Literature / Live and Let Die

The second James Bond novel by Ian Fleming, published in 1954.

After being on a leave due to the events in Casino Royale, Bond is given a mission in The States. The case is about sudden eruption of smuggled gold coins, that are linked to Harlem crimelord Mr. Big.

The novel would later become the basis of the eighth Bond film and parts of it would later be incorporated into For Your Eyes Only and Licence to Kill.

This novel has the examples of:

  • An Arm and a Leg: Felix Leiter literally loses his arm and a leg when he is lowered to a shark pool.
  • Badass Bystander: The Pullman porter who helps keep Bond and Solitaire safe on the train to Florida.
  • Big Bad: Mr. Big
  • Dirty Communists: SMERSH is at it again, this time through Mr. Big's criminal activities.
  • Everything's Squishier with Cephalopods: An octopus grabs Bond's legs, forcing him to take action against it. This in turn reveals his location to Mr. Big's men and he's caught shortly after.
  • Exploding Fishtanks: The result of the firefight between Bond and Robber.
  • Fingore: Mr. Big orders Tee-Hee to break one of Bond's fingers.
  • Funetik Aksent: How some black people talk in Harlem.
  • Hazardous Water: To ensure his island's privacy, Mr. Big has his men dumping offal into the surrounding waters, putting all the sharks and barracudas in the area into a feeding frenzy.
  • Just Desserts: Bond feeds the Robber to the shark that mauled Felix, and later in the book, Mr. Big gets devoured by a swarm of sharks and barracuda.
  • Kick the Dog: Robber shoots seabirds for funzies.
  • Literal Asskicking: When Bond frees himself from Tee-Hee's grip, he bashes his head with his empty pistol, hits him in the groin and gives boot to his behind, sending him down a staircase to his death
  • Living Lie Detector: Mr. Big uses Solitaire like this, and apparently she really can detect lies. She believes it's due to her Psychic Powers, but we never learn whether she's right or not.
  • Manly Tears: When Mr. Big is defeated, Bond, shaken by the whole ordeal, sheds tears.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: Felix befriends the mook who is holding him prisoner; he releases Felix with only a token beating despite orders from Mr Big to inflict more serious injury.
  • Pirate Booty: Sir Henry Morgan's treasure, that Mr. Big is smuggling to the states.
  • Scooby-Doo Hoax: Mr. Big's operations are dosed with a bit of Hollywood Voodoo and he encourage rumours that he is really a zombie or even Baron Samedi himself.
  • Shark Pool: Mr. Big has one in a Florida warehouse, where Felix gets mauled and Bond later feeds the Robber to the shark in revenge.
  • Spiteful Spit: After one of Harlem's inhabitants sees Bond and Felix strolling by, he spits.
  • A Taste of the Lash: When Solitaire is "reading" Bond, Mr. Big lashes her to remind who is in charge.
  • Threatening Shark: Sharks are present around Mr. Big's island, but Bond is more worried about Barracudas when he swims there.
  • Title Drop: While discussing the operation with Felix and Captain Dexter, the latter notes that, until the case is ripe, they have a policy in regards to Mr. Big that goes "live and let live". Bond then answers that his is "live and let die".