The Man With The Golden Gun (1965)
||1st April 1965
||Paco "Pistols" Francisco Scaramanga, Hendriks
||Damaging Western interests, especially sugar cane
in the Caribbean
||Felix Leiter; Nick Nicholson, M
||London, UK; Jamaica
||Assassination attempt on M, train battle, duel in
Having disgraced his Service, James Bond is sent by M on a
mission to eliminate Francisco Scaramanga - a job which will
almost certainly mean his own death. Scaramanga is the most
lethal assassin in the World, and has caused widespread damage
to the Secret Service.
Above: 1st edition Jonathan Cape hardback (UK). Artwork
by Richard Chopping.
Official Blurb (Penguin 2002 Edition)
A brainwashed James Bond has tried - and failed - to assassinate
M, his boss. Now Bond has to prove he is back on form and can
be trusted again. 'All' 007 has to do is kill one of the most
deadly freelance hit-men in the world - one Paco 'Pistols' Scaramanga,
the Man with the Golden Gun. But despite his licence to kill,
007 is no assassin, and, on finding Scaramanga in the sultry heat
of Jamaica, he decides to infiltrate the killer's criminal co-operative
- and realizes that he will have to take him out as swiftly as
possible. Or 007 might just be the next on a long list of British
Secret Service numbers that the Man with the Golden Gun has retired
Official Blurb (Penguin 2004 Edition)
A brainwashed James Bond has tried—and failed—to assassinate
M, his boss. Now Bond has to prove he is back on form and can
be trusted again. All 007 has to do is kill one of the most deadly
freelance hit men in the world: Paco "Pistols" Scaramanga,
the Man with the Golden Gun. But despite his license to kill,
007 is no assassin, and on finding Scaramanga in the sultry heat
of Jamaica, he decides to infiltrate the killer’s criminal
cooperative—and realizes that he will have to take him out
as swiftly as possible. Otherwise 007 might just be the next on
a long list of British Secret Service numbers retired by the Man
with the Golden Gun...
- "Can I Help You?"
- "Pistols" Scaramanga
- The Stars Foretell
- No. 3½ Love Lane
- The EAsy Grand
- Un-Real Estate
- Pass the Canapés!
- Minutes of the Meeting
- Belly-Lick, Etc
- Ballcock, and Other, Trouble
- In a Glass, Very Darkly
- Hear the Train Blow!
- The Great Morass
- The Wrap-Up
Above: British Pan paperback 10th edition (1972).
"Bond was a good agent once," said M. "There's
no reason why he shouldn't be a good agent again. Get me the files
on Scaramanga. If we can get him fit, that's the right sized target
"But that's suicide, Sir! Even 007 could never take him...."
Above: British Book
Club edition, artwork by Chrichard; American Signet
paperback 1st edition (1966); British
Pan paperback 9th edition (1970)
A man claiming to be James Bond, missing presumed dead after You
Only Lives Twice arrives in London and does indeed turn out to
be 007. However, Bond is acting suspiciously, and in a meeting
with M he pulls a gun on Admiral Sir Miles Messervy (we learn
his name for the first time), but M fires a protective barrier
down and stops the cyanide hitting him. Bond is apprehended, and
it turns out he was found by the Russians in Vladivostock and,
because of his amnesia, was persuaded to become their agent. M
gets Sir James Molony to turn him back, and sends 007 on one of
his most perilous missions. To kill ‘Pistols’ Scaramanga,
the notorious killer now working for Cuba.
Bond tracks Scaramanga down by spotting a note to him in an airport
pigeon-hole, and after bumping into Mary Goodnight Bond meets
Scaramanga at a brothel and persuades Scaramanga to take him on
as personal assistant and head of security for a meeting for investors
in his hotel. At the hotel, the investors turn out to be top hoods
from around the world. Felix Leiter is also at the hotel working
as an electronics expert, and sets up bugs of Scaramanga’s
meetings. Among other things, Scaramanga is involved with massive
drug-smuggling and destabilising of the Western economy. However,
Bond also hears the plan for his own death.
On the appointed day, Bond and the thugs go on a train journey,
but Bond’s cover is blown when Mary Goodnight is tied to
the track ahead. Amongst the ensuing gun-battle, Hendricks a KGB
agent supposed to secure Bond’s death is shot, and Bond
also hits Scaramanga. The dummy dressed up as Goodnight is destroyed.
Leiter emerges from behind and disarms the villains, and tells
Bond to jump from the train. He and Scaramanga, who survived a
serious wound, follow suit, and the train and the hoods are destroyed
by a bridge Leiter booby-trapped.
Bond finds Leiter injured from his fall, and sets off in pursuit
of Scaramanga, and finds the villain half-dead, but alive enough
to pull a hidden gun as 007 is about to kill him. 007 falls, but
before losing consciousness pumps several rounds into Scaramanga’s
chest. Bond wakes up a week later, still alive from Scaramanga’s
pellet after a local doctor realised the effects of its snake-poison.
He and Leiter are debriefed, and Bond turns down a knighthood.
In the final words of a Fleming novel, James Bond is persuaded
to join Mary Goodnight at her bungalow.
"He forced himself to think of what the broken body
of Margesson must have looked like, of the others that this
man had killed, of the ones he would kill afresh if Bond
weakened. This man was probably the most efficient one-man
death dealer in the world."
"At Blades, M ate his usual meager luncheon, a grilled
Dover sole followed by the ripest spoonful he could gouge
from the club Stilton."
"Now it may only be a myth, and it is certainly not
medical science, but there is a popular theory that a man
who cannot whistle has homosexual tendencies... (M hadn't
whistled since he was a boy. Unconsciously his mouth pursed
and a clear note was emitted.)"
"A naked arm smelling of Chanel No. 5 snaked around
his neck and warm lips kissed the corner of his mouth. As
he reached up to hold the arm where it was, a breathless
voice said, 'Oh, James! I'm sorry. I just had to!'"
"The big man stood for a moment and looked up at the
deep blue sky. His fingers opened in a spasm and let go
of the knife. His pierced heart stuttered and limped and
stopped. He crashed flat back and lay, his arms flung wide,
as if someone had thrown him away."
"At the same time, he knew, deep down, that love from
Mary Goodnight, or from any other woman, was not enough
for him. It would be like taking ‘a room with a view’.
For James Bond, the same view would always pall."
Above: British Pan paperback 1st edition
Above: British Pan
paperback film tie-in 13th edition (1974); British Coronet
paperback 3rd edition (1989), illustration by Bill Gregory;
British Penguin paperback edition (2002)
keeps you riveted."
- Sunday Telegraph
Above: Penguin USA paperback 1st edition