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Dr. No [Paperback]

Ian Fleming
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 2 2010 007

Dr No, a sinister recluse with mechanical pincers for hands and a sadistic fascination with pain, holds James Bond firmly in his steely grasp. Bond and Honey Rider, his beautiful and vulnerable girl Friday, have been captured trespassing on Dr No's secluded Caribbean island. Intent on protecting his clandestine operations from the British secret service, Dr No sees an opportunity to dispose of an enemy and further his diabolical research. Soon, Bond and Rider are fighting for their lives in a murderous game of Dr No's choosing ...

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From Library Journal

The allure of James Bond was best described by Raymond Chandler, who insisted that 007 is "what every man would like to be and what every woman would like to have between her sheets." Who can argue with that? This month marks the 40th anniversary of the film release of Dr. No, which was the first Bond adventure to make the big screen, and two big coffee-table books are being published to honor the occasion (LJ 10/1/02, p. 96). Shockingly, Fleming's original novels have gone out of print, but Penguin here reproduces a trio of the British secret agent's early outings, released in 1952, 1958, and 1959, respectively, sporting stylish cover art. These stories were racy for the nifty Fifties but are quite tame by today's standards. Still, they can be fun.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


Masterful ... beautifully written -- Raymond Chandler The Sunday Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Back to Basic 007. June 28 2004
When peculiar things transpire on an obscure Jamaican island called Crab Key, M sends Bond out to investigate. Penguin Books has re-issued the James Bond novels and stories written by the incomparable Ian Fleming. Note that this is the original series, not a well-intentioned imitation. For the uninitiated, James Bond is the apex of fictional secret agents. He defines Cold War espionage without dreary realism. Bond is an iron fist in a velvet glove. Bond is a good man to put on a tough job. Fleming blends the intelligence of Dorothy Sayers with the hard-boiled leanness of Dashiell Hammett. Snobbery is evident. Ian Fleming's books are escapist nonsense, and great fun. The stories are refreshingly free of the parody of the movie versions. The reader must suspend disbelief. The action is hard and violent; call it "blood and thunder." Doctor No spins webs of murder and international crime. Bond teams with Quarrel, the Cayman islander. Bond also encounters the delectable Honeychile, the inevitable woman of the story. A bonus of these books is the exciting cover art. Take special note of the artist's vision of Honeychile. She is a variation of Venus. Reading these books reminds one of what drew us to the writing of Ian Fleming almost 40 years ago. ;-)
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4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent thriller. May 17 2004
Ian Fleming (1908-1956), a reactionary, nationalist, misogynist snob, was, at his best, a superb writer of thrillers. Not all the Bond books are first-rate, but when Fleming's imagination was firing on all cylinders, he was capable of great stuff.
"Doctor No" (1958) shows him at his finest. Its story is one of his more outlandish, and the romance a little more mushy than usual, but in terms of plot, suspense, and non-stop danger, this is as exciting as the Bond books get. If you've seen the movie, you basically know the plot, though there are a few minor differences. If you've never read a Bond novel before, this is as good a place as any to start.
Bond is sent to Jamaica to investigate the disappearance of a Secret Service agent. It is soon apparent that there is much more afoot than he had anticipated, and a third of the way into the novel, Bond is sailing by night to the island of Doctor No, determined to find out the truth. Along the way the loses a friend, charms a babe, and foils the nefarious machinations of the evil doctor. Oh yeah--and he kills a giant squid.
Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Different and Better than the Movie Nov. 29 2003
I have been a James Bond movie fan for years. I never read the Ian Fleming novels because I never could have imagined an improvement on the big screen edition. Boy was I wrong. The novel is a vast improvement over the movie bevause it can pack more details and adventures into the story. It sees James Bond barely escape the clutches of a giant squid, safely cross through a cage full of hairy tarantualas, and endure the burning of a red hot ventilating system that is only a few inches larger than he is. None of this is in the movie.
Also, the story reads almost like a different yarn than the movie:
- In the book, Dr. No is killed by a pile of bird dung that is dropped from a crane manned by 007. In the movie, he dies during the breakdown of his palace.
- In the book, Quarrel (Bond's partner) picks 007 up at the airport when he first comes to Jamaica. In the movie, a Dr. No employee picks him up and is killed minutes later by his own hand.
- In the book, 007 sees a giant centipede crawl up his body when he's in bed. In the movie, it's a tarantula.
- In the book, Honey Rider first appears naked. In the movie, she's wearing a bikini.
- But most of all, the novel's primary focus seems to show that Dr. No is a seller of bird dung that wishes to keep people away. In the movie, he wants to keep people out, but we are deprived of the bird slant that is really quite important to the story as a whole. The book "Dr. No " reads almost as a totally different story than the movie, and it includes more adventures. I recommend this highly.
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3.0 out of 5 stars One of the Weaker in the Series Oct. 4 2003
By A. Ross
The sixth 007 book finds James Bond recuperating from the near-fatal events of From Russia With Love. M sends his on a seemingly easy mission to Jamaica to find out what happened to the missing station head and his secretary. As one might expect, there's more there than meets the eye, and Bond ends up facing off with one of the more memorable villains of the series. Soon after arriving, Bond's cover is blown and an attempt is made on his life, which is easily traced back to the mysterious guano magnate, Dr. Julius No. Bond teams up with his old pal Quarrel to infiltrate No's private island and poke about. As per usual, it's not long before Bond comes across a beautiful wild girl who will be at his side the rest of the story and end up in his bed. Honey is a truly ridiculous character, part untamed Amazon, part innocent schoolgirl, part nubile supermodel, all male fantasy (more so than usual, even for the Bond books!).
Once the dynamic trio is teamed up, it's not long before they're bumbling their way into the arms of Dr. No's professional henchmen. Bond makes elementary mistake after mistake, achieving something along the lines of his own personal Bay of Pigs in the showdown with the dreaded "dragon". Once in the (inevitable) clutches of the hook-handed Dr. No, things get even more silly. First, the villain reveals his entire nefarious operation to Bond (because he's an egomaniac and needs his audience), which Bond had no previous idea about. Then, after gleefully telling Bond and the girl about how he liked to conduct scientific tests of human "will to live", and conveying them to his own deadly obstacle course, he doesn't even bother to observe his little experiment! Instead, he wanders off to supervise some guano loading operation!
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A classic - better than the movie
I've seen every single James bond movie and wanted to give the books a try.
I actually like this better than the movie, though that shouldnt come as a surprise to many.
Published 6 months ago by Rob Doucette
5.0 out of 5 stars Christmas gift
Great Christmas gift. I never actually read this book. Hope my son enjoys this Christmas gift this year. Good for Ian Flemming
Published 11 months ago by Larry K. Swenarchuk
4.0 out of 5 stars Bond, James Bond
Dr. NO is another of the classic Bonds that seemingly get better with time. Full of 60's mores....and villanous villains. Its always a fun read.
Published 11 months ago by Bootsy Bass
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Fleming's best
Dr. No ranks amongst the best and most suspenseful of Fleming's work. After contemplated killing off 007 in the previous instalment, Fleming introduces a much more gritty,... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Jeremy
5.0 out of 5 stars Bond goes on a tropical adventure
Dr. No, the first Bond Novel I read, (an accident, I did not realize that the filmakers made the movies in a different order from the books) the sixth in chronological order. Read more
Published on Dec 21 2003 by Barbara Hall
4.0 out of 5 stars I'll Never Watch A Bond Flick Again
Most of us have seen a James Bond movie at one time or another and enjoyed the outlandish antics in which he participates. Read more
Published on Oct. 2 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks, Penguin!
I'll review this one because it was the first movie made, but not the first Bond story written by Fleming. Read more
Published on Aug. 29 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Initiation to Mr Bond's series
As most teenagers, I had my "Bond movies phase", renting and watching every movie from Sean Connery through Lazenby, Moore, Dalton and now Brosnan. Read more
Published on April 14 2003 by J R Zullo
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book Great Cover
DOCTOR NO is one of Ian Fleming's best. There is great atmoshere and detail on this adventure with James Bond. I really enjoyed this one. Read more
Published on Feb. 20 2003 by hille2000
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