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[Ian Fleming's The Man With the Golden Gun]
section break "James Bond is dead! Or so his employers at MI5 believe... until he attempts to assassinate his boss, M - because he's been brainwashed by the KGB! With his conditioning removed, M sends Bond on a deadly mission; to track down Francisco Scaramanga - "The Man with the Golden Gun"! But with a KGB agent and the usual quotient of beautiful, treacherous girls in his path, will Bond make it back?"
-From the 2002 Penguin Edition

Often debated as to whether Ian Fleming actually wrote it, The Man With The Golden Gun is by far one of the best of his books. First published in 1965, many people believe that it was finished posthumously and played off as the final work of Fleming. Either way, from start to finish the book keeps you on the edge of your seat with riveting storytelling and intriguing characters.

Picking up where You Only Live Twice left off, James Bond has returned to England and seems to have his memory back. In reality it is a ruse by the Russians to have him kill M. After thwarting the attempt and putting Bond in rehab, M sends him out to assassinate Francisco "Pistols" Scaramanga. The mission takes him back to Jamaica where Bond once again teams up with Felix Leiter. It turns out that Scaramanga is involved with much more than just murder with his golden gun; he and five other men make up "The Group" which is responsible for terrorist acts, drug trafficking, and other criminal hobbies. Needless to say, by the end Bond has to do battle with the whole bunch.

The pace of the novel could not have been more perfect. Unlike previous Fleming books, there were no sections where I found myself skipping over a page due to boredom. The characters were developed well enough, and the mission also featured the return of Mary Goodnight whom the reader has gotten to know in previous adventures. Much like the movie version, Scaramanga is Bond's equal in skill, which makes the conflict between the two that much more intriguing. 007 is right in the middle of everything, always aware that his cover could be blown at any moment and he would be dead.

The novel also dives more into Bond's feelings, with numerous dream sequences, as well as showing Bond go through all ranges of emotions. During one key scene, Bond is offered knighthood. Instead of smiling or letting Goodnight know just how proud he is, he nit-picks on how the letter from M was written. All of these are interesting insights into the inner-workings of this seeming superman. Even if Fleming did not complete this novel, it is still a must read that any adventure and espionage fan will enjoy.

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The Man With the Golden Gun

April 1, 1965
Author: Ian Fleming

Villain: Pistols Scaramanga
Employer: Self-employed
Bond Girl: Castro/USSR
Allies: Tiger Tanaka;
           Nick Nicholson




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 Casino Royale
 Live and Let Die
 Diamonds Are Forever
 From Russia With Love
 Dr. No
 For Your Eyes Only
 The Spy Who Loved Me
 On Her Majesty's Secret

 You Only Live Twice
 The Man With The Golden


 Ian Fleming Biography

Also in Universal Exports' Literature Section
Ian Fleming John Gardner Raymond Benson

Charlie Higson Samantha Weinberg
Other Literature

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