Chopping, Richard. Hard Cover. London: Jonathan Cape, 1961. First Edition. Near Fine / Dust Jacket Included.
First edition, first impression, first issue, in Gilbert's Binding A. Publisher's dark-gray cloth, lettered in gilt to spine, centrally stamped in blind to front board with large skeletal hand design; in the original pictorial dust jacket designed by Richard Chopping with an illustration of a card table with two cards laying face up, pinned to the table by a clasp-knife and a skeletal hand, lettered in black. A near fine book, slightly shaken and with the corners lightly bumped, a few spots to front endpaper; in a near fine dust jacket with light wear to edges and a small closed tear to spine head. Overall, a sturdy, bright copy. Gilbert A9a (1.1) Thunderball is the first of Fleming's novels to involve the notorious villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld, head of the secret spy organization SPECTRE (Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion). In this novel, Bond is in the Bahamas at a health clinic when SPECTRE steals two atomic bombs. The British and American intelligence agencies team up to launch Operation Thunderball in an effort to recover the weapons. Published only a few years after the Cuban Missile Crisis, Fleming draws a parallel to pre-existing Cold War tensions to heighten the suspense of this novel. Thunderball culminates with a memorable underwater fight scene from which 007 only narrowly escapes. The Blofeld trilogy is continued in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1963) and You Only Live Twice (1964).