Auric Goldfinger is the kind of man Bond loves to hate: cruel, clever, frustratingly careful - a cheat and a crook. So Bond relishes his mission to discover what this man - the richest in the country - intends to do with his ill-gotten gains, andwhat his connection is with SMERSH, the feared Soviet spy-killing corps. Bond soon discovers that Goldfinger's schemes are not only more grandiose, but also more lethal, than even he could have imagined.
Reviewed on 8th December 2011
I was surprised to find Goldfinger to be one of the weakest James Bond novels. After a chance encounter with the eponymous villain, Bond is sent after him by the Bank of England, only to find himself involved in planning a massive crime.
Character seems surprisingly lacking in this story. Compared to previous enemies, Goldfinger is fairly ill defined, and the 'Bond girls' all seem quite run of the mill. Bond himself comes across as an opinionated woman magnet rather than the genius super spy he appears as in earlier stories.
The plot itself is outlandish and stretches credibility even more than in Dr No, and takes an awfully long time to set up, with the resolution over quite quickly. Bond seems to be a passive participant in events, just letting himself be carried along with the flow rather than taking an active role.
Finally, the passages which today just come across as racism and homophobia really serve to date the novel - much like Live and Let Die - and honestly drag down the enjoyment for a modern reader. The use of long dashes to replace the strongest swear words remains cute however, but does rather break the flow of the narrative.