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Octopussy Audio Cassette – Audiobook, 3 Dec 2015


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Product details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Penguin Audiobooks (3 Dec. 2015)
  • ISBN-10: 0141803002
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141803005
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,786,704 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Victor HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 3 Oct. 2013
Format: Audio Download
*Contains some plot spoilers*

First published in a single collection in 1966, 2 years after Ian Fleming's passing, this is the final print outing for superspy James Bond from the pen of his originator. It is a collection of four short stories, Octopussy, Property Of A Lady, The Living Daylights and 007 In New York. As with his previous short story collection, Fleming uses this as an opportunity to do something a bit different with his writing, and to get away from the traditional Bond milieu.

Being in the short story format, Fleming has to restrain himself from the over long descriptions that sometimes bogged the later Bond novels down slightly, making these short sharp and punchy pieces, but still beautifully observed. Story by story:

Octopussy - This is a great opening story. We see the story through the eyes of Major Dexter Smythe, an ex army officer who served with intelligence during the war and is now living in a comfortable retirement in Jamaica. A visit from an enigmatic man named Bond shatters his world, as the secret of his wealth is revealed and he must decide on his own future. This is a classic piece of writing from Fleming. The character of Smythe is particularly well realised (apart from the dodgy wartime dealing and the murder, I wonder how much of the mid fifties ex intelligence officer living in Jamaica with a coronary condition was based on himself?) and from the vivid descriptions of sea life through to the bleak tale of Smythe's life and how his villainy and wealth have failed to bring him happiness this tale is a real winner for me.

Property of a Lady - 007 attends an auction at Sotheby's to try and uncover the Russian's top man in England, who MI6 think will be bidding on a priceless Faberge piece.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Andy (aaamack@omantel.net.om) on 24 Feb. 2002
Format: Paperback
A slim collection of Bond short stories not published until after the author's death. Dealing as they do with greed, betrayal and conscience they are a worthy addition to any Bond aficionado's collection of stories about the man from 'the Ministry of Defence'.
'Octopussy' is the study of a man in decline, as one Major Smythe, wracked by guilt over a wartime episode, gradually loses his will to live. With his secret almost mercifully exposed by a stranger, he makes his exit in the most bizarre manner since Dr No himself.
'The Property of a Lady' is a real curiosity with the final action set inside the main sale room of Sotheby's, of all places. Here Bond, aided by the suitably ice-cool Faberge expert, Mr Snowman, attempts to expose a pay-off to a Soviet spy involving a Faberge 'Object of Vertu'.
'The Living Daylights' is a melancholy tale about a 'hit' that has been assigned to Bond. It is deemed necessary in order to allow an agent, '272', to escape unhindered across from Soviet occupied East Berlin. Bond is cooped up in a small, musty apartment with the rather officious 'Number 2' of West Berlin station and eventually falls foul of him when he hesitates at the last second as the identity of his target becomes clear. The two men make an interesting combination. In Bond we see a man still guided by humanity and in Captain Sender (Number 2) we see a man guided by nothing more than rules.
Three stories then to add to the already impressive litany of Bond adventures, and three stories that reveal more about the characters themselves than about any plot. As short stories they are unable to develop the kind of fast-paced, multi-faceted, globe-trotting battle between good and evil that make up the backbones of so many Bond adventures.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Dalby VINE VOICE on 6 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback
This book contains 3 Bond Short Stories and an article Fleming wrote.

The first is where Bond confronts an ex-secret service Major over what happened at the end of the war and how he acquired his fortune. It also gives a little human background to Bond before the war and as an adolescent.

The second is Property of a Lady which describes the Russians paying off one of their under-cover operatives with a Faberge Jewel. This is the weakest of the stories. It is unnecessarily negative about women who are not beautiful - to the point of being misogynistic and the story is nonsense. Why risk a section chief to bump up the sale price? It is just silly.

The third and the best is the Living Daylights where Bond has to shoot a sniper who is going to kill an important defecting agent. But again Fleming shows Bond to care more about chasing skirt than his job. This is why it gets four stars and not three.

Finally there is a short article about New York which Fleming wrote to try and appease New Yorkers after his own scathing attack after visiting the city, but it is hardly an endorsement and attacks the US with typical public school snobbery for which Fleming is renowned.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By JH on 28 Oct. 2002
Format: Hardcover
This, Ian Fleming's last 'James Bond' story, first published in 1966.
This book contains not only the cover titles, but two others not published in the first edition, 'the Property of a Lady', and '007 in New York'. '007 in New York' appears here for the first time in book form.
'the Living Daylights' is, in my opinion, a terrifically taught study in cold war espionage. The sheer electricity that runs through the story is indescribable, an interesting combination of the dull, annonymous world of spying crosswired with large ammounts of tension. Fleming wrote this story originally for the debut issue of 'the Sunday Times Colour Supplement', and was published with not much notoriety, but this is undoubtably a crisp example of a Bond story. 'The Property of a Lady' is a curious tale, much to the interest of the antiquarian or collector, which takes place in the London auction rooms of Sotheby's: A quick, hurried story that never looses any of its chances to take a shock to its reader.
'007 in New York' is, essentially, a short summary of New York written for the American edition of Fleming's 1963 travel book 'Thrilling Cities'. The few pages in the story take on a 'Gambit' quality, with descriptions of New York's wonderful nightlife (and daylife).
'Octopussy' is one of Fleming's last stories that he ever wrote, and concerns a hoard of Nazi gold nessled in the grasp of a dying major.
Overall, this is a good book to either start the Bond saga with: it is something of a taster, a tester, an inexpensive blueprint of what to expect from other, more time-consuming novels.
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