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Thunderball by Ian Fleming

Thunderball (original 1961; edition 2002)

by Ian Fleming

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1,862293,713 (3.47)38
Authors:Ian Fleming
Info:Penguin Books Ltd (2002), Edition: New edition, Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:novel, mainstream, reprint, paperback, given away harewood house

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Thunderball by Ian Fleming (1961)



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Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
Well the first third of it was "James Bond takes a spa trip because he's getting out of shape." Not exactly the dashing womanizer we all know and love. It got much better once the nukes were nabbed.

Most of the action was sub-aquatic, which made it a bit awkward (the narrator admits that their fighting was anything but orthodox and I image the force probably wasn't the wham, bam, thank-you-ma'am we're used to with James).

Felix Leiter played a large role in the book, and I rather like Leiter, so I'm happy with that :) ( )
  benuathanasia | Oct 27, 2015 |
This book contains the notice that it was based on a screenplay, by Fleming and others --part of the transformation of Bond into more a movie than a book character. Bond is sent for a rest cure and during a massage notices a fellow patient wearing what Bond learns is a Tong sign --this leads into contact with SPECTRE, an international crime organization run by Ernst Blofeld, whom Bond pursues for 3 books. Blofeld is a freelance, not a Soviet agent --he is in it for his own profit. In this book, he has gotten 2 atomic bombs and is using the to blackmail the UK and UK,. ( )
  antiquary | Jan 7, 2015 |
Thunderball - Ian Fleming ****

Ian Fleming's 9th Bond novel, and interestingly the one that I feel the film scriptwriters altered the least for big screen.

What starts as an order to attend a health farm by M, soon escalates into the search for missing atomic bombs and a ransom for $100,000,000. We are introduced to the mastermind Ernst Stavros Blofeld and the terrorist group SPECTRE..

As usual for a Bond book it contains plenty of action, beautiful women and a cleverly written plot. But for me, and it seems as if I am alone in this, it just didn't live up the previous novels (with the exception of Casino Royale which I didn't like). There just wasn't enough Bond in the book and too much time going into other characters backgrounds, especially those that would be killed of in as many pages as it took to introduce them. I did enjoy the book and Blofeld is an amazingly written baddy, even if most of the coverage is given to Largo.

All in all not a bad weapon the Bond arsenal, just not the best. ( )
1 vote Bridgey | Aug 28, 2014 |
With the usual machismo and misogyny that one can expect from a 007 novel, Thunderball is hardly the most entertaining of the series, despite setting a new direction and introducing some staple Bond elements. ( )
  Birdo82 | Jul 26, 2014 |
Rating: 4* of five

I am viewing the Bond films on Amazon Prime. 20 are available on Prime for free viewing until 1 Sept. This entry in the book series is a little odd, because the story and the book were the subjects of prolonged litigation among the writer of the story, the author of the book, and the producers of the film. As a result, this film was made again in 1983 by the title Never Say Never Again, Sean Connery's swansong as Bond.

That was a better film.

This one also has a crap theme song sung by Tom Jones. I remembered it not at all from the first time I saw the movie in a theater, probably 1966 or 1967. I was much more impressed then by the underwater fight sequences. Now they just make me claustrophobic.

So nuclear bombs stolen by Blofeld, pretty girl tries to kill Bond, Blofeld's second in command screws up and hires the only white men in the Bahamas as henchrats and all of them screw up. Bond repeals the laws of physics as he opens metal hatches underwater with trivial ease and slams through aboveground hatches without causing any sound. Bond uses someone who deserves to die as a human shield against a 9mm round, and the bullet stops inside them. Yakity blah blah, standard Bond stuff.

What elevates this silly romper-room antic mess into four-star territory is the sheer verve and the evident glee with which all involved go after the action. Connery's genuine terror of the sharks involved in the plot makes his performance sharp. Apparently his marriage was in trouble, so he went after the women with a starved hunger that's impossible to mistake. And the world's stupidest supervillains make some HILARIOUS mistakes...fixed water cannons that could easily be sidestepped? C'mon...but gosh was this fun.

Doesn't hurt one little bit that Connery wore racy bathing suits for quite a lot of the film. Yum.

So anyway, it's not the best Bond film and it's not the best film-film, but it has zest and zing and I'm glad I rewatched it here these *gasp* forty-five or more years later. That song...what a shame. A good tune would've put it over the edge into 5-star territory! ( )
1 vote richardderus | Dec 11, 2013 |
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It was one of those days when it seemed to James Bond that all life, as someone put it, was nothing but a heap of six to four against.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Noted on title page: This story is based on a screen treatment by K. McClary, J. Whittingham and the author.
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"When a stranger arrives in the Bahamas, the locals barely turn their heads, seeing another ex-pat with money to burn at the casino tables. But James Bond has more than money on his mind; he's got less than a week to find two stolen atom bombs hidden among the coral reefs. While acting the playboy, Bond meets Domino, sultry plaything of secretive treasure hunter Emilio Largo. In getting close to this gorgeous Italian girl, Bond hopes to learn more about Largo's hidden operation."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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