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You Only Live Twice (Penguin Modern Classics) [Paperback]

Ian Fleming
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 Jun 2004 Penguin Modern Classics

Shattered by the death of his wife at the hands of Blofeld, Bond has gone to pieces.

Unwilling to accept the loss of one of his best men, M sends Bond to Japan for one last, near-impossible mission. But Japan proves to be Bond's downfall, leadinghim to a mysterious residence known as the 'Castle of Death' where he encounters an old enemy revitalized. All the omens suggest that this is the end for the British agent, and for once, even Bond himself seems unable to disagree.



Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; New Ed edition (3 Jun 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141187549
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141187549
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 460,790 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

Review

A sensational imagination (Sunday Times )

Instructive and entertaining (Cyril Connolly ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

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

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The geisha called 'Trembling Leaf', on her knees beside James Bond, leant forward from the waist and kissed him chastely on the right cheek. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps my favourite Bond 1 Jun 2008
By Nicholas J. R. Dougan TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the second of Ian Fleming's novels that I have re-read before reading "Devil May Care", the latest Bond Novel, by Sebastian Faulks under licence from the Fleming Estate.

It is, I think, my favourite Bond. Bond goes to Japan on a mission to help restore his self confidence after the death of his bride at the end of "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" and a couple of bungled missions thereafter. He has been stripped of his "double - 0" number but allocated a "diplomatic" one - 7777 - instead. He comes up first against Tiger Tanaka, head of the Japanese secret service and then, in an attempt to prove to Tiger that the British are a race still to be respected, against a mysterious botanist who turns out to be none other than his old enemy, Ernst Stavro Blofeld. The scenario - a garden designed to entice hundreds of suicidal Japanese to their deaths - is perhaps the most fantastical of all Flemings' plots.

Tiger provides Fleming with a mouthpiece to express his angst about contemporary British society and its place in the world: "Bondo-san, I will now be blunt with you...it is a sad fact that I, and many of us in positions of authority in Japan, have formed an unsatisfactory opinion about the British people since the war. You have not only lost a great Empire, you have seemed almost anxious to throw it away with both hands...when you apparently sought to arrest this slide into impotence at Suez, you succeeded only in stage-managing one of the most pitiful bungles in history. (Tiger's English is impeccable - he went to Oxford, and spied against Britain, before the war!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps my favourite Bond 1 Jun 2008
By Nicholas J. R. Dougan TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
This is the second of Ian Fleming's novels that I have re-read before reading "Devil May Care", the latest Bond Novel, by Sebastian Faulks under licence from the Fleming Estate.

It is, I think, my favourite Bond. Bond goes to Japan on a mission to help restore his self confidence after the death of his bride at the end of "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" and a couple of bungled missions thereafter. He has been stripped of his "double - 0" number but allocated a "diplomatic" one - 7777 - instead. He comes up first against Tiger Tanaka, head of the Japanese secret service and then, in an attempt to prove to Tiger that the British are a race still to be respected, against a mysterious botanist who turns out to be none other than his old enemy, Ernst Stavro Blofeld. The scenario - a garden designed to entice hundreds of suicidal Japanese to their deaths - is perhaps the most fantastical of all Flemings' plots.

Tiger provides Fleming with a mouthpiece to express his angst about contemporary British society and its place in the world: "Bondo-san, I will now be blunt with you...it is a sad fact that I, and many of us in positions of authority in Japan, have formed an unsatisfactory opinion about the British people since the war. You have not only lost a great Empire, you have seemed almost anxious to throw it away with both hands...when you apparently sought to arrest this slide into impotence at Suez, you succeeded only in stage-managing one of the most pitiful bungles in history. (Tiger's English is impeccable - he went to Oxford, and spied against Britain, before the war!
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1.0 out of 5 stars James Bond betrayed by Ian Fleming 18 Sep 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
"You only live twice" epitomises James Bond with non-stop action, the excellent autogiro "Little Nell", the helicopter which removes a car full of Japanese gangsters with a giant magnet, the startling plot to steal space rockets and hide them in a false volcano, a staged assassination scene and the witty one liners like the memorable "I give you good duck" delivered without irony. In a phrase, it represents classic Bond. For me, these elements make this the very epitome of the Bond stories. Unfortunately, all these elements are components of Roald Dahl's excellent script for the film and have nothing to do with Ian Fleming's original novel. The overall story is also substantially improved and elaborated well beyond Fleming's limited, original intentions.

It is not difficult to appreciate why the storyline for the film was almost completely jettisoned for the film. Written as a sequel to the excellent "On her majesty's secret service" the novel commences with Bond in a state of mental breakdown following the murder of his wife by Blofeld. A secret mission to Japan is seen as the tonic but rather than concoct a decent plot and populate it with more credible villains, Fleming turns the book into a virtual travelogue with the Japanese secret service chief Tanaka acting as his guide to the very alien culture of Japan. Tanaka is by far the novel's most vivid creation but the Australian equivalent of Felix Leiter is portrayed in such a fashion that it is impossible not to conjure up an image of Sir Les Patterson when reading the passages where he appears. By this stage in the series Fleming was heartily fed up with his creation and this story is a marked contrast to his laser sharp short stories where Bond is portrayed as a more clinical and colder character.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A good read
Published 2 days ago by MR
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent read.
Published 14 days ago by MR A M DAVIS
3.0 out of 5 stars It's just a little bit boring.
It is impossible to call any of Fleming's Bond books awful - even the short stories had their charm. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Julia
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A good read I'd recomend this to anyone.Pure escapism.
Published 1 month ago by John Dunn
2.0 out of 5 stars You Only Live Twice - James Bond Or Taro Todoroki?
James Bond's life is in a mess as he struggles to deal with the assassination of Tracy by Ernst Stavro Blofeld within minutes of their wedding in the last instalment (On Her... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Tigerclaw
5.0 out of 5 stars ian fleming cant fail
as ever, well produced by the bbc, well read, and for lovers of ian fleming, and audio books, very well worth the money, i enjoyed it enormously. Read more
Published 12 months ago by currer bell
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fleming masterpiece
Quite a lot of Fleming's 007 book have received high praise but YOLT is the best I have read yet! Brilliantly continued on from OHMSS with surprises and action throughout with... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Matthew Plummer
5.0 out of 5 stars Flemings Best
I haven't looked at the films the same since reading the books Bond is more than just a man with a gun in this one
Published 13 months ago by weatherwax
3.0 out of 5 stars You Only Live Twice: Ian Fleming - Bondosan slays it with flowers
Contains plot spoilers.

First published in 1964, this is the twelfth print outing (eleventh full length novel) for Ian Fleming's James Bond. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Victor
3.0 out of 5 stars You Only Live Twice: Ian Fleming - Bondosan slays it with flowers
Contains plot spoilers.

First published in 1964, this is the twelfth print outing (eleventh full length novel) for Ian Fleming's James Bond. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Victor
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