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4.0 out of 5 stars Much Better Than the Movie!,
This review is from: Diamonds Are Forever (Paperback)I have read many of Ian Fleming's 007 novels, most of them many years ago. In the past I had no interest in reading this novel due to the fact that I disliked the movie. That was a very big mistake on my part. The novel bears little resemblance to the movie. I'm glad that I finally gave it a chance. I really should have known better, as many of the movies don't resemble the books at all.
Although this is not Mr. Fleming's best James Bond story, it is still very entertaining, especially if you are in the mood for an enjoyable trip back to the 1950's with 007 in his prime. All of the necessary elements are there. Ian Fleming wrote all of the series with lots of class and style, and Diamonds are Forever is no exception. Although there are some hokey bits here and there, the plot is good, and the storytelling is, as always, excellent. It left me thirsty for bourbon and branch water, and more 007.
I think that if EON Productions looks into remaking some of the classic Fleming stories in the modern era, like they did with Casino Royale, Diamonds are Forever would be a prime candidate. I think that with a few small changes here and there, this story could lend itself well to the 21st century.
Overall enjoyable, even if not Fleming's, or 007's best outing.
5.0 out of 5 stars Diamonds,
This review is from: Diamonds Are Forever (Hardcover)Well, I bought the book for my boyfriend, along with all the others in this collection. And he absolutely adores them. Very nice set of books!
4.0 out of 5 stars Jolly good novel!,
By A Customer
This review is from: Modern Classics Diamonds Are Forever (Paperback)Ian Fleming outdoes himself again! This 007 novel is most definately worth the read. I found it as interesting as wanting it to be one of my re-reads.
4.0 out of 5 stars Bond's first and (as far as I know) only gay assassins?,
This review is from: Diamonds Are Forever (James Bond Novels) (Paperback)Yes, film fans, Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd do appear in this book; and although, as always, the book is vastly different from the movie, it is easy to see some of the points of inspiration (the exchange in the desert; the ship at the end).
The characters are different also. If you've read the books or any of the reviews I've written on the first 3, you know the characterization variences of Bond himself (He actually gets beaten up in this one; though he does have his first superhuman moments in "DAF", beating the tar out of two adversaries on two seperate occasions), but some of the supporting characters bear notice:
Tiffany Case is in no way the ditz portrayed in the movie. In the book she's a "hard-boiled broad" as Spillaine or Chandler might put it.
Wint and Kidd are more thuggish and not the Dickensian villains most are familiar with.
Felix Leiter with hook and wooden leg returns!
Finally, SPECTRE has nothing to do with this novel save for the fact that the ghost town hideout of one of the primary antagonists is called "Spectreville." And NONE of the bad guys are our boy Ernst (You're gonna have to wait a few novels for him).
The story is basically about 007's efforts to close a diamond smuggling pipeline to the United States (And not a doomsday device lazer beam in sight!)
I did take some points off from this novel because, toward the end, Fleming seemed to develop a penchant for run-on sentences ("He went into the room and lit a cigarette and sat down and started to write. . . ."); but this is just something that I, as an english major, found grating.
All in all, enjoyable.
4.0 out of 5 stars Fleming finding his groove,
This review is from: Diamonds Are Forever (James Bond Novels) (Paperback)This is the fourth of the Bond books. This book shows why it is best to read the books in their order of publication. There are too many references to earlier stories that would puzzle the reader and lessen the appreciation for the book. This book was best known for being turned into the last of the Sean Connery traditional Bond movies. As other reviewers mentioned, the book is far superior to the movie. The movie introduced the kind of comical sequences that Roger Moore was to make his trademark Bond.
The book, however, is of interest to me since it seemed to have been Fleming's first attempt at a lengthy Bond novel. The other books maintained central figures and were easier to follow the action. This book was actually overburdened with the author's attempt to become more complex. Lacking in this book was the kind of chief, evil character that was found in Live and Let Die, and to a lesser extent the Moonraker character. The evil characters in the Diamonds' book were several, and the final guy was barely known. This probably reflected Fleming's attitude toward the American Mafia. However, his characterizations of the two expert hit men more than made up for this oversight. I understand that he returned to a central evil character in his next book From Russia With Love.
I was also pleased to see that Fleming displayed better self control over his racial attitudes. I hope this reflected a personal enlightenment, rather than wanting to avoid criticism that most likely accompanied his Live and Let Die book.
Finally, the character, Tiffany Case, had more of a significance in this story than the women in the previous books. It seemed to me that Bond so strongly reacted to Tiffany Case because she was a strong, self sufficient personality. She also gave the author an opportunity to better expose Bond's intimate side. I suppose that the author will inform the reader in the Russia with Love book as to what became of Ms. Case.
4.0 out of 5 stars Bond, Detective Bond,
This review is from: Diamonds Are Forever (James Bond Novels) (Paperback)For his fourth 007 novel, Fleming drew inspiration from a real-life international diamond smuggling ring which would also be the subject of a non-Bond book, The Diamond Smugglers, a year later. The premise here is that an American mafia family is running an elaborate operation to smuggle diamonds out of the British colony of Sierra Leone (it didn't win independence until 1961), the British don't like it, and Bond is inserted as a courier to try and discover who's behind the scheme. While this setup remains exceedingly topical almost 50 years later (indeed, the latest Bond flick features the laundering of diamonds from Sierra Leone), however it's not likely to engender much enthusiasm in the contemporary reader. Hmm, someone is smuggling diamonds out from the under the noses of the imperialist colonizing British, gee, that's too bad... so why does this warrant sending a government assassin into the mix?
However, if one is willing to overlook the rather small potatoes of the setup, there's a decent enough potboiler to found if you don't examine it too carefully. The pages turn quickly enough as Bond is partnered with the hard-boiled beauty Tiffany Case (like so many of Fleming's women, an underdeveloped character with lots of potential), and then heads to the horse races at Saratoga, the casinos of Las Vegas, a desert ghost town, and the staterooms of the Queen Elizabeth. There are some nice set pieces (especially the mud bath scene and the casino action), but Bond seems to be distracted the whole time. One could mark it down to his being overconfident about his Mafia adversaries, but he's throughout the book he's missing clues, botching basic spycraft, and most importantly, impatient and sloppy. In several places it's hard not to think that if he were this bad an agent, he'd have been killed long ago.
It also doesn't help that the Mafia dons Bond is up against are totally generic and unmemorable, and more than a little ridiculous as major villains. The semi-climactic railroad chase scene is borderline farcical for example. Nor are matters aided by Felix Leiter rather improbably crossing Bond's path as a Pinkerton's agent. Still, the homosexual hitmen, Wint and Kidd are memorable characters who bring a great deal of menace and (for the time) exoticism to the story. More of a detective story than a spy thriller, it's not your normal Bond book.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Soul of James Bond,
This review is from: Diamonds Are Forever (James Bond Novels) (Paperback)What a tantalizing cover this edition has. It really captures the enigmatic quality this particular James Bond novel by Ian Fleming exudes. In one sense this is Ian Fleming's homage to the mystique of the American gangster. Fleming's vision of the American gangster is one of a twisted, often emotionally and physically, violent character teeming with idiosyncrasies. They are a peculiar bunch to say the least. James Bond appears to be more the knight in shining armor in this novel than in most written by Fleming. Much of this can be attributed to the tough but sympathetic character of Tiffany Case whom Bond becomes emotionally attached and must rescue. It is interesting how in the film series the two primary directors, Terrence Young and Guy Hamilton, were influenced by the literary Bond created by Fleming. Hamilton seems to have been greatly influenced by this novel more than any of Fleming's others. We see Fleming's 1950's version of American hoodlums show up in Hamilton's "Goldfinger," "Diamonds Are Forever" and even at the beginning of "The Man With The Golden Gun." More importantly this novel demonstrates Bond's affinity for the ever-fleeting notion of true love. Tiffany Case is the diamond in the rough that touches Bond's heart. This novel equally contains engaging scenes between James Bond and "M" and the overall description of the diamond smuggling pipeline is pure Fleming. This novel is highly recommended reading giving more insight into the psyche of James Bond.
4.0 out of 5 stars James Bond is Forever!,
This review is from: Diamonds Are Forever (James Bond Novels) (Paperback)Not nearly as high-tech as the movie, but an excellent novel. Of the five Fleming Bond novels I've read so far, this one seemed to be (from a technical point-of-view) the best written. Wint and Kidd were much more of a threat in the novel than you would suspect after watching the movie.
Picture the way Fleming describes the action when reading about Bond and Tiffany Case trying to survive a locomotive chasing them at about 60 miles an hour while they are out of petrol.
I'm looking forward to reading From Russia With Love and the Penguin release of the other classic Bonds. Nobody does Bond better than Fleming!
4.0 out of 5 stars James Bond battles the Spangled Mob!,
This review is from: Diamonds Are Forever (James Bond Novels) (Paperback)Diamonds are Forever is the fourth James Bond novel, and is considered to be not as high of quality of the others 007 novels.
The main problem is peraps that Ian Fleming brought too many travel locales into the story and did not focus enough on developing the characters. Tiffiany Case is indeed very exciting, but the villians are a little lacking. Still, Diamonds are Forever is still a very exciting adventerous tale of 007.
James Bond's assignment is to shut down an evil diamond smuggling operation that operates out of Africa. A smuggler, Peter Franks has been captured and Bond goes undercover to take his place. Bond learns of a Rufus B. Saye, who he suspects is part of this smuggling operation. bond also meets the mysterious Tiffany Case, who works as a smuggler and informs Bond that he has to take the diamonds to Shady Tree in New York. Before Bond leaves for America he is informed by M that Rufus B. Saye is actually a mobster called Jack Spang. Jack Spang and his brother Serrafimo Spang are the real men that control this smuggling pipeline. Bond goes to New York and delivers the diamonds and also meets up with Felix Leiter, to help him investigate. Bond also meets the hitmen, Mr. Kidd and Mr. Wint who almost kill Bond. Bond then travels to Las Vegas with Tiffany Case where he is captured and taken to a place called Specterville. Spectreville is a reconstruction of a Western town where Serrafimo Spang operates. Bond escapes and is chased by Spang by train. Tiffany helps Bond, and Bons shoots and kills Serrafimo Spang. Together, bond and Tiffany travel back to Britain overseas, where they confront one last time Wint and Kidd. Bond shoots and kills both of the hitmen. Bond learns that Jack Spang has gone back to Sierra Leone to kill all the smugglers, close the pipeline and mode on to other areas of crime. Bond gets the upper hand when he shoots down and kills Spang in his helicopter.
Diamonds are Forever, while not the finest 007 novel is still filled with exciting, adventerous, thrilling action from the beginning to the end!
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Diamonds Are Forever (James Bond Novels) (Paperback)
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