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Live and Let Die by Ian Fleming

Live and Let Die (1954)

by Ian Fleming

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: James Bond (2)

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English (52)  Dutch (1)  Danish (1)  Catalan (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (56)
Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
The masterpiece of this installment of the James Bond Series, Live and Let Die, is in its eccentric plotline. As a reader accustomed to the wild, psychologically engaged thrillers that mark contemporary mystery fiction, I still find myself fascinated by the African culture of Harlem and dark voodoo of the Caribbean that Fleming portrays. I can only imagine my reaction as a relatively naive fiction reader in the mid-1900's. The juxtaposition of the fearlessly eloquent Bond in such a fear-inducing environment builds up the reader's affection for Bond as a hero. Bond becomes something more than just a British spy, but a hero capable of lifting the spell of the supernatural Voodoo which plagues the innocent Bahamian island. Bond effectively transcends the natural world to fight evil in this, and in my opinion the best, installment of the series. ( )
  Justantolin | Jan 20, 2016 |
It's fascinating how low-key many of these early James bond novels are. Unlike the thrill-a-minute rides that are the films, Live and Let Die is much more about surveillance and suspense: Bond and his American counterpart Felix Leiter spend the beginning of this book eating fried chicken in Harlem as they get the lowdown on a criminal mastermind; then Bond and his newest girl, Solitaire, ride a train. Things do get violent in both cases, but it's a far cry from the chases and explosions you see on screen.

My two main takeaways from reading this book were 1) I really wanted to eat some fried chicken and 2) the final action sequence, where Bond and Solitaire are dragged by a boat through shark-filled waters, is hugely intense. Fleming knows how to write some action.
  Stevil2001 | Jan 15, 2016 |
The second in the Bond series, Live and Let Die concerns a powerful black gangster named Mr. Big, gold doubloons and voodoo, and the setting ranges from Harlem to the Florida everglades to an island in the Caribbean. Fleming is very good at describing a milieu that may not be at all accurate, but is fascinating as a time capsule of the way white, privileged Europeans viewed the "natives". Also, it seems Bond was very much a gourmand and never missed a meal. ( )
  Marse | Jan 4, 2016 |
This has a solid narration performance by actor Rory Kinnear (who has played M's Chief of Staff Bill Tanner in the recent Daniel Craig as Bond films) in this 2nd of the 2014 audiobooks edition of the original Ian Fleming novels. A different narrator appears in each of this Celebrity Performances edition.

"Live and Let Die" from 1954 was the 2nd of the books and more than "Casino Royale" set the template for all of the books and the movies to come. That includes a larger the life villain (in this case, gangster Mr. Big) various creepy henchmen (such as "The Whisper" and "The Robber" here). the villain's hideaway lair (an island and a boat here) and of course a diabolical villainous scheme (gold coin smuggling to undermine the USA in this case).

The audiobook includes a 4 minute interview with Rory Kinnear. ( )
  alanteder | Jan 6, 2015 |
Although many might consider the descriptions of 1950s Afro-American culture racist, I still find the picture of Harlem and voodoo vivid and exciting --especially G.G. Sumatra's dance. Bond's attempt o eliminate Mr. Big, who claims to be the zombie of Baron Samedi, has an interesting occult edge even though the claim is presumably untrue. The psychic Solitaire's powers are apparently supposed to be genuine, and she is one of the more charming Bond heroines. ( )
  antiquary | Jan 3, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (31 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Fleming, Ianprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bonetti, NorahTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Follett, KenIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hayes, LyndonIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Welsh, LouiseIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
There are moments of great luxury in the life of a secret agent.
'Don't go stirring up trouble for us. This case isn't ripe yet. Until it is, our policy is "live and let live".'
Bond looked quizzically at Captain Dexter.
'In my job,' he said, 'when I come up against a man like this one, I have another motto. It's "live and let die".'
Last words
Disambiguation notice
This work is by Ian Fleming.  Patrick Nobles is the editor of some editions.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description

Britain's key secret service agent against the dreaded Soviet murder organization SMERSH...Bond lives dangerously - he expects to be killed; he's no stranger to torture.

Meet MR BIG,

a huge American negro - master criminal, head of a Voodoo cult, high in the SMERSH guild of terror.


Mr Big's Inquisitor, an exotic Creole beauty with the power to read a man's mind.

Racing from a night-club in New York's Harlem to the shark-infested waters of the West Indies this power-packed James Bond adventure will set your nerves a-tingle!

Speed...tremendous zest...communicated excitement. Brrh!...how wincingly well Mr Fleming writes - SUNDAY TIMES
Haiku summary
Double Oh Seven
takes on a black criminal
with Voodoo powers.

No descriptions found.

(see all 2 descriptions)

British secret agent James Bond has never met an adversary like Mr. Big, a gangland kingpin who uses voodoo to control his vast criminal empire. When a crooked trail of smuggled gold leads through Mr. Big's New York hideout to SMERSH headquarters in Moscow, Bond's mission takes him from Harlem to the Florida Everglades.… (more)

» see all 6 descriptions

Legacy Library: Ian Fleming

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