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Dr. No by Ian Fleming

Dr. No (1958)

by Ian Fleming

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: James Bond (6)

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Rating: 4* of five

Again rating the film from 1962. Cannot read the books, they haven't aged at all well. This book's focus on loyalty was presented in an unpleasant, torture-pornish way that I found ghastly.

And in so many ways, neither has the film. Ursula Andress, the most-remembered woman in the cast, plays Honey Ryder (!), and she is the last of three women to find 32-year-old Connery irresistible. (Well DUH.) But her role as eye candy for the straight boys is all she does. Her emergence from the sea in what was for the day a teensy bikini, but for today's audiences might as well be a burqa, led to the current Bond iteration's scene with Halle Berry splashing up out of the sea in, basically, nothin' much. How things have changed in 50 years.

I found myself drooling over the decor. (Hey, the story's ridiculous and the effects are risible, had to look at something!) Midcentury Modern for days! Gorgeous copper-plated doors and beautiful leather-upholstered walls! OOO AAAH. Bond driving that adorable Sunbeam convertible was fun for me too...and the tank with fins! Ha!

So yeah, I give it four camp-stars and enjoy it for what it now is: the birth of a cultural phenomenon, interesting more for what it says about our progress than for any intrinsic merits it has. ( )
1 vote richardderus | Jun 28, 2014 |
Once again, Ian Fleming has managed to surprise me with how Bond is portrayed. Being able to read his thoughts makes him more human and less of a stereotypical action hero. Dr. No, on the other hand, struck me as much more creepy than the movie character! ( )
  leslie.98 | Apr 21, 2014 |
It's an exciting read that's good enough if you can ignore the 1950s casual racism. Probably the first book I've read where someone is killed with a pile of bird crap.

There are some problems with the Kindle formatting where some characters apparently imported as something like #xm2013! or whatever. It's kind of annoying. Someone ought to go through to do an edit like I do with my books. ( )
  ptdilloway | Nov 21, 2013 |
The clunkiest, most wooden dialogue and descriptions I can remember reading. Implausible & impossible all too often.
  FKarr | Nov 3, 2013 |
I actually read a bunch of the James Bond books when I was about 11 ( )
  BakuDreamer | Sep 7, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (31 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Fleming, Ianprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Borelli, CarloTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lahtela, MarkkuTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Punctually at six o'clock the sun set with a last yellow flash behind the Blue Mountains, a wave of violet shadow poured down Richmond Road, and the crickets and tree frogs in the fine gardens began to zing and tinkle.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Year - 1958
Tease - The diabolical Doctor No, "You have both put me to a great deal of trouble. Now I intend to put you to a great deal of pain." With a fiendish smile, Doctor No taunted his prize captives - the brilliant agent James Bond and the beautiful blonde Honeychile. The unlucky pair had discovered the closely guarded secret of Crab Key Island. Now they must suffer the penalty. Doctor No had planned his maze of tortures carefully. Each was a harrowing test of endurance, strength and courage. He'd waited a long time for the perfect victim. Now - he had two of them.

Villain - Doctor Julius No, is half Chinese and half German. He is six foot six inches tall. Bald with a skull like face, jet black eyes and no eyelashes. His heart is located on the right side of his chest. A cruel and authoritative mouth and receding chin. He also does not have hands, only pincers. When he walks, he gives the appearance of gliding.

Bond-Girl - Honeychile Rider, a blonde with deep blue eyes under lashes 'paled by the sun' Wide mouth and a jaw line that is 'determined'. A face that fends for herself but a very naive island girl. She has a broken nose which was caused by a former lover. Bond compares her to Botticelli's Venus. She never had formal schooling but has read the encyclopedia.

Minor Characters - Quarrel, M, Major Boothroyd, Playdell-Smith, The Three Blind Chigroes

Plot - Beaming radio waves to U.S. rockets to misguide them.

Highlights - Bond's night time ordeal with a deadly centipede, Crab Key, Dr. No's obstacle course and giant squid confrontation.

Opening Sentence - Punctually at six o'clock the sun set with a last yellow flash behind the Blue Mountains, a wave of violet shadow poured down Richmond Road, and the crickets and tree frogs in the fine gardens began to zing and tinkle.

Trivia - The plot of Doctor No was lifted from a failed TV project called "Commander Jamaica." It had a character named James Gunn who was investigating an island in the Caribbean, where criminals were deflecting the paths of rockets from Cape Canaveral.
Haiku summary
Double Oh Seven
fights second-rate Fu Manchu
because of some birds.

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142002038, Paperback)

James Bond travels to the Caribbean to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a secret service team. As he uncovers the astonishing truth about strange energy waves that are interfering with U.S. missile launches, he must battle deadly assassins, sexy femmes fatales, and even a poisonous tarantula. The search takes him to an exotic tropical island, where he meets a beautiful nature girl and discovers the hideout of Doctor No, a six-foot-six madman with a mania for torture, a lust to kill, and a fantastic secret to hide.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:19:42 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

M called this case a soft option. Bond can't quite agree. The tropical island is luxurious, the seductive Honey Rider is beautiful and willing. But they are both part of the empire of Dr No. His obsession is power, and his gifts are pain-shaped.

» see all 9 descriptions

Legacy Library: Ian Fleming

Ian Fleming has a Legacy Library. Legacy libraries are the personal libraries of famous readers, entered by LibraryThing members from the Legacy Libraries group.

See Ian Fleming's legacy profile.

See Ian Fleming's author page.

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