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Moonraker (James Bond (Original Series) #3)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  16,124 Ratings  ·  1,018 Reviews
Agent 007 is back--and he must race to stop the destruction of England.

When James Bond is asked to settle a dispute over "ungentlemanly behavior" at an exclusive gambling club, the affair is embarrassing in the extreme, for the accused is the unimpeachable Sir Hugo Drax: business tycoon, popular hero, patriot extraordinaire, and head of the multimillion-dollar Moonraker mi
Audio CD
Published January 1st 2001 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published April 5th 1955)
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Joe Valdez
The two thirty-eights roared simultaneously.

So begins Moonraker, the third novel by Ian Fleming. Published in 1955, it continues the exploits of British Secret Service agent James Bond following Casino Royale and Live and Let Die, with the long-running film series adhering to Fleming's bibliography neither in order or in story content. This smooth, spare spy thriller bares next door to zero similarity to the film released in 1979 and while I grew restless with the acrobatics of the back half, I
Jason Koivu
May 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, fiction, spy
Moonraker gets fiendish with its plot and villains, making this the first of the James Bond books to feel like a James Bond movie.

Pure Cold War spy bliss, this book taps into our collective fear of mass annihilation after the successfully brutal bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. A war hero has offered his vast fortune, ambition and knowledge to create and construct a missile supposedly capable of defending Britain in case of attack. A test of the missile is scheduled soon and Bond is put on se
Feb 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
For all of you who read my previous James Bond reviews (Casino Royale and Live & Let Die) this four-star review will be giving you quite a shock.

James Bond is going about his normal life as a Double 0 Operative. And I really mean normal! He reads boring reports and goes to the shooting range. Then, he's called into M's office. He and M discuss a man who's a current English celebrity: Sir Hugo Drax. A very rich man who has invested tons of money into creating a Moonraker, a large rocket/thing
Richard Derus
Aug 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 4* of five

Yes, again I'm rating the 1979 movie, not the 1954 book. Get over it.

The pre-credits sequence of this film is the absolute all-time best thrill ride in the Bondiverse. Seeing it again on the teensy netbook screen was just as thrilling and pulse-pounding as it was to see it in the theater 34 years ago. A parachuteless Bond flung from a plane, chasing a villain with a parachute, wresting the parachute from the villain, and death to baddie while Bond tiptoes lightly to earth.

Mar 07, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
"Why do all the men wear moustaches?" asked Bond, ignoring Drax's question. Again he had the impression that his question had nettled the other man.
Drax gave one of his short barking laughs. "My idea," he said. "They're difficult to recognize in those white overalls and with their heads shaved. So I told them to all grow moustaches. The thing's become quite a fetish. Like in the RAF during the war. See anything wrong with it?"
"Of course not," said Bond. "Rather startling at first. I would have t
I have to say MOONRAKER didn’t have as much action as either of the two previous Bond novels. At least at the beginning anyway. Sure there was the consummate card game and torture scene, but neither hit as hard or as fast as what happened in CASINO ROYALE. But this was certainly an entertaining read, even though the female characters seemed to wilt at the first sign of trouble, or at least gave the distinct impression of the likelihood of such an occurrence.

I know it’s too much to ask (and it’s
The movie Moonraker is the one I like to refer to as Bond! In! Spaaaaaace! or Star Wars: Attack of the Bond. I figured the book would be relatively similar, but you'd think I'm new at this project. Silly rabbit! The book was published in the mid-50s, the movie came out in the late 70s - the book's Moonraker referred to a nuclear weapon whereas the movie's Moonraker referred to a space shuttle. Clearly making a movie about spacelandia would be appealing to the masses following the release of Star ...more
Mar 01, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
First time I'm trying a James Bond novel, and even though I wasn't blown away or anything, it was still an enjoyable read... Well, an enjoyable "listen" actually, since I picked this on audiobook. And I'm glad I did, because the always excellent Simon Vance does a great job narrating Bond's adventures.
I'm sure I'll listen some more in the future. Hopefully the next one will have a bit more action and a better female character.
Much to my surprise, I quite enjoyed Moonraker. It's entirely set in England (and Fleming doesn't seem to have noticed the non-white population already here in 1955), so there's no scope for racism unless you count Germans. And the female lead has her own skills, qualities, ideas and, in the end, independent life, very much as if someone had sat Fleming down and had a word with him about the old misogyny.

I really liked seeing Bond in the cheating-at-cards-in-gentlemen's-clubs subplot which comp
J.C. Greenway
Jun 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1950s, spies
What is there that can possibly be left to be written about Britain’s favourite secret agent that hasn’t already been said a million times before, by feminists, by film reviewers, even by distinguished literary gents? While the cover art is calculated to have any teenage boy’s blood racing – girls! guns! rockets! – this book delivers on both the book and recent film versions of Casino Royale’s promise of a more appealing, albeit less charming, Bond.

What you know are to become key elements of the
Mar 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This was the best Bond I’ve read to date (admittedly, it is only my 3rd) with the book split into three parts and each one having a different feel to them. The action is toned down compared to what some would expect from Bond and there was no action in space – not once did Bond go Pew Pew, which I’m pretty sure he did in the film.

First things first, my approach to all the Bond books will be tainted by the films. With “Live and Let Die” I knew the film well and enjoyed it – the book less so
Mar 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spy-fiction
Moonraker was the fourth of Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels, appearing in 1955. By that time Fleming had the formula well and truly nailed and the result is wonderful entertainment.

A mysterious businessman has announced plans to build a missile that will ensure Britain’s defences. He is prepared to finance the project himself as a kind of gift to the nation. The rocker, known as the Moonraker, will be able to reach any city in Europe (which in 1955 made it a super-weapon).

Sir Hugo Drax is very
Here you are, sat on a balcony in a faraway part of the world, at three o'clock in the morning because you have All The Jetlag - and have I mentioned this might be the hottest place you have ever been? - and you realise that what with one thing and another, you have not actually finished reading a book in close to a month.

The last time this happened was probably five or six years ago.

It has been a month full of very brain-intensive work, and you have only just managed to escape. Yesterday was th
Sep 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reread, spy, fiction
England probably suffered as much from the Second World War as any of the defeated Axis powers, what with rationing continuing until 1954, two years after Ian Fleming began the James Bond series, and the year before Moonraker was published.

Just imagine the English taking in the scene of the duel at Blades between Fleming super-villain Sir Hugo Drax and one "Commander Bond." The gambling club is flowing with rare French champagnes and Beluga caviar. The betting involves thousands of pounds sterli
My favorite James Bond yet! A thrilling card game, a sinister plot involving a nuclear warhead, and a good old fashioned car chase fulfilled all of my action needs. I quite liked the relationship Bond had with Ms. Brand (specifically that it didn't go at all as he expected it to) and the detailed writing in this novel is just absolutely luxurious.
Jun 30, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Moonraker has a good premise, a very human and quirky main villian who has an interesting background, but the pace of the book is really slow. James Bond doesn't even fire his gun the entire book. I don't expect Bond to shoot someone every page, but he doesn't even engage in combat. There is very little hand-to-hand combat, a couple car chases, and no gunfire. If there is only a little action, I expect deep and thoughtful espionage to substitute, but the book doesn't give you that either. There ...more
Quentin Wallace
May 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I continue to enjoy the James Bond novels, but I also continue to be shocked at just how different the novels are than the books. I really shouldn't be surprised, as the novels were written in the mid 50s and this movie, for example, was made in the last 70s. I find it a credit to the movie writers that they are able to take a story and restructure it into what the movie scripts finally became.

So in this one there's no outer space action, no giant snake fight (boo!), and no Jaws. But the Moonrak
Oct 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Once again I am pleasantly surprised by the pleasures of the Bond series. I read them all in high school but my memories are really based on the movies, which don't do the books justice. No gadgets here but lots of action, and a really splendid bridge match that must last for about an hour (the length of my commute today). Bill Nighy is so good as a reader, ironic yet sensitive. In the interview afterwards he talks about how unexpectedly good the writing is and how sensitively Fleming handles th ...more
There's a point in this book when a female operative has missed an appointment with Bond because she was kidnapped after discovering a madman's plot to basically destroy the world. M and Bond are discussing her no-show and M says something like, "she probably just had a fainting fit, but I guess we should go look for her to be on the safe side."

That's pretty typical of this book. It's unrepentantly misogynistic and xenophobic, but holy crap snacks is it fun. Can I please enjoy this book even tho
Nov 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The more of the Bond novels I read, the more disappointed I am with the movies. The novels are so good. If the movies were honest adaptations of the titles they were using, the quality of the films would have been a million times better. And I know complaining about how the movies are never as good as the books on a book site seems silly, but still. I'm 30, so I grew up knowing the movies better than the books. Most of us did. I'm just glad I'm doing the right thing and reading the Bond novels n ...more
russell barnes
V cool. Again, nothing like the film - no space stations, cable-car battles or Jaws. Just boring old Dover and a rocket, but it's marvellous. Quaintly dated rather than amusingly so like some of the others I've read this year, he doesn't even get the girl!

Although she is called Gala Brand, and they do survive a cliff falling on them, so it does maintain a certain level of ridiculousness I expect from Bond.
Teri Heyer
Jan 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves James Bond.
Recommended to Teri by: Amazon/Kindle & 007 movies.
I finished reading 'Moonraker' close to midnight last night. Loved it! Drax is as bad as can be, Gala Brand is tough and gorgeous and 007 is, well, the invincible "Bond, James Bond." This one has a bit of a slow start with a high-stakes game of bridge, but then the action picks up and blasts off just like the rocket, Moonraker. So if you're a James Bond fan, this is a must read.
Apr 02, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: defenders-vs-wca
A good, straight forward Bond book. High stakes card games, fast cars, danger and Bonds well known charm. What more can you want?
Well, something a little more complex and plot twists that you don’t see coming would be nice, but you can have everything can you?
Mrs. Danvers
Mar 15, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Cute. I recommend brushing up on bridge before starting this one ha ha.
Mike Jensen
A mixed bag, this book. Fleming’s third Bond novel recycles a number of plot elements from CASINO ROYALE in more or less the same order. The McGuffin is different, of course, and that keeps certain scenes fresh. Fleming seems addicted to torture. There is scene after scene of Bond bleeding and dripping blood on the floor, but somehow, when the rest of us would be dead, he soldiers on. Couldn’t he duck under a desk and be OK just once? Not with Mr. Fleming as the author.

Critics of the series comp
First of all, I was lucky enough to find a 1959 Pan copy of Moonraker, a treasure for my collection. Bond books hold a special place in my heart because I distinctly remember checking them out, a couple at a time, from the adult section of our local public library. They took up a whole shelf, and I worked my way through the series. This was likely around 1967, I was in my early teens, and I thought myself to be quite the sophisticate, taking out those racy Bond books. Rereading them now, they se ...more
Jan 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
M asks Bond to investigate why Sir Hugo Drax, the filthy-rich, noted industralist and Britain's man-of-the-moment, is cheating at cards at his club. Sir Hugo is the funder of the Moonraker, a long-range missile intended to act as a deterrent against foreign attack on Britain. When one of the Moonraker's guards is murdered in an apparent crime-passionel, Bond is sent in to help guard the Moonraker ahead of its much-anticipated test flight. He quickly discovers a dastardly plot to sabotage the wea ...more
Aaron Weinman
Being a Gen-Y’er – the first Bond film I watched was Goldeneye, and even that for me was difficult given I was still in single digits. So it was with great shame, that I reveal, this, Moonraker, was my first Bond novel. So I’ve had to trawl through several reviews (good and bad) in order to gain more insight into the background, but upon completing it, while the dialogue did drag on at times, you can’t argue that Fleming’s prose is fantastic. He employs some really thorough techniques, especiall ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
So far I've given the Bond books I've reviewed 3 stars. They walk a sort of thin line. They seem to appeal to younger males, but have slightly adult content (though in todays market they might be thought a bit tamer than they were when published.) They are enjoyable, straight adventure yarns and may deserve a 3.5 at least one will get a 4. There good books, just not as good as some others.

In this one James saves England's missle program, uncovers a spy and, oddly doesn't get the (a) girl. the on
Sep 02, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spy-fiction
Reading this fiction, “Moonraker” would be, I think, gradually thrilling and heart-throbbing due to, at least, its two godlike episodes as narrated in Chapter 6 'Cards With a Stranger' and Chapter 7 'The Quickness of the Hand' in which James Bond has to win to subdue Sir Hugo Drax from cheating; the other being in Chapter 23 'Zero Minus' that depicts how Bond has miraculously freed Gala Brand by biting at the torch using its flame to melt the copper strands bound around her arms.
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Espionage Aficion...: memorable meals 12 11 Dec 01, 2014 09:33PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Alternate book cover 3 20 Aug 10, 2014 03:04AM  
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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
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)
  • 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)
  • On Her Majesty's Secret Service (James Bond, #11)

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“And people with obsessions, reflected Bond, were blind to danger.” 18 likes
“They want us dead,' said Bond calmly. 'So we have to stay alive.” 18 likes
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