Mass market paperback, 280 pages
Published 2006 (originally 1954)
Acquired April 2015
Read May 2015
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.
Next Week: More card games! No sex! Moonraker!