Just finished reading Moonraker...
And it’s my favorite of the three so far! (Too bad the movie apparently bears little resemblance to it.)
One of the things I liked most about it was how it subverted some of my presuppositions. Namely, the only way to go into reading the Bond novels is knowing that you’re going to keep running into casual racism, sexism, and homophobia. Live and Let Die certainly had racism in
spades abundance–but since it was British racism, it was different in many key ways than the American 1950s racism I’m used to seeing, so it was at least sociologically interesting on that level. (But seriously, the plot basically hinges on all black people knowing each other.)
Moonraker, however, has two incredibly competent female characters, and Fleming writes both of them with empathy and respect. Take this passage about Bond’s secretary, Loelia Ponsonby: