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For Your Eyes Only Paperback – 26 Oct 2006

4.3 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (26 Oct. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141028254
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141028255
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 1.7 x 18.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 917,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

For Your Eyes Only is five Bonds for the price of one, showing Fleming equally at home with the short story as he was over the long haul. Related themes appear across the collection--domestic abuse, just revenge--but these are stories for reading in their own right.

From a View to a Kill has Bond in Paris, outsmarting both the bad guys and the other European intelligence services to solve a murder mystery centred on stolen NATO documents. Cold-blooded murder aside, this is a gentle and engrossing story with some fine descriptive touches by Fleming.

In For Your Eyes Only itself, Bond is on an M-instigated revenge mission in the wilds of Canada and Vermont. Notable for its account of his enemy stalking and unexpected rendezvous with the beautiful Judy Havelock, For Your Eyes Only also portrays closely the relationship between Bond and M, whose inertia over the correct course of action Bond resolves: "It had come to the point where justice ought to be done ... But M was thinking, is this justice or is it revenge? M wanted someone else, Bond, to deliver judgement".

Quantum of Solace is a brief but diverting oddity in which Bond barely moves from his seat. The story is an after-dinner tale of human cruelty told by his host--probably prompted by his preconceptions of Bond's work--which elicits the response, "It's extraordinary how much people can hurt each other." After this interlude, Risico picks up the pace with a heroin smuggling, vendetta-inspired rollercoaster set against an Italian backdrop.

In the final story, The Hildebrand Rarity, Bond finds himself in deep water on a fishing expedition when emotional and physical violence lead to another "justified" murder which Bond covers up. Who committed the crime? Does it matter? This is Bond as agent of natural justice above and beyond institutional law. --Iain Campbell --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Mr Fleming's licensed assassin is in good form … Few men can have been able to mix business with pleasure so successfully as Bond (The Times Literary Supplement ) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Inside This Book

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The eyes behind the wide black rubber goggles were cold as flint. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The eighth book published in the 007 series is not a self-contained novel, but rather a collection of five short stories—two of which are kind of shoehorned in and aren't really typical Bond pieces. The first story, "From A View To A Kill", is a pretty decent little Cold War espionage piece. In a well-crafted set piece introduction, a dispatch rider from Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers—Europe headquarters is ambushed and his documents stolen by Soviet spies. As a result of bureaucratic infighting (highly realistic, and doubtless drawn from Fleming's own intelligence experience), M sends Bond to try and figure out the security breakdown. It's a good tale, with an ingenious set of foes, probably the best story of the lot.
In "For Your Eyes Only", Bond enters highly murky waters by taking a more or less personal assignment from M to track down the killers of an old friend. It's a highly topical late '50s piece, involving a former Nazi as mastermind, and henchmen drawn from the ranks of Cuban dictator Battista. Interestingly (in hindsight), Bond expresses real sympathy with the rebel Castro's struggle! To act as M's executioner, Bond must travel to Canada and then sneak across the US border to operate in Vermont, which is kind of interesting. Things take a turn for the ridiculous when he stumbles across another revenge seeker, wielding a bow and arrow. The middle story, "Quantum of Solace" isn't a Bond story at all. Rather, it's a story of disaffected marriage told to Bond by his host after a rather boring dinner party. It's actually quite good, but has nothing to do with Bond.
"Risico" takes Bond back to action, and places him in Rome, where he is assigned to disrupt the flow of heroin into England.
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Format: Paperback
Published in 1960, this collection of short stories was the eighth print outing for Ian Fleming's superspy James Bond. By using a short story format Fleming was forced to write pithier, faster tales than a full length novel, but was also free to experiment a little with his story telling and tell stories that would just not sit comfortably within the usual Bond milieu. For my money it is one of Fleming's best pieces of writing. Story by story:

From a view to a kill - This is a `straight' Bond adventure, a fast paced thrilling ride from start to finish, with a lot of incident packed into it. The tale opens dramatically with the murder of a dispatch rider in France. Bond is sent in to try and find the killer, and soon is onto a hitherto unseen trail due to an old maxim of M's. There is an interesting investigation and the tales ends with a thrilling action set piece.

For your eyes only - The tale opens with the brutal murder of an elderly couple in Jamaica. Bond is dispatched by M to avenge the murder, as it turns out the couple were old friends of M. The meeting between M and Bond is superb, and starts a running theme throughout the story of the morality of Bond's actions, and the weight that is sometimes on M's shoulders. There is a vividly drawn section with Bond closing in on his prey, and a tensely written and thrilling final shootout. It's the best of the `straight' adventures here.

Quantum of solace - Don't worry, this bears no resemblance to the film, it is much much better. This is the first of the tales here in which Fleming tries to do something different. Bond is attending a dull dinner party, after it ahs finished hi host starts to tell him a story about one of the hosts old friends, his emotional shortcomings and the break-up of his marriage.
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Format: Paperback
After the slightly bloated Goldfinger I was looking forward to this slimline book, but I couldn't help feeling disappointed by what turned out to be a collection of short stories. Nowhere on the book's jacket is this referred to and halfway through the second story I was still trying to piece together how this second 'chapter' related to the first.

The 1981 Roger Moore film of the same name lifts elements from the title story (memorable for its striking image of Bond stalking his prey through a meadow of long grass) and also 'Risico' but is really quite different from either one. The opening story, 'From a View to a Kill', is a straightforward one, and bears no resemblance to the 1985 film. In two of the stories, including the book's most enjoyable one, "The Hilderbrand Rarity', we have a glimpse of an off-duty Bond. In these stories Fleming seems to want to paint a more rounded picture of Bond in a variety of situations, inlcuding social ones.

Interestingly, 'Quantum of Solace' is also here, which is the title of the new Bond movie, due out later this year. I can't see how the filmmakers can have taken much more than the title from this story, though. Bond is only the listener (he is told the story at a dinner party by an old colonel). We get a few of his comments and impressions thrown in but the story doesn't involve him at all. It is certainly the most interesting story in the book. With it's double-framing narratorial device it reminded me of one of Joseph Conrad's Marlowe stories. It is nothing like a Bond story, with its themes of romance and bitter disappointment.

This was the first Bond book of the 60s. The new decade brought a different aspect to the Bond story and revealed a different facet of Fleming. On the whole it doesn't live up to the novels, but it's not altogether unwelcome.
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