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The Man With the Golden Gun

(James Bond (Original Series) #13)

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  8,813 ratings  ·  430 reviews
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. All 007 has to do is kill one of the most deadly freelance hit men in the world: Paco “Pistols” Scaramanga, the Man with the Golden Gun. But despite his license to kill, 007 is no assassin, and on finding Scaramanga in the sultry heat ...more
Paperback, 183 pages
Published April 6th 1965 by The New American Library (first published April 1st 1965)
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3.56  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,813 ratings  ·  430 reviews

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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.
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
Richard Derus
Aug 14, 2013 rated it liked it
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
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
Mar 28, 2017 rated it liked it
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
Sep 30, 2018 rated it liked it
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
"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
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
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
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
Stephen Robert Collins
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
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.
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
I love the James Bond films, but the plots of these novels never make much sense to me.
J. Watson (aka umberto)
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
Dec 27, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Almost to the end of my goal to finish original Ian Fleming series before the year ends and yup it's a sureshot 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 just de ...more
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
Jun 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
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
Edward Waverley
Sep 24, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Erik Graff
Jul 13, 2010 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
Dec 05, 2014 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
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
May 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 13, 2013 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
Dec 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Rick Brindle
Jan 17, 2015 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
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.
Timothy Boyd
May 11, 2015 rated it liked it
Forget ever James Bond movie you ever saw when you read the books. These are much more a mystery/adventure story. Recommended
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.
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Goodreads Librari...: Alternate book cover 3 16 Aug 10, 2014 07:05AM  
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  • Scorpius (John Gardner's Bond, #7)
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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

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)