|Publisher||:||Langenscheidt Longman 1992|
|Number of Pages||:||201 Pages|
|File Size||:||789 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
This is the ninth James Bond novel (first published in 1961), practically as a novelization of a film script for Xanadu productions. By now Fleming had found how easy it was to build stories out of his used or unused scripts. "Dr. No", began as a film treatment and three of the four stories in "For Your Eyes Only" had begun as outline plots for CBS. Regarding "Thunderball" however, there was no clear agreement between the involved parties, and a lengthy legal battle ensued.M is unusually critical of James Bond's medical report that shows that his high living that includes heavy smoking, alcohol intake and nights on the town, is ruining his health. As a result, M sends him off to Shrublands, a nature-cure clinic that should do the job to restore his top agent to the required level of fitness. Bond is furious but has no choice but undergoing a strict regime that replaces dry martinis with carrot juice and medium rare steaks with nut-cutlets. At the health clinic, of all places, Bond meets Count Lippe, a member of the criminal organization Red Lightning Tong operating out of Macao. When Lippe realizes that Bond has blown his cover, he tries to kill 007 - by manipulating a fitness machine. Back in London, Bond is informed that a British V-bomber, a Villiers Vindicator, carrying two atomic weapons has been hijacked by an organization named SPECTRE that is asking 100 million pounds to return the bombs. The term "V-bomber" was indeed used by the RAF during the 1950s and 1960s, they comprised the UK's strategic nuclear strike force that reached its peak in 1964 with around 150 Valiants, Victors and Vulcans in service.Now, what is SPECTRE? What are its plans? Anyway, a frenzied global search for the stolen nukes begins. M has more than a gut feeling that the plane containing the bombs will make a clean drop into the Atlantic close to the North American coast and sends Bond to the Bahamas to investigate together with Felix Leiter of the CIA. On the island paradise they are staying in Nassau - incidentally the ensuing movie was shot on Paradise Island just across a channel from Nassau - Bond encounters the wealthy pleasure seeker Emilio Largo and his party of treasure hunters. In his company Bond also meets Domino Vitali, the stunningly beautiful Italian mistress of Largo. It soon turns out that the man is leading SPECTRE, but the real Number 1 is Ernst Stavro Blofeld, a rather shocking individual with a deadly creative mind. Of course, after several dangerous events, the bombs are recovered and Bond gets his girl. Even by today's standards Fleming describes this terror organization in an astounding way very realistically.By the time the film "Thunderball" was released (1965), James Bond was an eminently familiar name. Two million books had been sold in the English language alone. There was a "James Bond Club" in Sydney and another in Hollywood, yet Bond had been criticized as "the most controversial thriller hero of the century." Fleming, unperturbed, said, "Bond is not a hero, nor is he depicted as being very likeable or admirable. He is a Secret Service agent. He's not a bad man, but he is ruthless and self-indulgent. He enjoys the fight - he also enjoys the prizes. In fiction, people used to have blood in their veins. Nowadays they have pond water." This sums it up quite nicely. No compromise there - this is Fleming's and Bond's philosophy in a nutshell. The film was an immediate smash hit. It was scripted by Richard Maybaum and directed by Terence Young. Sean Connery had to go underwater, Claudine Auger was the girl and Adolfo Celi the villain. Thunderball was the single biggest movie of 1966 (triple that of Goldfinger's budget). At the time of its release, only a few movies had ever beaten its $141 million gross, such a tremendous success that it guaranteed many more Bond films
To start off with, I really enjoy reading a good Bond now and again. I keep them down to about one or two a year in order to keep the enjoyment elongated a little. I really like the style in which Fleming wrote the Bonds, even though they cannot really be considered literature (let's be honest). I find the forthright sexism, xenophobia and arrogance of the paradigmatic former British aristocracy quite entertaining to read. Also the typical Bond-esque settings and lifestyle. Sadly Thunderball only partly fulfils these aspects.The first half of the novel really has all the "Bond" in it that you would wish for: The stay at Shrublands the health clinic, and when Bond first arrives in Nassau where he meets Domino for the first time.Sadly, a lot of detail is spared and the plot begins to drag a little the further you read. Towards the end the book even gets a little boring and it begins to dawn on the reader that Fleming's best ideas had already been depleted by the time he wrote the book, being the ninth in the series.All in all, not a bad Bond, but in my opinion not exactly one of the best, either.
To me, Thunderball is the first part of the "classic" James Bond trilogy (the other volumes being OHMSS and You Only Live Twice).Here, Bond encounters his best-known enemy, Spectre and its head, Blofeld. In these three books, you will find the major development of the character James Bond, which makes the series more than a well-written pulp fiction series.Thunderball was written after a screenplay that was conceived for a 007 television series, that was planned, but abandoned in the early sixties. ( Because the copyrights to this screenplay did not belong exclusively to Ian Fleming, there was the legal opportunity to make not one, but two screen adaptations of the plot, "Thunderball" and "Never say never again", both starring Sean Connery as 007 )Also for copyright reasons, the storyline of the novel "Thunderball" is probably the one storyline in the series that has been changed the least for the screen adaptation. Thus, you will enjoy a really classic thriller, be it the novel, one of the movies, or, the audiobook.I like the choice of Rufus Sewell as narrator for this audiobook, as his voice meets the more sombre atmosphere of the Ian Fleming novels.His rendering of the different accents makes the audiobook lively, the german accent seems quite convincing. And I am looking forward to the release of the CD-edition of this audiobook, and of the other Bond-audiobooks that have not yet been released!( Not that the tapes are worse than any other tapes, but I think that it's about time the book publishers switched to CD for audiobooks in general; probably I don't need to name the assets here.)
Danger, action, excitement, uh... I can't think of any more expletives but this book is da bomb! The funniest opening for any Bond novel, this one reads great, looks great, and stands up well to water! Who knows what excitement Bond will get into, starting with his institution into a fitness home, and at last, an underwater battle with a fat guy! Yaay!
It was a good book read it