Solid Gold (I didn’t necessarily read this for the original Bond character, because I’ve seen the Mike Meyers version multiple times and don’t believe I’ve seen the original at all, but having seen it doesn’t affect this story whatsoever. For instance, the Goldfinger I originally had in my head (Mike Meyers version) is Fleming’s Goldfinger’s goofy little brother; Which I still find quotable. Not to say I didn’t enjoy the James Bond movies I have seen. I prefer some over others and this book captured the coolness of the character from the movies which I didn’t expect, but quite enjoyed).
It’s mysterious, action-oriented right from the beginning and Fleming gives the best descriptions of the most decadent foods and restaurant scenes one could imagine coming straight from the movies, and a bit of torture to top off the glamorous lifestyle; everything a reader would want from a Bond story, and a bit of the chauvinist mentality which was more prominently a part of his persona, but not to the point which impacted the story much.
It’s also amusing reading ignorant character flaws about how Bond sees lesbians and the gay community due to the era, but not so amusing what fates are dealt out to one girl in such a way to make it due to the character’s pointless selfish arrogance to somehow prove she was being stubborn because she wasn’t taken in by Bond’s shameless flirting (also, I confirmed my suspicion of Pussy Galore being the only saved from death because she converted her sexual desires to suit Bond in the end). Regardless, it was such an easy read it could almost be overlooked. (I’ll still be interested in reading a few more of these since Stephen Fry surprised me by endorsing the books.) So thank your stars, Fleming that Fry spoke up on your behalf, you old bigot, you!