review: After all the Bond films, going back to the source is an interesting experience. The book is leaner than I’d expected, and harder edged. Bond himself softens towards the end, but for most of the story he’s a driven and not particularly likeable character, but fascinating for it.
The edition I read had a short essay in the front, putting the book in the context of its period and legacy. It commented that Bond could be seen as the start of a strand of stories which were careful to include technical details to give their worlds more depth. We learn about baccarat, Bond’s Bentley and various firearms, but the information is concisely delivered, rather than shoveled on, as it would be in the techno-thrillers which are Bond’s descendants.