Chopping, Richard. Hard Cover. London: Jonathan Cape, 1961. First Edition. Fine / Dust Jacket Included.
First edition, first impression. Publisher's dark brown cloth, lettered in gilt to spine and stamped in blind to front board with skeletal hand design; in the original pictorial dust jacket designed by Richard Chopping featuring an illustration of two cards pinned to a table via a clasp knife, straddled by a skeletal hand. About fine with a touch of spotting to top edge of text block; in a near fine dust jacket, price-clipped and with some toning to extremities, one quarter-inch closed tear to bottom edge of front panel. Gilbert A9a (1.3). 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).