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Octopussy and The Living Daylights Paperback – 26 Oct 2006

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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; paperback / softback edition (26 Oct 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141028343
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141028347
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 1.1 x 18 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 809,744 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


"A most compelling story-teller" (The Times) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

There is only one Bond. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
'You know what?' said Major Dexter Smythe to the octopus. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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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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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Dalby VINE VOICE on 6 Sep 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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have enjoyed re-reading the James Bond adventures as written by Ian Fleming. For me the best is still From Russia With Love.

Okay some of the statements in these books are not political correct. But they were written some time ago. They have been read by many and like those others I enjoyed them.

A collection of four short stories make up this book:-


James Bond is in Jamaica on official business to meet with a man who stole Nazi Gold during the war.


The actions to catch a double agent takes James Bond to the auction rooms at Sotheby's.


James Bond is in Berlin to kill a Soviet assassin who is trying to stop someone move from east to west.


James Bond is in New York. Nothing more to add to this.
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