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Thunderball Mass Market Paperback – Jan 1989


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Mass Market Paperback, Jan 1989
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Berkley Pub Group (Mm); Reissue edition (January 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425086348
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425086346
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2.5 x 12.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Product Description

Review

"A thriller, a chiller and a pleasure to read " New York Times --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

During World War II Ian Fleming served as Assistant to the Director of Naval Intelligence, rising to the rank of Commander. His wartime experiences provided him with knowledge of secret operations. After the war, he built his house, Goldeneye, in Jamaica. There, at the age of 42, he wrote Casino Royale, the first of the James Bond novels. By the time of his death in 1964, Fleming’s 14 Bond adventures had sold more than 40 million copies and the cult of James Bond was internationally established. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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First Sentence
Again Bond dabbed with the bloodstained styptic pencil at the cut on his chin and despised the face that stared sullenly back at him from the mirror above the washbasin. Read the first page
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By gobirds2 on Oct. 23 2003
Format: Paperback
THUNDERBALL is a very interesting Ian Fleming James Bond novel. I found the first two thirds of the novel very well written. The final third of the novel seems to lose all its steam and sinks into literary mediocrity and that's what really interests me. The first third of this novel contains some of the best prose that Fleming ever put on paper. It is rich in detail and thoroughly engrossing. It is a true delight to read and savor. As the novel enters the second the third it still remains engrossing but seems to lack some of Fleming's usual drive and coherency. The final third falls below what could even be considered commonplaceness for Fleming. Fleming seems to have just given up on this project at some point and just finished it out to get it into publication. Yet THUNDERBALL remains one of my favorite Fleming novels. The first third truly is brilliant and I enjoy reading it and examining at what point Fleming became disinterested.
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By Bluenote on July 31 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
65 years on and Fleming's writing still has that contemporary relevant feel. Bond is more real than ever, well crafted and with even more human qualities than portrayed in past novels. A wonderful spy tale and a great adventure.
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By Bootsy Bass TOP 500 REVIEWER on Sept. 28 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What more can you say? Ian Fleming and Bond at his 60's best. This is one of the classics in the Bond universe. Its great to compare these books to the movies.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's a Bond book of course its good, Bond books are like pizza, even when its bad its so good..... Not suggesting this is bad or anything, I recommend all bond books to teens and adults.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 103 reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Introducing SPECTRE... Jan. 19 2002
By Jeffrey Ellis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
For fans of the literary James Bond, Thunderball is one of the most pivotal works of the series. It was in Thunderball that Bond creator Ian Fleming first introduced the world to perhaps the ultimate Bond villian -- Ernest Stavro Blofeld. Though Bond and Blofeld never actually meet in Thunderball, it is in this book that Bond first battles the schemes of SPECTRE, Blofeld's criminal organization.
The plot of the book (which, as with most of Fleming's best work, is disturbing plausible) deals with SPECTRE's theft of two nuclear missiles and their attempt to blackmail the world with atomic destruction. On little more than a hunch, M (Bond's superior, as gruffly humorous as ever) sends Bond down to the Bahamas to search for the missiles. (It is made clear that other intelligence agents are combing other locations as well. One thing that sets the book apart from the film is the portrayal of James Bond as not the absolute best secret agent in the world but instead as just a hardworking professional who, often times, resents the intrusion of work on his private life.) While in the Bahamas, Bond meets the book's main villian, Emilio Largo (well characterized as an almost likeable rogue), Largo's mistress Domino (who has a nicely vulnerable speech in which she analyzes a picture on a pack of cigarettes), and old allies like Felix Leiter. Along with the usual nonstop action and the vivid descriptions that Fleming was known for, Thunderball contains some of Fleming's most memorable characterizations. While little new is revealed of Bond, Largo and Domino grab hold of the reader's imagination and linger after the end of the book.
Famously, this book was inspired by Fleming and producer Kevin McClory's attempts to launch a pre-Connery James Bond film series. The plot was invented for the movies and occasionally, the book suffers for it. The final battle between Largo and the military, for instance, reads a bit flat and doesn't carry the same charge as the earlier, less epic scenes. Surprising as it may be to some of Fleming's detractors, the writer main strength was always his ability to create compelling one-on-one scenes between Bond and the various eccentrics populating his world. And it is here that Thunderball really shines. It's too often ignored that Fleming was a witty writer whose Bond books often carried a comedy-of-manners feel. This is certainly true in the first part of the book in which Bond finds himself sent to a health salon to recover from a life of hard living. Bond's attempts to quit smoking and drinking are hilariously lampooned by Fleming, who makes little secret that he's mocking the critics who complained that his books were immoral. (Indeed, when we are first introduced to Blofeld, we are quickly informed that this man doesn't smoke, drink, rarely eats, and is apparently a virgin. In short, he lacks all of Bond's vices and, Fleming seems to suggest, turns to the business of international villiany mostly because he doesn't have much else to do.) By the time this book came out, Fleming had certainly grown as a writer from the first Bond books. Gone are the occasional awkward passages that occasionally pop up in Casino Royale. Every character speaks in his own individual voice as opposed to everyone speaking like an upper class English gentleman. In short, Thunderball is an excellent adventure that should thrill Bond fans and non-Bond fans alike.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Now that was a blast Dec 2 2004
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
If you've seen the movie you know the plot of Thunderball already so I won't get into that. Reading Thunderball is a great pleasure for Bond fans because the movie was so faithful to the book. There were a few things left out becuase they were considered too much for the big screen.

Ian Fleming must have had a marvelous sense of humor becuase the chapters where Bond finds himself stuck at Shrublands, drinking tea and vegatable broth and longing for spaghetti and chianti are extremely funny. Later when things get serious the reader gets wonderful scenes with M. who really was a fascinating character. The old man was even more ruthless than Bond.

The biggest thing Thunderball did was to introduce the world to Blofeld and nevermind the Austin Powers jokes, the original Blofeld was a very dangerous, very scary dude. The description of Largo and the scenes with Bond's old pal, Felix Leiter are also great.

I'm very happy that the old (real) Fleming books are being re-released in such good quality paper and with such snappy retro covers. My dad's old copies were literally crumbling whenever I touched them.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
An Interesting Novel Oct. 23 2003
By gobirds2 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
THUNDERBALL is a very interesting Ian Fleming James Bond novel. I found the first two thirds of the novel very well written. The final third of the novel seems to lose all its steam and sinks into literary mediocrity and that's what really interests me. The first third of this novel contains some of the best prose that Fleming ever put on paper. It is rich in detail and thoroughly engrossing. It is a true delight to read and savor. As the novel enters the second the third it still remains engrossing but seems to lack some of Fleming's usual drive and coherency. The final third falls below what could even be considered commonplaceness for Fleming. Fleming seems to have just given up on this project at some point and just finished it out to get it into publication. Yet THUNDERBALL remains one of my favorite Fleming novels. The first third truly is brilliant and I enjoy reading it and examining at what point Fleming became disinterested.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
how to steal a nuclear bomb in 1 easy lesson March 24 2009
By Graves - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Many people are familiar with the films about James Bond, the British spy with the `license to kill' running around in a world of glamour and high tech toys but in reading the books you enter a whole new world. The books bring to life the times and culture of the 50's and 60's that has since faded and also have the virtue of giving the reader insight into the mind of Bond, The doubts, fears and self recriminations that film can never capture.

Both book and film start with Bond being sent to Shrublands health Clinic for a detox' program. The film makes it look like a spa. In the book the reader feels the hunger pangs of people living on a grapefruit and carrot juice diet and a small feud with a former Chinese Tong member only serves to keep Bond's wits sharp. Then the criminal organization SPECTRE plans to steal 2 nuclear weapons from the RAF and then blackmail the world into paying them $100 million dollars. On only the thinnest of leads, M send his best man to the Bahamas with the hope he can find the bombs before the deadline is reached to pay up or else.

The book and movie follow almost parallel threads with a couple of significant differences. The movie has more violence and less reason for Bond to take an interest in the villain. In the movie he has an attractive mistress and is really a creepy guy. In the book Bond has more developed reasons for looking into Emil Largo and deeper issues with why Bond can't just shoot him and go home. Reader know that Largo is the bad guy but bond doesn't and he also has to deal with the fact he might be wrong and chasing a false lead.

The book also goes into detail of the wonderful scenery of the Bahamas in the early 1960's, the land of yachts and private beaches and nightclubs that you wish you could visit today. There are also well written scenes of scuba diving and a lecture from Bond's CIA contact to a cheating bartender on the proper way to mix a drink that is sterling.

Fleming truly knew the espionage business and his books, written during the cold war, reflect this, the dark gritty world of professional thugs just behind the glittering world of jet setting millionaires and estate houses. The film has more sex and violence the book, more color and atmosphere. The film may let you see the girls in bikinis on the beach, the book with let you feel the heat of the sun and the cool of the drinks while you watch them.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Fleming, Thunderball Oct. 15 2011
By Awilson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Thunderball is the eighth Bond novel I've read by Fleming. I skipped over For Your Eyes Only (although I wil definitely return to it) and I had very high hopes for this one. The title alone drew my attention. Sadly, Thunderball turned out to be my least favorite of the Bond series so far. It started off with an interesting premise with Bond being sent away to become healthier. This fascinated me because a lot of authors will never address some of the realistic flaws of their hero. After the interesting and amusing incidents in the beginning though, the novel descends into dry and boring scenes and dialog. It is by no means bad, but I expect a bit more out of Fleming who's elegant writing style always impresses me. The book picks up near the end in a climax which is almost worth the tedium of the 100 pages before it, but this book also lacks the almost supernatural characterization of the villain. I love how Fleming manages to make villains like Doctor No or Goldfinger sound like an alien life form. Largo was not really given this honor. Last but not least, this book also contained the only Bond girl I did not like. I didn't care at all about Domino.
Besides all that, this was a fun read. It is the only Bond novel written by Fleming that I think deserves three stars though.


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