to small. and he does not smoke As you can tell I don't like him
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.
May 21, 2012 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
Aug 26, 2015 rated it liked it
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 ( 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 (Again)
I love the James Bond films, but the plots of these novels never make much sense to me.
Steve Payne
Jun 18, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
3.5 out of 5.

A recently brainwashed James Bond is given an assignment to prove his worth, to kill international freelance hitman, Scaramanga.

This last Bond novel came out in 1965, the year after Fleming’s death. It’s regarded by many as the weakest in the series, the last tired gasp of a dying man. Until my latest re-reading I tended to agree. But having just finished it again I’d certainly raise it a notch, not to among the best, but better than the previous pantomime effort – You Only Live Twi
Quentin Wallace
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fairly straight forward Bond story, almost like more of an undercover police story than a secret agent tale, but still good. He's out to take care of "The Man with the Golden Gun," a very high level assassin working for the bad guys. There's a big plot tying the KGB into the mob that Bond uncovers as well, leading to a climactic battle aboard a train.

I think some may not like this one as much due to its shorter length and somewhat simplified storyline, but to me it fit right in with t
Audio narrated by Sir Kenneth Branagh

I had read some of the Bond books when they were published, but like most busy teenagers I was soon captivated by the films that were being produced. Fine films, but books and screen plays vastly differ.
Having completed the series, I think, the books just can't live up to the enormity of the films.
Were one to have no experience with "Bond", I would highly recommend reading all the books first. This would allow the reader a greater connection to the authors st
Jun 30, 2012 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
Dec 27, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Almost to the end of my goal to finish the original Ian Fleming series before the year ends and yup it's a screenshot now. James Bond starts this book as Brainwashed and he tries to kill M. And then ah well just like that, he is cured after some time and then Bond goes in search of a fabled assassin who is also called the Man with the Golden Gun and of course Bond is able to find him just one go and then Bond joins the villain as his assistant and looking for his chance. And wasting Lotsa time j ...more
Dec 14, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
** UPDATED JULY 2019 **
"The Man With the Golden Gun" was intended to be the final James Bond novel (again) and was not completed prior to the death of Ian Fleming. Because of this, it lacks some of the detail and pizazz of Bond novels past.
That said, its fitting, satisfying conclusion after everything 007 has achieved in a storied career, a worthy assassin of a villain with notoriety and political ties, the Bond girl Mary Goodnight, and the finale and aftermath of Bond's last few tussles with Bl
Benjamin Thomas
Jun 13, 2016 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
Chris Gager
Barely three stars. I think this was the last completed Bond before Fleming's death. Published after he died. I actually read this when it was serialized in Playboy. Date read is a guess. ...more
The last Bond book. I still have 5 earlier ones to fill in. Apparently Fleming died before he had a final draft and someone else finished the book. It did feel a bit less polished than his earlier books, but quite up to date as far as world politics went, including Cuba, Fidel, the Russians and the mob.
Jenny Clark
Nov 10, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
While not bad, it's not the best Bond book at all. It feels rushed and there is a lot of Dues Ex Machina, which does not work here though it has in others. Perhaps Fleming is bored with Bond at this point? ...more
Apr 19, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
All done. That's all the Ian Fleming novels and short stories.
This was a strange one. It didn't sit well with me.
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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. He was a grandson of the Scottish financier Robert Fleming, who founded the Scottish American Investment Trust and the merchant bank Robert Fleming & Co.

Fleming is best remembered for creating the character of James Bond

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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