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For Your Eyes Only Paperback – 5 Oct 2006

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; New Ed edition (5 Oct 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141188715
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141188713
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.2 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 666,631 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ian Fleming was born in 1908 and educated at Eton. After a brief period at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, he went abroad to further his education. In 1931, having failed to get an appointment in the Foreign Office, he joined Reuters News Agency. During the Second World War, he was personal assistant to the Director of Naval Intelligence at the Admiralty, rising to the rank of Commander. His wartime experiences provided him with a first-hand knowledge of secret operations.

After the war he became Foreign Manager of Kemsley Newspapers. He built his house, Goldeneye, in Jamaica and there at the age of forty-four he wrote Casino Royale, the first of his novels featuring Commander James Bond. By the time of his death in 1964, the James Bond adventures had sold more than forty million copies. Dr No, starring Sean Connery, was released in 1962 and the Bond films continue to be huge international successes. He is also the author of the magical children's book Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

The novels of Ian Fleming were immediately recognised as classic thrillers by his contemporaries Kingsley Amis, Raymond Chandler and John Betjeman. With the invention of James Bond, Ian Fleming created the greatest British fictional icon of the late twentieth century.

(The picture is reproduced with the permission of the copyright owners, Ian Fleming Publications Limited and the Ian Fleming Will Trust)

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.


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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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First Sentence
The eyes behind the wide black rubber goggles were cold as flint. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. Ross TOP 500 REVIEWER on 9 Oct 2003
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Greshon on 6 Mar 2008
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. Green TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 13 Aug 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For Your Eyes Only is a collection of five short stories featuring James Bond. The titles of three of these, A View To A Kill, For Your Eyes Only and Quantum of Solace will be familiar since they've been used as titles of Bond movies. The plots of FYEO and Risisco may also ring bells as elements of both were used in the movie version of FYEO.

The five stories are quite divergent in terms of their themes and subject matter. A View To A Kill, for example, follows Bond on a short, minor mission in France. Its smartly paced and recounted in a lean, spare style. It also gives you an insight into the sort of work 007 does when he's not involved in the convoluted plots that feature in the novels, and shows thats not every Bond adventure takes weeks and has to include some sort of meglomaniacal super villain. Its about as close to an 'ordinary day' in the life of 007 as its possible to get.

By contrast Quantum of Solace focuses on a tragic but non-espionage related story recounted to Bond after dinner by the Governor of Bermuda. This may sound dull by comparison to View To A Kill, but the way the story is told makes it compelling and the twist in the tale is unexpected. Its also provides additional insight into Bond's psyche and mindset.

In fact all the stories provide fresh insight into James Bond, even if some of his trademark habits such as the love of women remain unchanged, and they're worth reading for that alone. Some might find the likes of Quantum of Solace boring or View To A Kill and FYEO lacking in substance but personally I enjoyed them all. Not only are they each entertaining in their own right but they also show Fleming trying different things in terms of subject matter and writing style and in all cases succeeding admirably.

If you pick up FYEO expecting a traditional Bond novel you will be disappointed, but if you go in with an open mind then the five stories offer a very rewarding experience.
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