Catherine Fitzsimmons's Reviews > Live and Let Die

Live and Let Die by Ian Fleming
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's review
Sep 07, 2012

it was ok
Read in January, 2010

The second James Bond novel, this book tells the tale of the secret agent’s struggle to take down an American gangster of enormous influence in a case that runs from New York City to Jamaica.

A friend offered me numerous James Bond novels some time ago, though I only took two at the time, and don’t expect I’ll be asking or looking for any more. While this book was far better than the first novel, Casino Royale, it was still pretty dry and not overly exciting. The sexism of the first book was not so apparent in this one, though it was replaced by racism. I can’t say whether it’s an appropriate depiction of attitudes in that time, but I found the way African-Americans were treated in this novel, as though they were an entirely different type of person than Caucasians, a little off-putting. The book was notably improved over its predecessor in a number of ways; characterization was slightly stronger – though Bond is surprisingly inept at his job – tension was increased, the lead female was more substantial, and more just happened. Still, it didn’t really hold up well on its own merit, and it didn’t leave me interested enough to find out if Fleming’s writing improved in later books.

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