Created by British writer, journalist and naval officer Ian Fleming, the fictional character James Bond is not only the most recognizable agent in history, but one of its most recognizable characters. Fleming described Bond as the combination of all the secret agents he met during the war. The adventures of the charismatic British agent were followed with great interest from the very first day. Known by the code name 007, Bond’s adventures reached more than 100 million readers around the world before being brought to the big screen. The adventures of James Bond, which first appeared in the novel Casino Royale, published in 1953, became the subject of many movies in the following period. Thus, Bond’s fan base reached incredible proportions. But the James Bond books were just as valuable to fans as the movies. Here’s what you need to know about the books about the adventures of the legendary British spy…
Casino Royale – 1953
Casino Royale is one of the most beloved of the many James Bond books. The book was written in 1952 while Fleming was in Jamaica. In Casino Royale, Fleming focused on the deteriorating relations between the United States and Britain as British agents took refuge in the Soviet Union. But he was initially skeptical of the book’s viability for publication. However, Casino Royale sold out soon after its release in the UK in 1953.
Live and Let Die – 1954
Although Casino Royale was the first book that Bond met with the reader, Live and Let Die has been written before! Many of the Bond adventures described in the book were inspired by Fleming’s own personal experiences. In this work, Fleming successfully handled the East-West relations during the Cold War. For this reason, the book was highly appreciated by both readers and critics.
Moonraker (Moon Campaign) – 1955
The main axis of the book consisted of themes such as communism, nazism and nuclear war. In addition, James Bond’s adventures in this book took place entirely in England. For this reason, it was criticized by readers who wanted to see Bond in more exotic locations. However, it still managed to achieve significant sales success.
Diamonds are Forever – 1956
The Bond book Diamonds Forever was inspired by a real-life article about diamond smuggling. In this work, Fleming masterfully handled the themes of marriage, travel and the constant change of life. The book was later serialized in the Daily Express newspaper.
From Russia, with Love – 1957
After Fleming wrote From Russia With Love, he thought it might be the last James Bond novel… But luckily things didn’t turn out the way Fleming had predicted. However, From Russia With Love, also bears traces of the author’s travel to Turkey. Fleming, influenced by the events he saw and lived during his time in our country, wrote a powerful James Bond story. The general narrative of the novel is II. It was shaped by the diminishing British influence in the world after World War II.
Dr. No (Doctor No) – 1958
Written in 1958, this Bond novel was originally intended as a screenplay. However, the script was not implemented and Fleming published the story in a novel format. However, Dr. No was heavily criticized in the UK and has become one of the least loved James Bond novels.
Goldfinger (Golden Finger) – 1959
Golden Finger was criticized in its early release for painting a rather complex portrait of James Bond. Because James Bond, a British agent, was trying to overcome an American problem in this book… On the other hand, Fleming was accused of using his name by the architect Erno Goldfinger, who made a name for himself as a bad person in England at that time. Despite all the negativity, Golden Finger managed to become one of the best-selling Bond books in the UK.
Thunderball (Lightning Operation) – 1961
Operation Lightning is an unfilmed James Bond script. Published in 1961, the book describes the theft of two atomic bombs by SPECTRE, a fictional criminal organization in the James Bond books, and the events that followed.
The Spy Who Loved Me – 1962
The Spy Who Loved Me has a very interesting place among the James Bond books. Because the story in the book is told through the mouth of a fictional second writer, Vivienne Michel, whom Fleming mentions in the foreword. It has also been described as the shortest and most suggestive novel in the Bond series. For this reason, it is known that Fleming tried to prevent new editions of the book due to the intense criticism he received.
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – 1963
In Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the charismatic British agent James Bond also confronts the reader with his emotional side. In the book, James Bond marries the woman he fell in love with. However, his wife is killed shortly after the wedding.
You Only Live Twice (Man Lives Twice) – 1964
One Lives Twice was the last James Bond novel to be published while Ian Fleming was alive. The novel describes Bond’s transformation into a grieving, aggressive and vengeful man. Although this depressing story was liked by the readers, it divided the critics into two.
The Man with the Golden Gun – 1965
The Man with the Golden Gun was published eight months after Fleming’s death. However, most of Fleming’s drafts were not included in the book. The book quickly became popular, but also received some negative reviews.