Who wrote this book and when?
Ian Fleming published this in 1959.

Has there been a film version?
Oh, yes. Much more famous than the book. Starring Sir Sean Connery.

Who are the important characters?
Agent 007, Commander James Bond – a secret agent for the British Secret Service
Auric Goldfinger – a man obsessed with gold and who is somehow smuggling it
Oddjob – Goldfinger’s manservant, chauffeur, and bodyguard. A master of every type of martial arts
Jill Masterson – Goldfinger’s onetime secretary and traveling companion
Tilly Masterson – Jill’s younger sister
M – the head of the Secret Service who orders Bond to try and catch Goldfinger smuggling
Pussy Galore – the head of a lesbian crime gang known as “The Cement Mixers.” She is hired by Goldfinger.

What’s it about?
On his way back from an assignment, 007 James Bond finds himself running into an old acquaintance who asks for his assistance. Mr. Du Pont finds himself consistently being beat at canasta by a man named Goldfinger and believes the man to be cheating. Bond accepts his offer and catches Goldfinger in the act of cheating and blackmails him out of $10,000 as well as stealing his beautiful secretary, Jill.

After returning to England, Bond is curious about Goldfinger and does a little bit of digging of his own. He is surprised when his superior, M, assigns him to tail Goldfinger. Auric Goldfinger is suspected of being a kingpin in gold smuggling and James is bound to find him out. But Goldfinger has a much bigger plan in mind which sucks James in to play a part in it he’d rather avoid.

Why is this book a classic/bestseller?
Mostly because of the movie, I’d think.

Do you recommend I read this book?
Hmmm, if you like pulpy novels. It’s pretty good and it’s fairly clean to today’s standards.

Why did this book make your list?
I was looking for “Casino Royale” to read before it comes out this weekend. And because it is the first Bond book. It was checked out, but I’d seen the movie version of this book and wanted to read it.

Has it won any awards?
Hah. No.

Favorite quotes:
“Bond always mistrusted short men. They grew up from childhood with an inferiority complex. All their lives they would strive to be big – bigger than the others who had teased them as a child. Napolean had been short, and Hitler. It was the short men that caused all the trouble in the world.” – p 39

Anything else?
This book is so unlike the movie it’s incredible.

Personal thoughts:
I seriously thought I would not enjoy this book. I don’t really like the movie – I mean, it’s fun but completely ridiculous. Like most James Bond movies, of course. But I was pleasantly surprised with this quirky pulpy little novel. James Bond wasn’t as pathetically shallow as he is in the movies and his situation isn’t always provided for or women falling all over him. He was so much more real (well, as real as a 00 can get) as a person. You never really see James Bond having feelings, but in this book he does. And that is part of what I’m looking forward to out of “Casino Royale” the new movie coming out. It looks like Bond might actually be more than sex driven manflesh.