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The Spy Who Loved Me (James Bond 007) Paperback – 4 Apr 2002


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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (4 April 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141003006
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141003009
  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 11.1 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,289,145 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)


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By a little bit of a grumpy old so and so on 5 Jun 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is quite unlike any other Bond book I have read. or a start it is written in the first person, from the perspective of Vivienne, a Canadian girl livening initially in London, but who embarks on a tour of North America. Bond plays only a fairly small part in the book, surprisingly so. Like most of Flemings writing it is quite decorative and lacks nothing in pace. It is quite surprising that Fleming, famed as a misogynist took on this book and it stands up really quote well and is far less patronising than one might have feared of expected. Well worth a read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. H. Evans on 12 Sep 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A little different from the run of the mill James Bond books. Exciting as always though. Bought for my Kindle as the original paperback, some 30 years old now, is getting rather fragile! If you are a James Bond fan, this is a 'must read'. James Evans
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. R. Johnson-Rollings on 2 Mar 2012
Format: Paperback
The first thing to know about The Spy Who Loved Me is that it is not a typical James Bond adventure by any stretch. This is the story of Viv Michel, a Canadian working in an American motel when gangsters descend. It's a very personal, almost coming-of-age, tale, told in the first-person.

It feels much more akin to the short stories of For Your Eyes Only than the other full novels in Fleming's Bond series, and is short enough that I read it through in a single day. The style though is very Fleming and Michel is just as opinionated as the Bond character in other stories. It's certainly one of the most believable stories in the set and most of the emotion is put across with a gripping realism.

It's quite a graphic novel, probably due to the nature of the narrative, and includes some of the most graphic sexual scenes of the Bond novels as Michel recounts her short personal history in the first third of the text. I wonder how shocking some of this might have been in the sixties when the book was first published.

Yes, it is very different from the usual Bond story, but it just shows the breadth of Fleming's writing ability was not limited just to thrillers. It's not an adventure, but knowing that before reading it (after all, I have read it before) I think I appreciated it more than the previous few stories in the series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. Green TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 Jun 2010
Format: Paperback
If 'The Spy Who Loved Me' (TSWLM) was the first on Ian Fleming's James Bond novels that someone read they might be forgiven for wondering a.) how a book of this sort could have inspired the movies adaptations that followed and b.) where all the espionage and adventure they were expecting had gone. There's also a good chance that they'd never pick up another Bond novel out of sheer disappointment, so if you've never read any of Fleming's books before (or have only picked up one or two) I would not recommend starting with TSWLM. Go back to the beginning as I did and start with Casino Royale. Its a worthwhile exercise.

For those familiar with Fleming's books TSWLM will still come as a surprise, as it is most definitely not a normal Bond novel. In fact its not really a novel, more a literary experiment on the part of the author masquerading as a glorified short story. Sticking to a three act structure the book is narrated by a young Canadian woman, Viv Michel, who in Act One recounts how she went from a comfortable upbringing in Montreal, via finishing school and a career in journalism in London, to being holed up in a deserted motel in Adrionacks in the US during a severe thunderstorm. Act Two then centres on the arrival of two gangsters with nefarious motives at the motel and how they go from initially unsettling to threatening and eventually attacking the vulnerable Viv. Only in Act Three does James Bond finally arrive on the scene and effect a rescue of Viv.

In almost every respect TSWLM is unlike any other Bond novel. Along with the narration from Viv throughout and the lack of James Bond for two thirds of the book's length there's also no espionage for Bond to undertake even once he does appear (his arrival on the scene being entirely coincidental).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 Jan 2002
Format: Paperback
This is the best Bond. Fleming was wrong to be embarassed with it. It is a masterpiece, very different, very refreshing. utterly compelling.
THis is my favourite of all the Bond novels. most of them i found okay reads, but didnt really understand what the fuss was all about. the films are far superior, usually.
But this one just blew me away. Fleming deviates from his formula, and writes the best novel of his career. UNfortunately, it is also the shortest.
The characters here are great, the two killers chiiling. Bond takes on a mythical quality (as a previous reviewer said) in the way he seems to come and go, rather in the manner of a fairy godmother. (although he himself would probably hate ever being assosciated with that phrase!)
The plot of this one is nicely simple, easy to get to grips with, and the writing is very good. I enjoyed this book most out of all the Bond i've read (i.e. all of them). This is a very, very, good, novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By G. Hill on 27 April 2010
Format: Paperback
As this is one of the later books in the series, I found this to be an interesting take on Bond. It is the only book written in the first person from the perspective of another character; the heroine. Bond doesn't even appear until we are well in to the story. The heroine's character had enough to keep me interested and I was waiting to see how Bond would fit in to the dynamic of the story as it unfolded. The end of the story is also a novel one as a character previously unseen and unheard gives an assessment about the type of man that Bond probably is.

I have read that Fleming wasn't happy with this story. Whether that is because of the reaction to it (which was negative), or because he was genuinely unhappy with what he produced is hard to say. Either way it is not the best in the series. There are some holes and times it does have a rushed feel to it. But approach it as something a bit different to the other Bond books and you'll be satisfied with the result.
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