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Diamonds Are Forever: Reviews and Ratings

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Poll: Diamonds Are Forever: Reviews and Ratings

Diamonds Are Forever: Reviews and Ratings

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#1 freemo


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Posted 01 July 2004 - 11:30 PM

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This thread is intended for reviews and ratings of Diamonds Are Forever by members of the The Blades Library Book Club here.

Please do not reply directly to reviews in this thread, rather start a new thread to ask questions or post comments about reviews.

#2 CommanderBond



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Posted 02 July 2004 - 12:03 AM

sorry didnt read the post all the way through :) :) :)

#3 Qwerty


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Posted 09 July 2004 - 03:00 AM

Well I plowed through this one. I think this may be the most underrated James Bond book by Ian Fleming. It literally is a thrilling read. While not his very best, it is a true gem, just with some rough edges.

Tiffany Case is one terrific leading lady by Fleming, one of his better ones, I think. A woman with a strong wall surrounding her for the most part, and one that you do not get to call all the shots with. She goes through quite a change in the story from being the frosty version we meet with Bond

#4 daltonlover13



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Posted 01 August 2004 - 06:39 AM

I agree with Qwerty. I think Tiffany Case is a great bond girl, much better than she was in the movie. They showed her sort of, I want it this way and thats that in the first scene with her in her apartment, but at the same time, they showed a frightened side when on the phone with her superiors.

I thought Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd were outstanding. They are my absolute favorite literary villains. I also thought the whole 'sucking the thumb' aspect was very interesting. It wasn't like something I pondered for hours, but it made me think about from the beginning whether or not and how Fleming would incorporate that later.

I also thought that although the movie's plot was 'technologically' more with today's , (and 1971's) time period, that the plot made it less interesting. I thought, and still think, that the biggest and most defining difference between the films and the books is the plot. If you look at the movies, almost every plot is a search for some form of world domination.

Then look at the books. Some plots were world domination, some were mass distruction, (Moonraker comes to mind), but some, (Doctor No sending missiles off course, Rosa Klebb getting the Spectre-lektor in the movie-, etc.) had very simple plots.

I thought the plot, final battle, bond girl, henchmen, villains, Bond, (I didn't think Connery was very good in this particular movie), and pretty much everything else was better in the book than the movie. I agree again with Qwerty in my thoughts that this book is more underrated than any other 007 book. I will mention I think that the movie is under rated too, however much I may dislike it.

#5 Xenobia


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Posted 06 August 2004 - 02:39 AM

Here ye here ye!

If thou art Jill St. John, please go hither and shoot the writers of Diamonds Are Forever because they screwed you out of a great role!

Again I am stunned by how emotional this Bond is. I no longer understand those who swear that Fleming's Bond was unemotional. This is a Bond who treasures his friendship with Felix, adores Tiffany, can talk freely about his hopes and dreams for the future, and still can kick butt with the rest of them!

What really gets me about this book is Fleming's attention to detail. Exactly one year ago as I type this, I was aboard the Queen Mary, the sister ship to the Queen Elizabeth, and the layout as described by Fleming is exactly how it is on the ships. Fleming has that deft hand that he does not go overboard with details, but the picture he painted is clear enough that you know exactly where Bond is, and what he is doing at all times.

That being said, I disagree with Bond's notion of the Saratoga Race Track. There was a time where Saratoga Springs was my summer home, and I know that area well. Me thinks Bond (and in turn Fleming) was a bit too hard on the town. True, there aren't as many people there when the race track is closed, but there is still plenty to do. At the time that Bond was there, and up until a few years ago, there was a lovely bar called Jacksland. I think Bond would have loved being there. It's quiet solitude is just the spot for him.

I also agree that the villians in this book are weak. I admit to expecting the pizzazz that Bruce Glover and Putter Smith brought to Wint and Kidd respectively, but even excluding that, Wint and Kidd were simply flat. The only halfway entertaining villian was Serrafimo Spang, and that because of the
Western town and train he built for himself.
That gave him a great sense of character, in how out of touch with reality he really was, but still, compared to Drax, to Kananga, to Le Chiffre, there is no evil mastermind here.

On the travelogue and Tiffany Case aspects alone, I give this book the four. Had the villians been better, it would have been a five.

-- Xenobia

#6 Leviathan



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Posted 11 September 2004 - 06:01 PM

[quote name='Xenobia' date='5 August 2004 - 22:39']That being said, I disagree with Bond's notion of the Saratoga Race Track.

Edited by Leviathan, 11 September 2004 - 09:39 PM.

#7 Blofeld's Cat

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Posted 21 September 2004 - 04:17 AM

In chapter 10: "Studillac To Saratoga" Bond and Leiter stop off along the way for lunch....

But the scrambled eggs and sausages and hot buttered rye bread  and the Millers Highlife beer came quickly and were good, and so was the iced coffee that followed it,......
(Page 102 of the UK 2002 paperback edition)

Can't say I've heard of this beer-followed-by-coffee ritual. :) I used to drink beer, but I couldn't possible follow one with a coffee!

Incidently, according to Make Mine A 007 the US editions leave out the beer part.

#8 Double-O Eleven

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Posted 08 September 2006 - 05:37 PM

After The Man with the Golden Gun, this is my least favorite of Fleming's novels. Which isn't to say that I don't like reading it, or even that I don't like it. It has the usual superb descriptive writing and the action sequences are often tense. Tiffany Case is the first great female character Fleming wrote. But for me Diamonds Are Forever is a book in search of a center. It lacks focus and a strong through-line, juggling travelogues with a zig-zag plot across the American gangland world that never gels. The absentee villains, Seraffimo and Jack Spang, heads of the "Spangled Mob" and its diamond smuggling operations from South Africa to Las Vegas, don't help. The sleazy depictions of American commercial/criminal life are unforgettable (to this day, whenever I'm in Vegas, I can hear Fleming's description of the "gilded mousetrap" in my head), and a few tense sequences such as a fiery train crash and Bond's confrontation with mob killers in their cabin on the Queen Elizabeth make for top-notch Fleming. But for me it just doesn't ultimately stack up to Fleming's other work.

Diamonds Are Forever reads a bit like Fleming dropped Bond into Mike Hammer's bare-knuckle wise-guy world to see how he measured up. An interesting idea, since in the early 1950s, Mickey Spillane's novels were the most popular crime novels on the market. And Fleming's dialogue for the American heavies isn't that bad

Edited by Double-O Eleven, 08 September 2006 - 07:14 PM.

#9 Slight Inferiority Complex

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Posted 31 May 2010 - 12:06 AM

I wrote this on 21 January 2010:

I enjoyed Diamonds Are Forever far more than any of the previous Bond novels. It is tauter and more convincing. Fleming final discards all pretence that he is writing anything more than a modern H. Rider Haggard book and lets his talent for gripping prose do the rest. He seems confident and, more importantly, content with what he is doing at last and it shows.

There is, for the second novel in a row, a ginger-headed bad guy with ridiculous name (Shady Tree) and an ice-maiden heroine who cannot bring herself to trust him (Tiffany Case). Keep the good stuff, jettison the crap. The plot is effective with only one real leap where Bond and Tiffany's secret whereabouts are betrayed to the enemy organisation who despatch their two best killers all within the space of about a sentence. That and the heavy-handedness with which Fleming leaves clues for Bond which it is incredible that the character doesn't add up until it is too late are the only real flaws. I liked it an awful lot.

The only final thing I'd add is the chapter where Bond tells Felix that he is beginning to like Tiffany a lot and Felix relates her backstory of abuse and then alcohol addiction. She finally got off the drink, we learn, with Alcoholics Anonymous. In the very next scene Bond buys her three Vodka Martinis, a Pink Champagne and a liquer. He can't like her that much then!

Ah, I suppose it was a more innocent time.