Live And Let Die (1954)
||5th April 1954
||To smuggle pirate gold coins to finance SMERSH operations.
||Felix Leiter, Quarrel
||Harlem, NY, USA; Tampa Bay, FL, USA; Sharks
||First encounter with Mr Big; Fight in warehouse; Bonds
swim to Mr Bigs base
Mr Big is a Harlem gangster, who controls his empire with
superstitious fear. He has discovered a lost treasure beneath
a Jamaican Island and is smuggling the gold into America.
Bond's mission to stop him is made more urgent by the suspicion
that he is also an agent of SMERSH.
Above: 1st edition Jonathan Cape
Official Blurb (Penguin 2002 Edition)
Her hair was black and fell to her shoulders. She had high
cheekbones and a sensual mouth, and wore a dress of white silk.
Her eyes were blue, alight and disdainful, but, as they gazed
into his with a touch of humour, Bond realized that they contained
a message. Solitaire watched his eyes on her and nonchalantly
drew her forearms together so that the valley between her breasts
deepened. The message was unmistakable...
Official Blurb (Pan 1964 Edition)
Meet JAMES BOND, Britain's key Secret Service agent against
the dreaded Soviet murder organisation SMERSH... Bond lives dangerously
- he expects to kill or be killed; he's no stranger to torture.
Meet MR BIG, a huge American Negro - master criminal, head of
a Voodoo cult, high in the SMERSH guild of terror.
Meet SOLITAIRE, Mr Big's inquisitor, an exotic Creole beauty with
the power to read a man's mind.
Racing from a night-club in New York's Harlem to the shark-infested
seas of the West Indies this power-packed James Bond adventure
will set your nerves a-tingle!
- The Red Carpet
- Interview with M
- A Visiting-Card
- The Big Switchboard
- Nigger Heaven
- Table Z
- Mister Big
- No Sensayuma
- True or False?
- The Silver Phantom
- The Everglades
- Death of a Pelican
- 'He Disagreed with Something that Ate Him'
- Midnight Among the Worms
- The Jamaica Version
- The Undertaker's Wind
- Beau Desert
- Valley of Shadows
- Bloody Morgan's Cave
- 'Good Night to You Both'
- Terror by Sea
- Passionate Leave
Above: British Pan paperback 8th-9th editions (1962)
Beautiful, fortune-telling Solitaire is the prisoner (and
tool) of Mr Big master of fear, artist in crime and Voodoo
Baron of Death. James Bond has no time for superstition
he knows that this criminal heavy hitter is also a top SMERSH
operative and a real threat. More than that, after tracking him
through the jazz joints of Harlem, to the everglades and on to
the Caribbean, 007 has realized that Big is one of the most dangerous
men that he has ever faced. And no-one, not even the mysterious
Solitaire, can be sure how their battle of wills is going to end...
Above: British Cape hardback
1st edition (1954) cover devised by Ian Fleming, completed
by Kenneth Lewis; American Signet paperback 8th-23rd editions
(circa 1963); British Pan paperback 22nd edition (1969)
M tells Bond that gold coins, seemingly from Bloody Morgan’s
treasure, are being used to finance SMERSH. Br Big, a soviet agent
and known member of SMERSH is expected of involvement. He is (and
this is where political correctness is defenestrated) the world’s
most powerful Negro villain, and immerses his activities amongst
007 flies to New York to investigate, and teams up with Felix
Leiter. As they enter Harlem and the negro underworld, Bond and
Leiter are followed and captured. Bond is interrogated by Mr Big,
who uses Solitaire, a fortune-teller as his backup. However, she
chooses to corroborate Bond’s lies, and is allowed to leave
after henchman Tee-Hee breaks Bond’s finger.
Bond goes South to St Petersburg, California, where Mr Big’s
yacht, the Secatur, is often seen, but is joined by a desperate
Solitaire before getting on the train. Bond and Felix visit the
suspicious Ouroborous Worm and Bait shop, but while they are doing
so, Solitaire is kidnapped. That night Felix returns to the Ouroborous,
only to be returned to Bond half-dead after a shark encounter,
bearing a note saying, ‘He disagreed with something that
The furious Bond, on his return to Ouroborous, discoversd that
the coins are being transported beneath the sand in the poisonous
fish tanks at Ouroborous. Bond barely survives an encounter with
henchman The Robber before throwing him where he threw Leiter.
007 flies to Jamaica and, after being briefed by local agent
Strangways, joins Cayman Islander Quarrel who trains him for the
swim across to Mr Big’s island. Secatur eventually arrives
with Mr Big and Solitaire aboard, so Bond deduces that the ship
is taking its final collection. Bond swims across that night,
but is captured.
He and Solitaire are tied behind the yacht ready to be cut open
on a coral reef and finished off by sharks. But Bond had placed
a timed mine on the ship. Will it go off in time to save Bond?
Of course it will. He and Solitaire escape with cuts, while Mr
Big is ironically killed by the sharks that could have killed
Bond and his new love Solitaire.
Mr. Big looked across at Bond. "'Which finger do you
use the least Mister Bond?' Bond was startled by the question.
His mind raced. 'On reflection, I expect you will say the
little finger of your left hand,' continued the soft voice.
'Tee-Hee, break the little finger of Mr. Bond's left hand.'
'This case isn't ripe yet. Until it is our policy with
Mr Big is to "live and let live".' Bond looked
quizzically at Captain Dexter. 'In my job,' he said, 'when
I come up against a man like this one, I have another motto.
It's "live and let die".'
'You have doubtless read Trotter's "Instincts of the
Herd in War and Peace", Mister Bond. Well, I am by
nature and predilection a wolf and I live by a wolf's laws.
Naturally the sheep describe such a person as a "criminal"'.
Above: British Pan paperback 11th-21st
Jove paperback 1st edition (1980); British Coronet paperback
6th edition (1988); British Viking/Penguin 1st edition
hardback and paperback (2002)
A snorter. From first word to last.. the reader is compelled
to surrender to a superb storyteller.
- Time & Tide
Speed... tremendous zest... communicated excitement. Brrh!
How wincingly well Mr Fleming writes.
- Sunday Times
Don't blame me if you get a stroke.
- The Observer
Mr. Ian Fleming is without doubt the most interesting recent
recruit among thriller writers. The second aventure of his
Secret Service agent fully maintains the promise of his
first book. . .containing passages which for sheer excitement
have not been surpassed by any modern writer in this kind.
- Times Literary Supplement
An ingenious affair full of recondite knowledge and horrific
spills and thrills
- The Times
Above: British Pan paperback 23rd-25th
||April 5 - 1st edition Jonathan Cape hardback (UK) released
- cover devised by Ian Fleming, completed by Kenneth Lewis
||1st edition Macmillan hardback (USA)
||June - 1st edition Permabooks paperback (USA) - cover artwork
by James Meese
Book club edition The Reprint Society hardback (UK)
||October 16 - 1st edition Pan paperback (UK)
||2nd edition Pan paperback (UK)
||October - 1st edition Signet paperback (USA)
3rd edition Pan paperback (UK)
||4th edition Pan paperback (UK)
||5th edition Pan paperback (UK)
6th edition Pan paperback (UK)
||7th edition Pan paperback (UK)
8th edition Pan paperback (UK)
1st edition Skrifola paperback (Denmark)
||June - 7th edition Signet paperback (USA)
August - 10th edition Signet paperback (USA)
September - 11th edition Signet paperback (USA)
9th edition Pan paperback (UK)
10th edition Pan paperback (UK)
11th edition Pan paperback (UK)
12th edition Pan paperback (UK)
8th edition Signet paperback (USA)
9th edition Signet paperback (USA)
||June - 14th edition Signet paperback (USA)
July - 15th edition Signet paperback (USA)
13th edition Pan paperback (UK)
14th edition Pan paperback (UK)
15th edition Pan paperback (UK)
16th edition Pan paperback (UK)
17th edition Pan paperback (UK)
13th edition Signet paperback (USA)
16th edition Signet paperback (USA)
||July - 1st edition Plon paperback (France)
18th edition Pan paperback (UK)
19th edition Pan paperback (UK)
20th edition Pan paperback (UK)
1st edition Editôra Civilização Brasileira
||21st edition Pan paperback (UK)
1st edition Ullstein paperback (1966) - cover artwork by Wolfgang
1st edition Albert Bonnier hardback (Sweden)
||22nd edition Pan paperback (UK)
||July - 1st edition bantam paperback (USA)
23rd edition Pan paperback (UK)
24th edition Pan paperback (UK)
25th edition Pan paperback (UK)
1st edition Aldus/Bonniers paperback (Sweden)
||June - 1st edition Jove paperback (USA)
||1st edition Zwarte Beertjes paperback (The Netherlands)
||8th edition Berkley paperback (USA)
||1st edition Coronet paperback (UK) - Introduction by Anthony
1st edition Coronet paperback (Canada) - Introduction by Anthony
||1st edition Scherz paperback (Germany)
||April - 1st edition MJF/Fine Communications hardback (USA)
- cover artwork by Richard Rossiter, illustrated by Christoph
1st edition The First Edition Library hardback (USA)
||May - 1st edition Delfín paperback (Czech Republic)
|| April 4 - 1st edition Viking/Penguin hardback (UK) - photography
by Toby McFarland Pond
April 4 - 1st edition Viking/Penguin paperback (UK) - photography
by Toby McFarland Pond
|| May - 1st edition Penguin USA paperback (USA)