Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Man With The Golden Gun by Ian Fleming (A James Bond Novel)

At the end of You Only Live Twice James Bond had killed his nemesis Blofeld. In the process he also received a head injury that left him with amnesia. He stayed for some time with the young diver who saved him. On the last page of the book he is headed to Russia because he believes that there is something there that will remind him of who he is. The Man With The Golden Gun picks up a few months later. It seems that Bond made his way to the Soviet Union and was captured, interrogated, brain washed, and sent back to kill M.

M doesn’t trust the situation and is able to thwart the attack. Bond is fixed up and now M has to decide what to do with him. He decides to send him after a hired killer known as Saramanga. This assassin has come across M’s desk It is believed that it will be nearly impossible to succeed with this task. In his rather callous manner M decides that Bond will either succeed and redeem himself, or die in the attempt and redeem himself. Bond is anxious to strike back at the machine that turned him against M. He tracks his prey to Jamaica and sets about his task.

This is the last of the James Bond novels. It was still in manuscript form when Ian Fleming died. It is not the best of the Bond books. Scaramanga is not the twisted fiend or evil genius that we usually see Bond going after. He is simply a thug who is good with a gun. While the villain may be a bit flat at times there are some interesting scenes with Bond as he tries to get over what happened to him. While the James Bond novels might not be high literature they are great spy stories from the Cold War and they can still entertain 50 years after their initial publication.

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