The third ''Literature/JamesBond'' novel by Creator/IanFleming, published in 1955.

Bond is tasked to teach one Hugo Drax a lesson in a game of TabletopGame/{{Bridge}}, so he'll stop cheating and [[TreacheryCoverUp avert a possible scandal]]. Afterwards, he has to investigate strange going-ons in Drax's project to develop [[UsefulNotes/UltimateDefenceOfTheRealm a ballistic missile for the British Government]].

The novel avoids several features of what would come to be regarded as the typical James Bond adventure. Instead of an exotic foreign location, it's set entirely in the Home Counties of England. The course of Bond's relationship with the main female character also doesn't go as one might expect.

All of which, along with the fact that the plot is built around a technology that was cutting-edge in 1955 but already behind the times when the film franchise started, goes some way toward explaining why the [[Film/{{Moonraker}} eleventh]] ''Film/JamesBond'' film has [[InNameOnly very little]] to do with the book, only sharing its title and the BigBad's name. Some elements from the book would eventually make its way into the seventeenth film in the series, ''Film/GoldenEye'', and others into the twentieth film, ''Film/DieAnotherDay''.

Not to be confused with ''James Bond and Moonraker'', the novelization of the aforementioned film.


!!This novel contains examples of:

* AllGermansAreNazis: A German technician's last actions before he commits suicide are to salute and yell "Heil!" It turns out that [[spoiler: Hugo Drax and his men are in fact German soldiers who have been hiding in England since UserfulNotes/WorldWarII]].
* ArtisticLicenseNuclearPhysics: Subverted with the radiation example (no. 4) of the trope ; the nuclear explosion is [[spoiler:passed off as a conventional one to cover up Drax's plot. The radiation had blown north]].
* AteHisGun: Egon Bartsch, the scientist who killed the original chief of security of Drax's base killed himself this way after the deed.
* BeardnessProtectionProgram:
** Drax has his underlings shave their heads and grow moustaches, meaning they can later disguise themselves by shaving off their moustaches and letting their hair grow out.
** Also played straight, as the scientists working on Drax's rocket are all German, and former Nazis. Drax even mentions that with their heads shaved and with the mustaches in place, no one recognizes them.
* BedsheetLadder: Bond [[FakeoutEscape fakes one up]] to cover the fact that he and Gala are still in the base.
* BottleEpisode: This is the only novel to be set entirely inside the United Kingdom; in fact the action never leaves London and Kent.
* CarChase: A much more action-packed one than what ''Casino Royale'' offered, though [[spoiler:it ends just as badly for Bond]].
* CommieNazis: Drax turns out to be in league with the Soviets, more out of convenience than ideology however. Why the Soviets would trust a former Nazi with a nuclear weapon is not explained.
** For a chance to entirely discredit the idea of Western nuclear missiles based out of Europe, at that time, they'd trust a ''monkey'' with a nuclear weapon. Although it is instructive to note that Drax's head rocket scientist was (although German) provided to Drax by the Russians, and Dr. Walter was the person in charge of designing and setting the guidance system for the Moonraker. So, Drax deciding to aim it at the Russians instead was not a possibility they had to seriously worry about.
* CoolCar: Drax drives a Mercedes 300 S, which Bond describes as "ruthless and majestic". 007 himself owns a 1930 Bentley Coupé, in which he chases Drax towards the end of the book.
** Also an automotive example of a NationalWeapon. Drax drives in a German Mercedes while 007 drives in a British Bentley.
* CruelAndUnusualDeath: Drax chooses to dispose of Bond and Gala Brand by leaving them to be incinerated by the [[WeaponizedExhaust Moonraker's exhaust on lift-off]]. Incidentally, this is one of the few bits that made it into the 1979 film.
* CurbstompBattle: Bond's bridge game against Drax. The chairman of Blades, upon seeing Bond's hand, declares the only possibility to be "sheer murder".
* DamselInDistress: Gala Brand is a notable aversion; she proves to be as important to foiling Drax's plot as Bond ([[spoiler:it's actually her that discovers that the rocket is to be fired at London]]) and while she does get captured, Bond also does shortly afterwards.
* DeepCoverAgent: [[spoiler: Drax, in reality a former Nazi soldier, has masqueraded as a proud, distinguishable Briton for the past several years after he was "rescued" in his British military disguise, stole the identity of a missing British soldier, and faked amnesia to justify not remembering his pre-World War II life.]]
* DidNotGetTheGirl: Because as it turns out, [[spoiler: she's engaged to another man]]. This results in a BittersweetEnding.
* TheDragon: Willy Krebs, Drax's right-hand man.
* EvilGloating: Apart from peppering his MotiveRant with this, Drax also tells Bond he has left a detailed account of his real life with a Scottish law firm, intending it to be revealed to the British public [[spoiler:the day after his nuclear attack on London]].
* EvilIsPetty: The first sign that Drax is a bad'un is when he cheats at cards even though the amounts involved are trivial to a man of his wealth. To him, the amounts are immaterial beside the fact that he just plain hates to be beaten.
* EvilPlan: [[spoiler:Nuke London]].
* FixingTheGame: Drax cheats at bridge by using a device to sneak a look at the cards he deals to the other players. With the assent of the club's management, who want Drax put on notice without the embarrassment of a public accusation, Bond beats him with a stacked deck, carefully arranged so that the cards Drax will be able see will mislead him as to their respective chances.
* GratuitousGerman: A lot of dubious German is (naturally) used, as ex-Nazi villains play a prominent part. [[spoiler: Most memorably, Krebs and Drax's other henchmen will frequently address their boss as "''Herr Kapitän''," or "Captain." The problem is that Drax was an infantry captain in the ''Heer'' (army), and later ''Waffen-SS'' in his glory days, while ''Kapitän'' specifically denotes a ''naval'' captain in German. Better researched Nazis would have addressed Drax either as ''Herr Hauptmann'' (an army captain) or ''Hauptsturmführer'' (an SS captain).]]
* HeroicSacrifice: [[DefiedTrope Defied]]. Bond's initial plan [[spoiler:to stop the Moonraker from nuking London]] is to manually sabotage and blow it up at the launch site, but with Gala's help, he's able to alter its launch coordinates instead.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: [[spoiler:Drax is killed when the Russian submarine he and his cohorts are escaping in is blown out of the water by the Moonraker, which Bond and Gala have redirected back onto its original North Sea target.]]
* IShallTauntYou: Bond does this to Hugo Drax in a desperate attempt to make him leave behind a blowtorch (intended for torture) that can be used to burn through Bond's ropes. It works.
* JackBauerInterrogationTechnique: Bond inflicts this on Krebs with a [[GrievousBottleyHarm mineral-water bottle]], but Krebs manages to escape before Bond can extract anything useful. Later, Drax plans a much nastier version for Bond and Gala, but Bond actually [[DefiedTrope defies]] it by telling Drax everything he wants to know (this causes Drax to become overconfident and leave them alive for an elaborate DeathTrap, instead of [[JustShootHim just shooting them]]).
* LiteralAsskicking: When Bond finds Krebs rummaging through his stuff, he gives a swift kick to the arse.
* MadScientist: Dr. Walter.
* MinorCrimeRevealsMajorPlot: Two such crimes - Drax's cheating at Blades, and the murder of security chief Major Tallon - are the only reasons Bond gets involved with the Moonraker project at all.
* MotiveRant: Drax gives Bond an epic one when he has him tied up and defenceless. Bond responds by taunting Drax into a VillainousBreakdown, which gives him the opportunity he needs to free himself and Gala.
* NewEraSpeech: Drax gives one near the end before leaving the confused audience.
-->"Your majesty, men and women of England", the voice was a velvet snarl. "I am about to change the course of England's history." A pause. "In a few minutes' time the lives of all of you will be altered, in some cases, ahem, drastically, by the, er, impact of the Moonraker. I am very proud and pleased that fate has singled me out, from amongst all my fellow countrymen, to fire this great arrow of vengeance into the skies and thus to proclaim for all time, and for all the world to witness, the might of my fatherland. I hope this occasion will be forever a warning that the fate of my country's enemies will be written in dust, in ashes, in tears and", a pause, "in blood. And now thank you all for listening and I sincerely hope that those of you who are able will repeat my words to your children, if you have any, tonight".
* RansackedRoom: Both Bond and Gala are victims of Krebs' ransacking during their stay at the Moonraker base, with Gala noting that her mail has been tampered with.
* TheReveal: Drax is revealed to be [[spoiler: a [[CommieNazis Nazi working for the Communists]], with plans to nuke London]].
* SignsOfDisrepair: Bond sees a neon sign from a viewpoint that partially obscures it: SUMMER S'''HELL IS HERE'''.
* SmokyGentlemensClub: Blades may well be the MostTriumphantExample, at least in literature. It gets several pages' worth of backstory, lots more SceneryPorn descriptions, and according to M, there are so many varieties of food available that only people who have no imagination bother looking at the menus.
* TechnologyPorn: The natural conclusion of Fleming's love for detail, combined with fifties Britain's anxiety about maintaining power (especially [[UltimateDefenceOfTheRealm nuclear power]]) on the international stage. The Moonraker gets page after page dedicated to explaining how it works, even though TheProfessor explaining it to Bond promises he'll keep it short because Bond isn't a scientist.
* TextualCelebrityResemblance: Bond and Willy Krebs are compared to Hoagy Carmichael and Creator/PeterLorre, respectively.
* ThoseWackyNazis: Drax is in fact a Nazi, who was part of the Werwolf unit. This also goes for his men.
* TortureTechnician: Krebs and possibly Dr. Walter, as described by Drax. Fortunately, we never get to see them exercising their talents.
* TreacheryCoverUp: Bond's unofficial "mission" at Blades, as mentioned, is a small-scale version of this. A full-sized one is later initiated with [[spoiler:Hugo Drax's whole identity and plot to nuke London kept out of the press, so to not panic the public]].
* UnwinnableTrainingSimulation: The first chapter has Bond in a quick-drawing training. He puts the other "guy" (a cardboard target) in hospital, but is "killed". The whole thing is designed to be unwinnable.
* VillainWithGoodPublicity: Drax is revered by the British public as a great patriot, who is using his enormous wealth to gift Britain her own nuclear defence system. In fact, he is a Nazi in the guise of a British citizen who plans to use the missile to destroy London.
* WackyWaysideTribe: The Blades sequence has no impact on the main rocket missile plot, although it does serve as an extended intro for Sir Hugo Drax, as well as giving M some much-needed characterisation.
* YoureInsane: Drax has Bond tied up at the base of his rocket [[WeaponizedExhaust to be incinerated during its launch]]. Bond takes the opportunity to recount Drax's life as he's gathered the info, in all its ugly, humiliating detail, to conclude how it's made him such a mental case. Bond's intent is to enrage Drax enough to overlook what Bond needs to escape.