You're here for the book. If you were looking for the movie, hie thee hence to the next writeup.
Ian Fleming's sixth James Bond novel, and one of two named directly after the adversary.

In the aftermath of From Russia With Love, a physically and emotionally battered Bond is sent to Jamaica on a busman's holiday -- half R&R, half to investigate the disappearance of the Secret Service's local controller and his secretary. Once in Jamaica, Bond rapidly finds that all is not as it seems. Stung by M.'s implied criticism, he decides to crack the problem himself rather than request backup (a standard Bond attitude, actually).

The problem is Julius No, half-chinese ex-tong treasurer, now a brilliant madman working for the Russians. His guano mining operation is a cover for a missile guidance jamming station. Noone can be allowed to discover this, and so, after explaining everything, the self-styled Doctor sends Bond into an obstacle course designed to kill him. No's insanity is Bond's salvation -- he survives the electric shock, the vertical climb, the heat, the cold, the tarantulas, the plunge into the sea, and the duel with the giant squid, where he would not have survived a simple bullet in the skull.

Two things of note -- in this book, Bond is forced to trade in his old .25 caliber Beretta in favor of two different guns, a Smith and Wesson .38 caliber, and a 7.62 mm Walther PPK. The other thing that struck me on this reading is the implicit racism, present in most Bond books, but closer to the surface in this one. An example:

"The Jamaican is a kindly lazy man with the virtues and
vices of a child.  He lives on a very rich island but he
doesn't get rich from it.  He doesn't know how to and he's
too lazy." 

According to Master Villain, the authoritatively correct title of this book is Dr No, unpuncuated. According to the information I found at the Library of Congress website, Dr. No is more likely. Of course, my memory of the copy of Doctor No I re-read while writing this node indicates that it was Doctor. I'm sure that a strong case can be made for both. However, since the database links to both Doctor No and Dr. No, it makes no sense to merge the nodes. All Hail the Lord Brawl for his Solomonic solutioning. Please see Doctor No for information about the dastardly villain.
CST Approved

The first James Bond film, released in 1962. Yes, folks, it all started here. Goldfinger, the third Bond film, really set the template for the franchise, what with Q and a car full of gadgets, a teaser sequence, and multiple chases, but this one has enough of the right elements to be tons of male chauvinist pig goodness. Sean Connery plays Bond, and he's simply the coolest cat who ever did. He has much more fun with the role than his successors. As do the writers with the story: Ursula Andress, who rises out of the Carribean surf like Botticelli's Venus in a white bikini, is given the moniker of Honey Ryder. In the 60's, they didn't need Austin Powers; Bond films were inherently self-parodic.

Joseph Wiseman, who is not at all believable as Asian, plays the eponymous villain. Though he is really only a henchman of the man whose face is never seen: "Number One", aka Blofeld, who will be gloriously cloned in Diamonds are Forever. Bond really takes his sweet time getting down to the island and stopping the nefarious plot, preferring to lounge around tropical bars.

The rest of the recurring characters are here as well: M (Bernard Lee), Bond's stodgy boss; Miss Moneypenny (Lois Maxwell), the secretary Bond makes flirting into an art form with; and Felix Leiter (Jack Lord), Bond's American CIA counterpart. Even Bond's lady from the opening scenes comes back for the sequel!

What I love about this movie is how unabashedly low budget it is. That famous Monty Norman theme is used throughout, even in places where it probably shouldn't be. For instance, as Bond walks around his hotel room (to which there is clearly, literally, no fourth wall):

Bond turns on a lamp.

Orchestra: Buh-dump BAAAA-DAAAAAA!!!

Bond examines a picture by the bed.

Orchestra: BA-DAP! bummm. BA-DAP! bummm. BA-DAP-DUH-DA-DAP!

Truly suspenseful, truly silly. Good to remember where all this spy madness came from. (Of course, this was based on the novel by Ian Fleming, which was a known favorite of JFK, but let's be honest. It's Connery the world went nuts for.)

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