Thunderball Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Thunderball

As the ninth novel in Fleming's Bond series opens, Commander James Bond, Agent 007 of Her Majesty's Secret Service, is being sent to a rural clinic called Shrublands, having been found to be unfit after his most recent physical.
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The purpose of the clinic and its "nature-cure" is to bring Bond back to full health, but events conspire to prevent this. Having become inquisitive about a fellow patient, Bond discovers that the man is a member of a criminal organization, but not before the killer becomes aware of Bond's snooping.

Surviving the man's attempt to kill him, Bond retaliates in a nonlethal manner and calmly returns to his duties in London.
A week later, Bond receives an urgent message to come to headquarters at once. On the way, Bond only narrowly survives the man's second assassination attempt when his assailant is, himself, killed by a hit man. Feeling that a murder attempt and an urgent summons on the same day are a bit too coincidental, Bond resolves to investigate.

His inquiries are cut short, however, when he learns the reason why he has been called: a for-profit terrorist group calling itself SPECTRE (Special Executive for Counterintelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion) has stolen a pair of nuclear bombs and is blackmailing NATO for a sum of 100,000,000 pounds!

Sent to the Bahamas to search for the bombs on little more than a hunch from M., Bond expects to find nothing, but soon comes to suspect a local playboy named Emilio Largo of being a member of SPECTRE.

Teaming up with his old friend Felix Leiter, Bond seduces Largo's ravishing mistress Domino Vitale and begins spying on her lover, soon discovering the awful truth: Largo is not only a part of the conspiracy, but is also SPECTRE's Deputy Supreme Commander!

Now, Bond must find a way to capture both Largo and the bombs before the master criminal can set them off near a military installation and a major city.
The review of this Book prepared by James Craver

Chapter Analysis of Thunderball

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 30%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 30%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% Tone of story    -   Dry-cynical Time/era of story:    -   1960's-1970's Spying/Terrorism Thriller    -   Yes Cloak & Dagger Plotlets:    -   preventing bomb/biohazard/disaster Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Who's the terrorist enemy here?    -   generic terrorists

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   spy Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   British


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK The Americas (not US):    -   Yes The Americas:    -   The Caribbean Water?    -   Yes Water:    -   pleasure/love boat    -   swimming on    -   scuba under    -   submarining    -   feeding sharks    -   drowning City?    -   Yes City:    -   wealthy Misc setting    -   resort/hotel

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   very gorey descriptions deaths/dead bodies Explicit sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references    -   descript of kissing    -   descript. of breasts Unusual forms of death    -   poisoning    -   frying (electrocuted)    -   drowned    -   impaled    -   perforation--bullets    -   perforation--swords/knives    -   exploded into bits Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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Ian Fleming Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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