James Bond (novel)

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
It all started here.
"The scent and smoke and sweat of a casino are nauseating at three in the morning."
—Opening line of Casino Royale

Before 007 toted his Walther PPK on the silver screen, he featured in a series of novels by Ian Fleming. The character first appeared in the novel Casino Royale (1953). Since Fleming died, other authors have continued the series. These authors include Kingsley Amis (under the pseudonym Robert Markham), John Gardner, Raymond Benson, Sebastian Faulks and Jeffrey Deaver. There is also a series about a Young James Bond written by Charlie Higson and one about Moneypenny by Samantha Weinberg under the name Katie Westbrook (called "The Moneypenny Diaries").

The Bond of the books is a much different character than the Bond in the films, which often parodied or even disregarded their sources. Given that Fleming was born in 1908, and wrote the novels in the 1950s and 1960s, his books do not always display the most politically correct attitudes with regard to sex, race, and imperialism.

Novels and short stories by Ian Fleming

  • Casino Royale (April, 1953)
  • Live and Let Die (April, 1954)
  • Moonraker (April, 1955)
  • Diamonds Are Forever (March, 1956)
  • From Russia, with Love (April, 1957)
  • Dr. No (March, 1958)
  • Goldfinger (March, 1959)
  • For Your Eyes Only (April, 1960). Short story collection. A couple of the stories had been previously published in magazines.
    • Quantum of Solace (May, 1959). Story idea suggested by Blanche Blackwell. Story also serves as Fleming's homage to the short stories of W. Somerset Maugham.
    • The Hildebrand Rarity (March, 1960).
    • From a View to a Kill.
    • For Your Eyes Only. The eponymous story of the collection.
    • Risico.
  • Thunderball (March, 1961). First appearance of Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
  • The Spy Who Loved Me (April, 1962).
  • On Her Majesty's Secret Service (April, 1963). Second appearance of Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
  • You Only Live Twice (April, 1963). Third and last appearance of Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
  • The Man with the Golden Gun (April, 1965).
  • Octopussy and The Living Daylights (June, 1966). Short story collection. All stories had been previously published in magazines. The original edition included two of them, later editions added the rest.
    • The Living Daylights (February, 1962)
    • 007 in New York (October, 1963)
    • The Property of a Lady (November, 1963)
    • Octopussy (March-April, 1966)

Early continuation novels

Following the death of Fleming in 1964, several authors began work on continuations. Most of them one-shot ones.

  • 003½: The Adventures of James Bond Junior (1967) by R. D. Mascott (pseudonym). The novel covers the adventures of a namesake nephew of Bond.
  • Colonel Sun (March, 1968) by Kingsley Amis.
  • James Bond: The Authorised Biography of 007 (1973) by John Pearson. A retired James Bond narrates his life story to a biographer.
  • James Bond, The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) by Christopher Wood. Novelization of the film, quite different from its source. It added characters and organizations from the Fleming novels to the plot.
  • James Bond and Moonraker (1979) by Christopher Wood. Novelization of the film. Mostly faithful to its source, though it excluded part of the film's subplots.

Novels by John Gardner

  • Licence Renewed (1981)
  • For Special Services (1982). First appearance of Nena Blofeld.
  • Icebreaker (July, 1983).
  • Role of Honour (1984).
  • Nobody Lives for Ever (1986).
  • No Deals, Mr. Bond (May, 1987).
  • Scorpius (June, 1988).
  • Win, Lose or Die (1989).
  • Licence to Kill (1989). Novelization of the film. Attempted to incorporate the events of the film into the literary Bond's continuity.
  • Brokenclaw (1990).
  • The Man from Barbarossa (1991).
  • Death Is Forever (1992).
  • Never Send Flowers (1993).
  • SeaFire (1994).
  • GoldenEye (1995). Novelization of the film. Mostly faithful to its source, expanded certain scenes, dialogues, and character interactions.
  • COLD (1996), also known as Cold Fall . Gardner retired following this novel, facing health problems.

Novels and short stories by Raymond Benson

  • Blast from the Past (January, 1997). Short story, sequel to You Only Live Twice.
  • Zero Minus Ten (April, 1997).
  • Tomorrow Never Dies (1997). Novelization of the film. Attempts to incorporate the events of the film in the literary Bond's continuity. Film characters receive expanded backgrounds, and dialogue. Novel characters are added to the plot.
  • Tomorrow Never Dies (May, 1998).
  • Midsummer Night's Doom (January, 1999). Short story. Bond's mission takes him into the Playboy Mansion. Hugh Hefner and Lisa Dergan are prominently featured.
  • High Time to Kill (May, 1999).
  • The World Is Not Enough (1999). Novelization of the film. Some details were changed to fit with the literary Bond's continuity. An unnamed assassin from the film received a name and an expanded role.
  • Live at Five (November, 1999). Short story. Janet Davies, a real-life television reporter, is prominently featured.
  • DoubleShot (May, 2000). A sequel to High Time to Kill.
  • Never Dream of Dying (2001). Continues and concludes the plots of High Time to Kill and DoubleShot.
  • The Man with the Red Tattoo (May, 2002).
  • Die Another Day (2002). Novelization of the film. Mostly faithful to its source, though Benson changed the geographic setting of certain scenes. The villains, Tan-Sun Moon and Miranda Frost, received more detailed backgrounds, expanded scenes, and additional exploration of their motives. Benson resigned his writing duties following its publication, wishing to work on non-series novels.

Novels and short stories by Charlie Higson

Part of the Young Bond series, featuring the 1930s adventures of a teenaged James Bond. For more details, see the relevant entry.

  • SilverFin (2005)
  • Blood Fever (2006)
  • Double or Die (January, 2007)
  • Hurricane Gold (September, 2007)
  • By Royal Command (September, 2008)
  • A Hard Man to Kill (October, 2009). Short story. So far, the last original work in this sub-series.

Novels and short stories by Samantha Weinberg

Part of "The Moneypenny Diaries". Features the story of Miss Jane Moneypenny, a supporting character of the Fleming novels. The stories fit in between some of the original Fleming novels. They offer background and character development to the title character. And fill in the blanks of certain eras of Bond's life.

  • The Moneypenny Diaries: Guardian Angel (October, 2005). Placed between On Her Majesty's Secret Service and You Only Live Twice.
  • Secret Servant: The Moneypenny Diaries (November, 2006). Placed within the same period as The Man with the Golden Gun.
  • For Your Eyes Only, James (November, 2006). Short story, features Moneypenny and Bond sharing a weekend vacation in September, 1956.
  • Moneypenny's First Date with Bond (November, 2006). Short story, placed prior to Casino Royale. Moneypenny and recently assigned 007 meet for the first time.
  • The Moneypenny Diaries: Final Fling (May, 2008). Events placed c. 1964, explicitly following The Man with the Golden Gun. Moneypenny is seaching for a mole within the Secret Service.

Late continuation novels

The Bond publishers commissioned further (adult) Bond novels, but so-far they have been one-shot efforts.

  • Devil May Care (May, 2008) by Sebastian Faulks. Set in the 1960s.
  • Carte Blanche (May, 2011) by Jeffery Deaver. Set in the 2010s. Features a Continuity Reboot. Bond was born c. 1979, and his current mission involves investigating the deaths of his parents. Who served as Cold War agents.

The following tropes are common to many or all entries in the James Bond (novel) franchise.
For tropes specific to individual installments, visit their respective work pages.
  • Abduction Is Love: Part of Darko Kerim's backstory.
  • Aborted Arc: Fleming does not continue SMERSH storyline after From Russia With Love.
  • Affectionate Parody: Fleming is said to have written the books as a parody of the spy thrillers of the time.
  • Air Vent Passageway: Subverted in Dr. No. The air vent system is purposely designed to allow passage by a man... but as an endurance-course, to see how much pain a man can endure, through mounting physical challenges--which are also psychologically testing Bond, as they get more horrific. Ending with Bond having to fight a Kraken.
  • Anti-Air: Bond uses a Bofor's anti-aircraft gun to shoot down Spang's helicopter in Diamonds are Forever.
  • Anti-Hero: Bond himself.
  • Author Tract: Bond tended to parrot quite a few of Fleming's own views, sometimes to Fleming's chagrin.
    • Kinglsey Amis' then-current sympathies with communism are clearly evident. Bizarrely, he went far right later in life.
  • Big Bad: In order: Le Chiffre, Mr Big, Hugo Drax, Jack and Seraffimo Spang, Rosa Klebb, Dr Julius No, Auric Goldfinger, Emilio Largo (is The Dragon to Ernst Stavro Blofeld), Mr Sanguinetti, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, Francisco Scaramanga, Colonel Sun Liang-tan, Sigmund Stromberg, Hugo Drax, Dr Anton Murik, Nena Bismaquer, Count Konrad von Glöda/Aarne Tudeer, Jay Autem Holy and Tamil Rahani, Tamil Rahani, General Konstantin Nikolaevich Chernov, Vladimir Scorpius, Bassam Baradj, Franz Sanchez, "Brokenclaw" Lee Fu-Chu, General Yevgeny Yuskovich, Wolfgang Weisen, David Dragonpol, Sir Maxwell Tarn, Alex Trevelyan, General Brutus Clay, Guy Thackeray, Elliot Carver, Hera Volopoulos, Elektra King, Roland Marquis (The Dragon to Le Gerant), Domingo Espada (The Dragon to Le Gerant), Le Gerant, Goro Yoshida, Colonel Moon/Gustav Graves, Lord Randolph Hellebore, Count Ugo Carnifex, Irina Sedova, El Huracán, Dr Perseus Friend, Dr Julius Gorner, Severan Hydt.
  • Blessed with Suck: Bond's feelings on being a 00--it's a high tension job filled with physical hardship.
  • Blood Knight: When it comes to gambling. Bond is very excited to play Baccarat with Le Chiffre in Casino Royale.
  • Book Safe: In From Russia, With Love, Red Grant has a gun hidden inside a copy of War and Peace.
    • In Goldfinger, Bond hides his Walther PPK inside a hollowed out copy of The Bible Designed To Be Read As Literature.
  • Brainwashed
  • Broken Bird: All of Bond's romantic interests, bar Gala Brand (Moonraker) and Tatiana Romanova (From Russia With Love)
  • Casanova: Bond, of course.
  • Chained to a Railway: The Man With the Golden Gun
  • Clear My Name: James Bond has to do this by killing Scaramanga.
  • Cold War: Bond's most frequent nemesis is the SMERSH, the Soviet counter-espionage organization whose name was an anagram for "Death to Spies."
  • Conveniently Unverifiable Cover Story: Hugo Drax uses this to explain away his lack of a background.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Dr. No is buried under a pile of bird shit, Mr.Big is eaten alive by sharks and barracudas, an asshole millionaire in The Hildebrand Rarity has a poisonous fish shoved down his throat, one of Blofeld's henchmen is killed by throwing him down a bobsled track in On Her Majesty's Secret Service and another one is minced by a fan. All of the suicides in You Only Live Twice qualify too. James Bond escapes quite a few too.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture
  • Cursed with Awesome: Bond's life of beautiful willing women who don't want relationships.
  • Dating Catwoman: James Bond and Tiffany Case, also Pussy Galore.
    • In 'Colonel Sun' Ariande Alexandrou is a communist agent.
  • Death Course: Dr.No subjects Bond to one, ending with a fight with a giant squid.
  • Depraved Bisexual: How Pussy Galore would now be categorized.
  • Depraved Homosexual: Rosa Klebb, Wint and Kidd
  • Dirty Communists: Goldfinger, Mister Big, General G, Le Chiffe, Rosa Klebb, and other examples. Most of the Bond villains are either employed by the USSR or working alongside it.
    • Colonel Sun himself as part of the Chinese branch of this trope. An interesting subversion occurs in the fact that Bond allies with the Soviet Union.
  • Downer Ending: On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Also, From Russia With Love and You Only Live Twice if you haven't read the following books.
  • Eagle Land: While the British are aware of and mildly resent the power and rising influence of the CIA and the American government, the latter will help Bond on a mission to the best of their ability.
  • Experienced Protagonist: Even at the start of Casino Royale, James Bond is considered an experienced and capable agent.
  • Food Porn
    • Since the books were written shortly after the war, a lot of the exquisite and fancy food would be the stuff of fantasies for the people reading it. There's even a whole paragraph on Bond eating an avocado pear!
  • Garden of Evil: Blofeld's 'suicide garden' in You Only Live Twice.
  • Go-To Alias: In John Gardner's novels, Bond often uses the alias of 'James Boldman'.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Hugo Drax and Mr.Big.
  • Immune to Drugs: According to the medical report in Thunderball when James Bond is not engaged in strenuous duty, he consumes half a bottle of spirits between 60 and 70 proof a day. And he smokes 60 cigarettes a day (of a higher nicotine content than standard cigarettes).
  • Jerkass: James Bond starts off being intentionally portrayed as a cold and ruthless. Over the course of the novels he becomes more human.
  • Made of Iron: The first few novels have Bond survive copious amounts of punishment.
  • Meaningful Name: Pussy Galore, Auric Goldfinger, Emilio Largo, Le Chiffre, Mr. Big, Sluggsy and Horror,
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: From 0.25 ACP Beretta to Walther PPK after the former jams.
  • Nazi Gold: Octopussy
  • Nebulous Evil Organization: SMERSH and SPECTRE, while portrayed relatively realistically, fill these roles.
  • Organ Dodge: In Dr No, the eponymous doctor explains how he survived being shot through the heart by his former Tong masters because of his dextrocardia.
  • Rape Is Love: Kerim Bay and Draco either state this or put it into practice.
  • Red Right Hand: Almost every Bond villain displays this, most often in physical deformities.
    • Le Chiffre's irises are completely surrounded by the whites of eyes. He is also into flagellation.
    • Mr. Big has grey skin and yellow eyes.
    • Hugo Drax had half of his face burnt off and attempted bad plastic surgery.
    • Red Grant gets uncontrollable homicidal urges during the full moon.
    • Dr. No has no eyelashes, eyebrows or hair on top of his head. Instead of hands he has a pair of pincers.
    • Goldfinger looks like "he had been put together with bits of other people's bodies."
    • Ernst Stavro Blofeld has eyes like Le Chiffre's. His nose is later on deformed by syphilis.
    • Emilio Largo has pointed ears like satyr's, and enormous hands.
    • Francisco Scaramanga has three nipples.
  • Red Scare
    • Bizarrely subverted in 'Colonel Sun'. The Russians are Bond's allies against the Chinese.
  • Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated
  • Revenge Myopia: In one novel, the Big Bad is the daughter of Blofeld, who wants revenge against Bond for killing Blofeld back in You Only Live Twice.
  • Road Sign Reversal: Bond does it to a car full of Blofeld's goons in On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
  • Serial Killer: Red Grant.
  • Sexy Secretary: Moneypenny, Mary Goodnight.
  • Shark Pool: Live and Let Die, Dr No
  • Spy Fiction: Oddly, The Stale Beer Type of Spy Fiction. Fleming's Bond has all the ingredients of the Martini flavored one but the world is still profoundly grim and depressing.
  • Sue Donym: 'Mr. James' and 'Colonel Johns' in For Your Eyes Only.
  • Taking Over the Town: Goldfinger's plan to loot Fort Knox.
  • Textual Celebrity Resemblance: In Casino Royale, Bond is described by one character to another as looking similar to Hoagy Carmichael. Bond himself is aware of the comparision (even though he wasn't involved in that conversation - he's probably heard it a million times): in another scene he looks at himself in the mirror and thinks that Carmichael is much better looking than he.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: Hugo Drax. The fate of Nazis and Nazi scientists in the Cold War is touched upon in several novels as well.
  • Title Drop: Live and let die, For your eyes only, You Only Live Twice
  • Tragic Hero: Bond is meant to be one of these because he's certain he'll be dead before he's retired at 42.
  • This Trope Is Bleep: In Dr. No, Ian Fleming actually presented profanity as ----"
  • Unbuilt Trope: In Dr. No, Dr. No's lair (with the nice furniture and books and everything) was an extremely expensive, time-consuming project made to fulfill a specific kind of crazy, and Bond is well aware of how morbidly surreal it is to receive such a warm reception from a ruthless villain who fully intends to kill him. The movie showcased the lair, but cut out the details of its construction and Dr. No's mania, making it seem almost ordinary. The rest, as they say, is history.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Usually inverted. Bond doesn't bat an eye killing Big Bads and their Dragons, but he is often quite reluctant to kill lowly mooks and/or agonizes about it afterwards. Not always, though.
  • Writer on Board: Since Fleming lived in Jamaica he had Bond go there on three occasions.
  • Yellow Peril: Colonel Sun is a fairly typical figure of the Inscrutable Oriental villain type.