Hard Cover. London: Jonathan Cape, 1955. First Edition. Near Fine.
First edition, first impression, second state, with "shoot" to page 10, in Gilbert's Binding A (no priority determined). Publisher's original black cloth, lettered in metallic silver; in the original yellow and orange pictorial dust jacket devised by Fleming and executed by Kenneth Lewis. Near fine book, with light bumping to top edge and top right corner of front board, light offsetting to endpapers, a hint of dampstaining to top edges of first few pages of front matter; near fine unclipped dust jacket, with some toning to spine and versos of flaps, light chipping to spine ends, front panel unfaded, some light spotting to rear panel, and light rubbing to folds. Overall, an excellent copy in a bright example of the scarce dust jacket. Gilbert A3a (1.2). In Moonraker, James Bond faces the wealthy businessman Sir Hugo Drax, a member of the gentlemen's club Blades whom M suspects of cheating at bridge. After exposing Drax in a card game, Bond investigates the mystery of why a multi-millionaire would want to cheat at billiards, only to discover that Drax is a German who has been posing as a British citizen since WWII with the hopes of avenging the Nazi party by destroying England. The novel takes its title from the "Moonraker" nuclear missile project, based on the actual Blue Streak missile. While all of the Bond novels were eventually adapted into films, Moonraker is unique because Fleming had envisioned the story as a film from the start, as he based the text off of a screenplay he had previously written. Interestingly, the 1979 Moonraker film, which starred Roger Moore as 007, was commercially successful, but largely due to plot alterations that capitalized on the popularity of the Space Race and the Star Wars trilogy.