James Bond Books in Order: A Thrilling Journey Through Espionage and Adventure

Dive into the world of James Bond, the iconic British Secret Service agent created by Ian Fleming. With his suave demeanor, impeccable style, and penchant for action, Bond has captivated audiences for over six decades.

Beginning with Fleming’s first novel, “Casino Royale,” the series has expanded into a literary and cinematic phenomenon that continues to enthrall fans across the globe.

In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the thrilling journey of Bond’s literary adventures in order, to offer you the chance to experience the exhilarating espionage and action-packed missions that define this legendary spy.

James Bond Books In Order
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Who is Ian Fleming?

Who is Ian Fleming?
Who is Ian Fleming?

Ian Fleming was a British author, journalist, and naval intelligence officer best known for creating the iconic character of James Bond. Born in London in 1908, Fleming served in the Royal Navy during World War II, where he gained valuable experience and knowledge that would later influence his novels.

After the war, he began his writing career, penning the first Bond novel, “Casino Royale,” in 1953. Fleming went on to write a total of 14 James Bond books before his death in 1964.

About the James Bond Series:

The James Bond series revolves around the adventures of a British Secret Service agent with the code number 007. Known for his dashing style, cunning intelligence, and love for action, James Bond has become a timeless figure in popular culture.

Expert Tip: The series encompasses various espionage missions, exotic locations, and unforgettable villains, all of which contribute to the enduring appeal of the character.

Since Fleming’s original books, the series has expanded through the works of other authors and into a successful film franchise.

James Bond Books in Order:

James Bond Books in Order
James Bond Books in Order

Original James Bond Books by Ian Fleming in Publication Order:

  1. Casino Royale (1953)
  2. Live and Let Die (1954)
  3. Moonraker (1955)
  4. Diamonds Are Forever (1956)
  5. From Russia with Love (1957)
  6. Dr. No (1958)
  7. Goldfinger (1959)
  8. For Your Eyes Only (1960) – Short Stories
  9. Thunderball (1961)
  10. The Spy Who Loved Me (1962)
  11. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1963)
  12. You Only Live Twice (1964)
  13. The Man with the Golden Gun (1965)
  14. Octopussy and The Living Daylights (1966) – Short Stories

Original James Bond Books by Ian Fleming in Chronological Order:

  1. Casino Royale
  2. Live and Let Die
  3. Moonraker
  4. Diamonds Are Forever
  5. From Russia with Love
  6. Dr. No
  7. Goldfinger
  8. For Your Eyes Only – Short Stories
  9. Thunderball
  10. The Spy Who Loved Me
  11. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
  12. You Only Live Twice
  13. The Man with the Golden Gun
  14. Octopussy and The Living Daylights – Short Stories

Continuation of James Bond Series:

After Fleming’s death, numerous authors contributed to the Bond series, keeping the character alive through new adventures. Some of the notable authors include Kingsley Amis, John Gardner, Raymond Benson, and more recently, William Boyd, and Anthony Horowitz.

James Bond Movie Novelizations:

In addition to the original novels and continuation novels, several movie novelizations have been written, based on the screenplays of the popular James Bond film series. These adaptations offer fans an alternate take on the cinematic stories, providing further insights into the world of 007.

A Summary of James Bond Books in Order

Casino Royale (1953):

Casino Royale (1953)
Casino Royale (1953)

In this thrilling debut novel, Bond faces off against the sinister Le Chiffre, a high-ranking Soviet operative and paymaster for SMERSH, who has lost his organization’s money in a failed investment. To recover the funds, Le Chiffre organizes a high-stakes poker game at the Casino Royale. Bond is sent to outplay Le Chiffre and bring him to justice.

Along the way, Bond forms a tragic love affair with Vesper Lynd, a fellow agent who harbors a dark secret.

Live and Let Die (1954):

Bond is tasked with investigating Mr. Big, a notorious Harlem gangster and SMERSH operative who uses voodoo and his criminal empire to smuggle gold coins from pirate treasure.

Bond’s mission takes him to New York, Florida, and the Caribbean, where he encounters deadly adversaries, and must rely on his wits, skills, and an alliance with CIA agent Felix Leiter to stop Mr. Big’s nefarious plans.

Moonraker (1955):

When Sir Hugo Drax, a wealthy businessman, plans to launch a nuclear missile called Moonraker as part of Britain’s defense program, Bond is sent to investigate Drax’s background. Uncovering a plot to destroy London with the missile, Bond and Gala Brand, a Special Branch agent, must work together to thwart Drax’s sinister plan and save the city from annihilation.

Diamonds Are Forever (1956):

Diamonds Are Forever (1956)
Diamonds Are Forever (1956)

Bond infiltrates a diamond smuggling ring operating between Sierra Leone and Las Vegas, aiming to expose the mastermind behind it. As he delves deeper, Bond uncovers a connection to his old foes at SMERSH and a plot to use the diamonds to fund terrorism.

Along the way, he encounters the captivating Tiffany Case, who plays a crucial role in helping him infiltrate the criminal organization.

From Russia with Love (1957):

SMERSH hatches a plan to discredit and eliminate Bond, using a beautiful Russian cipher clerk, Tatiana Romanova, as bait. Believing he is being sent to Istanbul to secure a valuable decoding machine, Bond becomes entangled in the devious plot, facing deadly adversaries like the assassin Red Grant and SMERSH’s Colonel Rosa Klebb.

The novel showcases a deadly game of cat and mouse, with Bond’s life and reputation at stake.

Dr. No (1958):

Bond is sent to Jamaica to investigate the disappearance of two MI6 agents. His inquiries lead him to the reclusive Dr. Julius No, a man with a mysterious past and a deadly plan involving nuclear weapons. Bond, along with the enchanting Honey Ryder, must navigate a treacherous island and confront the sinister Dr. No to prevent a global catastrophe.

Goldfinger (1959):

Goldfinger (1959)
Goldfinger (1959)

Bond’s encounter with the wealthy and obsessive Auric Goldfinger reveals a plot to steal the gold reserves at Fort Knox. As Bond delves into Goldfinger’s criminal operations, he discovers connections to SMERSH and a plan that could destabilize the world economy.

With the help of the resourceful Pussy Galore, Bond must stop Goldfinger and his deadly henchman, Oddjob, from executing their nefarious scheme.

For Your Eyes Only (1960):

This collection of short stories includes five thrilling Bond adventures: “From a View to a Kill,” “For Your Eyes Only,” “Quantum of Solace,” “Risico,” and “The Hildebrand Rarity.” Each story showcases Bond’s exceptional skills, as he takes on a variety of dangerous missions, tackling international espionage, drug trafficking, and the twisted schemes of devious villains.

Thunderball (1961):

When the terrorist organization SPECTRE steals two atomic bombs and threatens to use them unless their ransom demands are met, Bond is assigned to Operation Thunderball, a mission to recover the weapons and dismantle the organization.

Alongside CIA agent Felix Leiter and Domino Vitali, the sister of one of SPECTRE’s key operatives, Bond faces off against the ruthless Emilio Largo and races against time to prevent a global catastrophe.

The Spy Who Loved Me (1962):

The Spy Who Loved Me (1962)
The Spy Who Loved Me (1962)

This unique entry in the series is told from the perspective of Vivienne Michel, a young woman who becomes involved with Bond when she encounters him at a remote motel in the Adirondack Mountains. Bond is on the trail of two dangerous assassins, Sluggsy and Horror, who have been sent to destroy the motel as part of an insurance scam.

Bond’s intervention saves Vivienne’s life, and together, they must outwit the assassins and expose the criminal conspiracy.

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1963):

Bond’s relentless pursuit of SPECTRE’s leader, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, leads him to the Swiss Alps, where he discovers a plot involving biological warfare. Infiltrating Blofeld’s research facility, Bond uncovers a scheme to distribute deadly viruses around the world.

Along the way, he falls in love with the troubled Contessa Teresa “Tracy” di Vicenzo, which ultimately leads to a poignant and unforgettable conclusion.

You Only Live Twice (1964):

After the tragic events of “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” a grief-stricken Bond is sent to Japan on a mission to investigate the mysterious deaths of American and Soviet astronauts. Bond’s inquiries lead him to Blofeld, who has established a secret base on a volcanic island.

With the assistance of Japanese secret service agent Tiger Tanaka and the enigmatic Kissy Suzuki, Bond must confront his nemesis and prevent the escalation of the Cold War.

The Man with the Golden Gun (1965):

The Man with the Golden Gun (1965)
The Man with the Golden Gun (1965)

Bond is presumed dead after a failed mission, but he returns to London, only to be brainwashed by the KGB and sent to assassinate M. After a deprogramming process, Bond is given a chance at redemption by being assigned to eliminate the dangerous assassin Francisco Scaramanga, known as “The Man with the Golden Gun.”

Bond’s mission takes him to Jamaica, where he faces Scaramanga in a deadly showdown.

Octopussy and The Living Daylights (1966):

This final collection of short stories features four exciting Bond adventures: “Octopussy,” “The Living Daylights,” “The Property of a Lady,” and “007 in New York.” In these tales, Bond tackles international jewel smuggling, snipers, and art auctions, while displaying his extraordinary skills as a secret agent.

The stories serve as a fitting finale to Ian Fleming’s original James Bond series.

While the original series by Ian Fleming concluded with “Octopussy and The Living Daylights,” the James Bond character has continued to live on through the works of various authors. Here is a selection of notable continuation novels:

Colonel Sun (1968) by Kingsley Amis (writing as Robert Markham):

Colonel Sun (1968) by Kingsley Amis (writing as Robert Markham)
Colonel Sun (1968) by Kingsley Amis (writing as Robert Markham)

In this first continuation novel, Bond must rescue M after he is kidnapped by the vengeful Colonel Sun Liang-tan. Bond’s investigation takes him to Greece, where he teams up with Ariadne Alexandrou, a Greek agent, to foil Colonel Sun’s plot to sabotage a Middle East peace conference.

License Renewed (1981) by John Gardner:

In this novel, Bond faces off against Dr. Anton Murik, a brilliant nuclear physicist planning a nuclear meltdown to extort ransom from the world’s governments. Teaming up with Lavender Peacock, Murik’s ward, Bond infiltrates Murik’s Scottish castle and must thwart his deadly scheme.

Zero Minus Ten (1997) by Raymond Benson:

As the handover of Hong Kong to China approaches, Bond is sent to investigate a series of bombings and suspicious deaths. Discovering a conspiracy to disrupt the handover and ignite a nuclear war, Bond races against time to prevent global chaos.

Devil May Care (2008) by Sebastian Faulks:

Devil May Care (2008) by Sebastian Faulks
Devil May Care (2008) by Sebastian Faulks

Set in the 1960s, Bond is pitted against the ruthless Dr. Julius Gorner, a megalomaniac with plans to destabilize the Soviet Union through a massive drug operation. Bond, along with Scarlett Papava, a resourceful agent, must navigate the treacherous world of espionage to stop Gorner’s evil scheme.

Solo (2013) by William Boyd:

In this novel, Bond is sent on a rogue mission to a West African country embroiled in a civil war. Attempting to take down the ruthless mercenary Kobus Breed and his benefactor, Bond faces danger, deception, and moral dilemmas in a conflict-ridden environment.

Trigger Mortis (2015) by Anthony Horowitz:

Trigger Mortis (2015) by Anthony Horowitz
Trigger Mortis (2015) by Anthony Horowitz

Set in the 1950s, Bond teams up with the original Bond girl, Pussy Galore, to thwart a plan by the villainous Jason Sin to destroy a US-Soviet summit in New York. The novel features a mix of classic Bond action, intrigue, and romance while staying true to the spirit of Fleming’s original series.

How many James Bond books are there in total?

As of my knowledge cutoff date is September 2021, and there are a total of 39 James Bond books. This number includes 14 original novels and short story collections by Ian Fleming, 24 continuation novels by various authors, and 1 movie novelization. It’s important to note that new Bond books may have been published since then, and the total count could have changed.

What was the last Bond book written by Ian Fleming?

The last Bond book written by Ian Fleming was “Octopussy and The Living Daylights,” a collection of short stories published in 1966. This compilation includes four stories: “Octopussy,” “The Living Daylights,” “The Property of a Lady,” and “007 in New York.” It marks the final installment in the original James Bond series penned by Fleming.

What is the new James Bond book called?

What is the new James Bond book called?
What is the new James Bond book called?

As of September 2021, the latest James Bond book is called “Forever and a Day” (2018) by Anthony Horowitz. This novel serves as a prequel to Ian Fleming’s “Casino Royale” and explores Bond’s early days as a newly promoted 00 agent. It offers insights into the origins of the iconic character and adds a fresh perspective to the long-running series.

Please note that more recent Bond books may have been published since my knowledge cutoff date.

How many Bond books are left?

The question “How many Bond books are left?” is unclear. If you are referring to the number of books remaining to be read or the number of books to be published in the future, it is difficult to provide an exact answer. The James Bond series is ongoing, and new books are likely to be published as authors continue to explore the character and his adventures.

The total number of published books may change over time, depending on the number of future novels, short story collections, and novelizations.

Who took over writing the James Bond series after Ian Fleming?

After Ian Fleming’s death, several authors took up the mantle of continuing the James Bond series. The first was Kingsley Amis (writing as Robert Markham), who authored “Colonel Sun” (1968).

Subsequent authors include John Gardner, Raymond Benson, Sebastian Faulks, Jeffery Deaver, William Boyd, and Anthony Horowitz, each contributing their own unique take on the iconic character.

Have the continuation novels been well-received by fans and critics?

The continuation novels have received mixed reactions from fans and critics alike. Some readers appreciate the new perspectives and storylines that these authors bring to the series, while others feel that the original charm and style of Ian Fleming’s work are difficult to replicate.

Overall, the continuation novels have succeeded in keeping Bond’s literary legacy alive and introducing the character to new generations.

Which James Bond book is considered the best or most popular?

It’s challenging to pinpoint a single “best” or “most popular” James Bond book, as preferences can vary greatly among fans. However, some of the most highly regarded titles from the original series by Ian Fleming include “Casino Royale,” “Goldfinger,” and “From Russia with Love.”

Quick Fact: These novels are often praised for their intricate plots, memorable villains, and the way they showcase Bond’s skills and personality.

How closely do the James Bond movies follow the plotlines of the books?

The degree to which the James Bond movies adhere to the plotlines of the books can vary significantly.

Some films, like “Casino Royale” (2006) and “From Russia with Love” (1963), remain relatively faithful to their source material, while others, such as “Moonraker” (1979) and “The Spy Who Loved Me” (1977), take considerable creative liberties and deviate from the original stories.

In general, the movies tend to focus more on action and spectacle, while the books delve deeper into Bond’s character and the intricacies of espionage.

In conclusion, the James Bond series has captured the imagination of readers and moviegoers for decades, and its enduring popularity is a testament to the appeal of the character and his thrilling adventures. As we’ve seen, several authors have continued the series after Ian Fleming’s passing, and the novels have inspired a long-running and successful film franchise.

While opinions on the best book or movie may differ, there is no denying the impact and legacy of James Bond in the world of literature and cinema.

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