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Live and Let Die
By Ian Fleming

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Live and Let Die

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Live and Let Die
A James Bond Novel
By Ian Fleming
Thorndike Press - Large Print Edition (2006)
ISBN: 0-7862-8241-X
Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Reviewed by Sheldon Ztvordokov - March 3, 2006

Live and Let Die is pure, unadulterated 007 action and it is a fitting addition to the James Bond saga by Ian Fleming. Live and Let Die is an untraditional Cold War espionage thriller that has everything you would expect from a Fleming book, from buxom, long-legged women to the most evil of villains, and of course, a smattering a high-tech weapons and hijinks. In this case, Agent 007 is on the trail of gold smugglers and the trail lead right to Mr. Big. A big, bad guy in his own right, Mr. Big is also a SMERSH agent. SMERSH is a Soviet counter-intelligence organization that seeks to overthrow the West. One step toward achieving their goal includes the elimination of the West's intelligence gathering apparatus. This includes liquidating all of the West's spies, including the seemingly indestructible Bond.

Filled with non-stop action from start to finish, 007 chases Mr. Big from Harlem to South Florida, and then off to Jamaica. The story is filled with Jazz, Voodoo, and exotic women, not the least of which is Solitaire. A captive of Mr. Big, Solitaire is a sultry fortune-teller who is being forced to do Mr. Big's bidding - or else! Although on Bond's side, there may be little that she can do to help Bond defeat the nefarious and so deliciously evil Mr. Big.

Live and Let Die is the second Bond book that Fleming had published, and it followed on the heels of his outstanding, Casino Royale Bond book. Like its predecessor, Live and Let Die is an exciting, action-paciked, and at times violent book. Although a bit dated, it is as exciting and enthralling today as it was when it first came out in the early 1950's. (Do note that the Political Correctness Police will most likely take umbrage with some of the dialog and descriptions used in the book, just remember that when the book was written the terms that Fleming used were in common usage and should not be judged by today's standards.) Fleming, who was an intelligence operative during World War II, drew upon his own intelligence experiences, his work as a journalist, and his life in Jamaica where he lived after the war to add flavor and authenticity to this book.

If you like the James Bond movies, you will love this book. While the movies are visually spectacular, Bond is best experienced in print where his true essence comes to life. Best of all, this is a brisk story full of non-stop action, the plotting is excellent, and the characters are uniquely Fleming. A solid espionage thriller that is a must read for all 007 fans!

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