Goldfinger is the seventh James Bond novel and it has to be said that things are starting to get a bit repetitive in the series. Like a few of the other books we have an extended section based upon a game: in this case the game is golf and it seems to go on forever and ever and despite Flemings power of description I did find myself flagging a bit half way through, like I tend to do when watching golf.
We also have lengthy descriptions of what the characters are eating and drinking and also lengthy descriptions of places so that you really do get a good idea of what it must be like, which is one of things that I have been impressed with when reading the Bond novels. We even get yet another card game right at the start of the book but this is only a starter for the detailed golf game that we have later.
The villain in this story is Goldfinger who is quite an interesting character at first but then by the end of the book is just another power crazy, mad, bad and dangerous loon and like most of the Bond villains is a little bit of an oddball.
The film version was quite similar to the book with both of them being equally as far-fetched with its plot with the movies most famous scene with the laser not even being in the book (here he is attacked by a circular saw which is even more frightening as that could do real damage; also the scene with the girl being found dead and covered in gold paint is merely relayed to Bond by a different character in the book.)
The Koreans do not have a good word said about them in this book and neither do Lesbians who Bond just doesn’t understand and also seems to think was started by giving women the vote! This may also just be a case of the times that the book was written in, and also the opinions of the author himself, but they do not sit well with today’s sensibilities but when reading Bond you do have to make allowances for this sort of thing.
I enjoyed Goldfinger, it is Fleming on autopilot, with all of the elements of a classic Bond adventure present and correct which is always fascinating to read, but I am not sure that it is the best Bond book, in my opinion.