Goldfinger, published in 1959, is the seventh James Bond novel written by Ian Fleming. It is also the third James Bond film in the official EON Productions series, and the third to star Sean Connery as the suave and sophisticated British Secret Service agent James Bond.
The novel begins in a similar fashion to Moonraker with an acquaintance of Bond (Junius Du Pont from Casino Royale) meeting him in Miami and requesting that he observe a Canasta game between him and the eponymous villain of the novel, Auric Goldfinger. Du Pont suspects Goldfinger of cheating and offers to pay Bond to confirm his suspicions. It turns out that Goldfinger is indeed cheating and Bond forces him to admit his guilt and pay $50,000, $35,000 to balance out the cheating, $10,000 to buy Bond's silence, and $5,000 for wasting Mr. DuPont's time.
After Bond returns to London he inquires into the background of Goldfinger to find that he's the world's top gold smuggler, the richest man in England, and after further investigation Bond learns Goldfinger is a communist criminal working as the treasurer for the Soviet assassination agency SMERSH.
Bond learns that Goldfinger intends to finance SMERSH's schemes by stealing fifteen billion $USD worth of gold bullion from the American bullion depository at Fort Knox, Kentucky, an operation codenamed "Operation Grand Slam". Bond, along with Felix Leiter, work to prevent the villain from executing his plan, which involves killing the soldiers of Fort Knox with a water-borne toxin and then using an atomic bomb to break into Fort Knox's impregnable vault.
Pussy Galore, the head of a criminal organization from New York City, called the Cement Mixers, as well as various other mobs including the Mafia and the Spangled Mob from Diamonds Are Forever, have been employed to aid Goldfinger in the planning and execution of "Operation Grand Slam".
In terms of gadgets, this Fleming novel is closest to the Bond films technological underpinnings. The secret agent is issued a battleship grey Aston Martin DB Mark III with lethal accessories, as well as a homing device similar to that seen in the movie; however, Q is not in the book.
- In the story Goldfinger's gold ingots are distinguishable by a small Z etched somewhere on the bar. In alchemical symbolism, the Z is one of the symbols for gold.
Comic strip adaptation
Fleming's original novel was adapted as a daily comic strip which was published in the British Daily Express newspaper and syndicated around the world. The adaptation ran from October 3, 1960 to April 1, 1961. The adaptation was written by Henry Gammidge and illustrated by John McLusky. It was reprinted by Titan Books in 2004.