Well lookit that, I read a book in a day!
Not a WHOLE lot to be proud of; it was a short book and an easy read and I had plenty of spare time in which to do it. (Well, the hours I couldn't fall asleep, anyway)
While I was reading this book, I was wondering how exactly it created a major franchise of books, films, video games, etc. It wasn't bad, but it didn't seem like something you'd pick up and say, "I need MORE of this type of story!!!" The first half of the book was about playing cards. After that, protagonist underwent torture that was really quite horrible to read about. (I remember wincing at the scene in the movie; reading it was easily three times worse, because the character didn't manage to hold himself together nearly as well) I actually found it pretty disturbing, though well done. Still, I wasn't sure how 007 became a staple of British pup culture until the end, where he basically declares war on communist Russia. I can see Brits in the '50s getting pretty excited about that.
Anyway, some good stuff in the book. I didn't enjoy it quite as much as I did Moonraker, and it was certainly more graphic than the other one (both in love and in violence), but it made for a good, quick read. Not a lot of real "spy" stuff going on; it's pretty much cards, car-chasing, torture, recovery, and then the twist ending. It's a lot like the movie, only set in the 1950's instead of today and with a lot less action. It is, however, an origin story, and you certainly walk away from the book with the feeling that there'll be more, and it's not going to be pretty for the Ruskies. (Side note: I've read Moonraker, which I believe was the third book, and it didn't deal with Russians at all. Go figure)
Books: 26 (I just re-counted)