September 29th, 2011


Book Review: Dr. No, by Ian Fleming


Dr. No

Published in 1958, 240 pages

M calls this case a "soft option". He sends Bond to Jamaica to investigate the disappearance of the head of the Kingston station. Jamaica is luxurious, and the seductive Honey Rider is beautiful and willing, but they are both part of the empire of Dr. No.

Bond discovers that Dr. No is working with the Russians, and that they have supplied him with several million dollars worth of equipment to sabotage nearby American missile tests. The doctor is a worthy adversary, with a mind as hard and cold as his solid steel hands and an obsession for power. His only gifts are strictly pain-shaped.

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Verdict: Contemporary readers will find all of the Bond novels very much products of their time, and either you can overlook that and enjoy them for what they are or you can't. However, Dr. No has all the worst qualities of Fleming's writing and very little of the best. Lard halp me, I still enjoyed it, but I was cringing more than I usually do, and I would not recommend this book unless you're either a die-hard Bond fan or you just want to have a good long sneer.

Also by Ian Fleming: My reviews of Casino Royale, From Russia With Love, and Quantum of Solace: The Complete James Bond Short Stories.