Title: Dr. No
Author: Ian Fleming
Page Count/Review Word Count: 248
Dr. No is one of the stronger Bond novels, a superb tour-de-force by the enthralling Ian Fleming. You’ve probably seen the film version featuring the inimitable Sean Connery as Fleming’s protagonist, but the 007 that Fleming writes about is very different to the playboy extraordinaire that we see on the silver screen.
Here, Bond is weak and half-defeated, away on a mission to Jamaica to carry out a simple task, an investigation in to the unexplained disappearance of Commander John Strangways. Bond is expecting an easy mission, but he quickly discovers that something strange is going on, and all of the rumours seem to surround the eponymous Dr. Julian No, the Chinese operator of a guano mine on the island of Crab Key.
Throughout the novel, Dr. No is a mysterious character who somehow continues to be a threat despite the fact that almost nothing is known about him. The use of guano as a plot device is a stroke of genius, as is the use of the endangered Roseate Spoonbill – they pose a threat to Dr. No, because their protected status proved troublesome to his guano operation.
Overall, this novel comes highly recommended from me, and I think you’ll enjoy it whether you’re a fan of the movies or not – as seems to be the case with most things, the book is better. So go forth and read it!