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  • The Man with the Golden Gun

  • James Bond, Book 13
  • Written by: Ian Fleming
  • Narrated by: Kenneth Branagh
  • Length: 4 hrs and 56 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (15 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

If you try to assassinate your boss - even though brainwashed at the time - you must pay the price. To redeem himself James Bond is sent to kill one of the most lethal hit men in the world…Paco "Pistols" Scaramanga. In the sultry heat of Jamaica, 007 infiltrates his target's criminal cooperative - only to find that Scaramanga's bullets are laced with snake venom. When the end comes, every shot will count.

This audiobook includes an exclusive bonus interview with Kenneth Branagh.

Blackstone Audio, Inc. James Bond and 007 are registered trademarks of Danjaq LLC, used under license by Ian Fleming Publications Ltd

©1965 Ian Fleming (P)2014 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about The Man with the Golden Gun

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Understandably Incomplete

This book was published posthumously a few months after Ian Fleming died of a heart attack - based on a First Draft. Presumably, Fleming fleshed out his stories with richer descriptions, more vivid settings, and his signature sardonic/suave characterization after laying down the basics (those details are often missing in this episode). Jamaica doesn't have the same feel as in 'Dr No' or 'Live and Let Die' and 007 is more robotic than in 'Diamonds Are Forever' or 'You Only Live Twice', as examples.
'The Man With The Golden Gun' definitely has most of the basic ingredients for a Bond tale: a cartoonish villain [the three-nippled Francisco 'Pistols' Scaramanga - who murders birds (you read that right..pet BIRDS) with silver-jacketed gold bullets], comicbook-quality evil plots (including burning Jamaican sugarcane fields to boost the value of Cuban sugar and destabilize world economies), a breakneck pace, and action-action-action. The occasional sexy woman and CIA agent Felix Leiter make an appearance, too.
The book is an entertaining 'Bond' entry, but still undeniably feels unpolished.

Sir Kenneth Branagh is rightly celebrated as an accomplished actor - but his narration skills are distinctly average in this production. Branagh's diction, timbre and cadence are commendable - and he reads with remarkable character interpretations and spot-on pacing - but he sounds as though he has a cold.. with a slightly nasal tone and an occasional smacking dry mouth (avoid headphones). Altogether, I was mildly disappointed with the performance.

This book absolutely belongs in the library of Bond fans, but it's a relatively weak entry in the 'James Bond (Celebrity Recordings)' series. Nonetheless, I rate it a respectable 7.5/10 stars.

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  • Calliope
  • 2014-12-27

Good combination of book and narrator

This is a short Bond novel and feels like it needs a little filling out, which I guess isn't a surprise, as this was the novel Flemming was working on before he died, and he (reportedly) was never really satisfied with the result. However, it still has the structure and characters of a good story, and combined with a wonderful narrator (Kenneth Branagh), it was a very good listening experience. I particularly like this Bond villain, Scaramanga, for his easy attitude and bravado, and I also like the setting of Jamaica in the 60s. The written character of Bond is much more complex and self-reflective than that in most of the Bond movies (even though it's not as fleshed out in this novel), and it's a Bond I like. And there's still good action and attraction, just like people expect of Bond in movies and books.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Darwin8u
  • 2018-05-21

Not only secret but secure

"The past could be forgiven, but not forgotten – except with the passage of time."
- Ian Fleming, The Man with the Golden Gun

I can't really call this an unfinished novel. It was finished, just not by Ian Fleming. He wrote the first draft and died. So, this obviously is the last James Bond novel. I'm not enough of a Ian Fleming fan to recognize how/where/if the lack of Ian Fleming made a huge difference to the drafting. I think the end of the novel, with Jones refusing certain honors, may not have found their way into the final novel if Ian Fleming were in control through the whole process. It seemed too final, too sentimental.

This novel returns Bond to active duty after losing his memory in the last novel. It also sends Bond back to Jamaica. It was good Bond, just not great bond. Seemed like a comfortable Ian Fleming wrting from a confident spot. The shootout was a bit of a disappointment, but Scaramanga’s last few moments were spectacular.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 2021-08-08

A Second Chance

James Bond has recovered his memory, with the help of the KGB, no less, and has consequently been manipulated into attempting to assassinate M. After undoing the Soviet brainwashing, M sends 007 on a job to eliminate a dangerous hitman, as a means of redemption and rehabilitation. This novel is weaker than most of the others—it lacks the suspense and charm of the previous novel—though it is by no means bad. It still contains the essential elements: an intriguing woman, a unique villain, and an exotic location, but the "Man with the Golden Gun" is too flamboyant to take seriously, and the novel's comparatively short length and resultant quick pace make it difficult for the narrative to grasp the reader's attention. Kenneth Branagh's narration is good, though, as would be expected from such a prominent acting talent.

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  • John
  • 2022-06-10

After This, the Movie Will Seem a Little Silly

In the snippets of interview that adorn the ending of all these celebrity performances, Branagh observes something many have noticed before: the books are far more morally complex – and artistically satisfying – than the movies. And his performance does full justice to every nuance.

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  • BrendaLouQuilts
  • 2015-11-24

Love Kenneth Branagh

The story is about what you expect from James Bond and a host of villains. Kenneth Branagh makes the story very listenable with excellent characterizations

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  • Sylvia Park
  • 2015-11-04

Amazing

One of the best audiobooks mostly due to the narrator. Kenneth Branagh is amazing and so good at accents, I actually thought that some characters were played by someone else entirely. Loved the performance!!

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  • Siskel & Ebert VAK
  • 2015-09-13

Kevin Branagh Excels!

The Man with the Golden Gun has come to life again for me after having read it for the first time 50 years earlier. Kevin Branagh mastery of storytelling coupled with his prowess for creating believable character voices and personalities is without equal and very entertaining. This was truly fun filled and exciting revisit of a classic Bond thriller.

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  • F. Delaney
  • 2022-08-08

Much different than the Roger Moore movies

An exciting new take on the Scaramenga character than you used to from the movie with Christopher Lee. Over a fun listing time.

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  • William Rogers
  • 2022-05-01

Good read by Brannagh.Fleming at his best.

Fleming at his best. Refreshing to remember when men were men and women knew what was good about them.

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  • David L. Colley
  • 2022-03-19

highly recomended

great book, great reading, good use of voice tallent. enjoyed in. this should round off my 15 words