"TO BEGIN WITH HE WAS ASHAMED OF HIMSELF—A RARE STATE OF MIND"
FLEMING, Ian. Thunderball. London: Jonathan Cape, (1961). Octavo, original brown paper boards, original dust jacket. $3200.
First edition of Fleming's ninth Bond novel, featuring the first appearance of the superspy's memorable nemesis, the villainous mastermind behind SPECTRE, Ernst Blofeld, who steals two nuclear warheads and threatens the world.
"Thunderball represented a new departure [for the Bond series], with the introduction of SPECTRE and of Ernst Blofeld, a commanding villain who was to reappear. This gave a measure of continuity to the later Bond novels… Thunderball worked well as an adventure story… the theme of the theft of atom bombs seemed pertinent and modern" (Black, 49, 55). As he had in From Russia, With Love (1957) and The Spy Who Loved Me (1962), Fleming considered permanently doing away with his super-spy character: "I shall definitely kill off Bond with my next book—better a poor bang than a rich whimper!" (Lycett, 364). Bond, of course, survives this adventure which, due to credit and rights controversy, was adapted twice to the screen: under the present title in 1965 and as Never Say Never Again in 1983—both times starring Sean Connery; in the 1965 film Claudine Auger played Domino, while Kim Basinger played that role in 1983. This copy is Gilbert's "First Impression, First Issue." Gilbert A9a (1.1 or 1.3). Biondi & Pickard, 46-47. Owner signature.
Book with only a few minor stains to interior, dust jacket with only light rubbing and toning to extremities. A near-fine copy.