Thunderball by Ian Fleming

Published May 12, 2021

Thunderball by Ian Fleming

Book info

  • Title Thunderball
  • Author Ian Fleming
  • Year 1961
  • Genres Thriller, Adventure, Espionage

SPECTRE - the international terrorist organization led by Blofeld - is holding the world to ransom with two stolen nuclear weapons. Operation Thunderball is launched to stop them, and, in a race against time, Bond travels to the Bahamas to uncover the stolen bombs before SPECTRE can put its deadly plan into action. With less than a week to find the hidden weapons Bond must enter a world of fine yachts and casinos to infiltrate the secret operation and foil Blofeld.


At first glance, this feels like a good, traditional Bond story, with a big bad to overcome, a girl or two to deal with along the way, and some help from Felix Leiter just when it’s needed. But actually when you look closer, the book veers so far from the debonair James Bond that we know it’s almost a different character.

First, he has to go to a clinic because he’s not in the best of health. He makes mistakes that put his life in danger, he doesn’t follow good espionage procedures. He’s vulnerable, he takes offence at things, and bottom line, he is actually saved by his female companion - who he fully trusts with his entire plan as well as his life.

It’s good, it makes for a more well-rounded character, it’s just also a bit at odds with the Bond I had in my head!

Rating: 3 / 5

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