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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Short Stories That Give Bond Added Depth
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...
Published on 13 Aug 2009 by C. Green

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Five stories, only three of which are really about Bond
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...
Published on 9 Oct 2003 by A. Ross


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Five stories, only three of which are really about Bond, 9 Oct 2003
By 
A. Ross (Washington, DC) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: For Your Eyes Only (James Bond 007) (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. Fleming creates a rather prescient version of "The War on Drugs" by directing Bond to act against the insidious enemy of drugs. It's a classic Bond story in that Bond is easily duped, meets a pretty woman, meets an unlikely ally, and engages in near fatal gunplay. (And of course, at the end, the drug pipeline to England is all a nasty Soviet plot.) The final story, "The Hildebrand Rarity", is again, barely a Bond story—reducing him to observer status. He's not really on the job, but instead inexplicably agrees to hire himself out as a fishing expert in the Seychelles. Basically, he's just there as an audience for another marriage-gone-sour story. There is a villain, there is a murder, but Bond's not really a central character in it. The only real purpose to the story seems to be to allow Fleming to work out his own issues vis-à-vis American millionaires.
On the whole, these stories don't add much to the Bond canon. It would have been more interesting had Fleming chose to give us a taste of Bond's action in the Ardennes in WWII, or of the two assignments that led to his 00 designation (both of which are mentioned in Casino Royale). Still, the first story is worth a quick read, and "For Your Eyes Only" and "Risico" will be of interest to those who love the film versions.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Collection of short stories, one of which is 'Quantum of Solace', 6 Mar 2008
This review is from: For Your Eyes Only (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Short Stories That Give Bond Added Depth, 13 Aug 2009
By 
C. Green "happily low brow" (Quenington, Glos, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: For Your Eyes Only (Paperback)
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Short but perfectly formed, 19 Oct 2001
Five short stories from the creator of James Bond and a curious assortment they are to. Fleming seemed to use the short story technique as an easy way to display Bond in a variety of social and foreign locations and as such not all these tales are of Bond strictly 'on the job', so to speak. Fleming also struggles to fit any romance in such a restricted timespace, but to his credit never gives up.
'From a View To a Kill' is probably the weakest of the five stories and ends up by being unintentionally amusing. Bond is on his way through France after a previous failed assignment on the Austro-Hungarian border (most of these tales actually start with Bond being at a loose-end after a previous assignment) until he is press-ganged by Station F in Paris into investigating the murder of a British Army motorcycle dispatch rider and the stealing of his documents which contained 'all the top gen'
from SHAPE headquarters. Bond eventually uncovers a 'left-behind spy unit' inhabiting a sinister subterranean hideout in a forest clearing, from which they peer at the world through a periscope. The comparison to the Tellytubbies home is unfortunately inescapable. The humourous aspect is not helped when the spies cover their tracks by
wearing tennis-racket style snow shoes as they high-stepped backwards and forwards. When you see the title don't even think of the film of the same name, as like certain other of the Bond films the only thing it has in common with the written version is the title itself.
'For Your Eyes Only' (any similarity to the film of the same name is again, purely coincidental) is basically another 'hit' tale, but this time with an element of personal revenge added. It concerns the brutal murder of two of M's friends in colonial Jamaica and Bond's journey to Vermont to dispense justice. This story starts with a
delightfully descriptive account of a glorious 'lazy day' in a colonial house garden near the Blue Mountains in late 1950's Jamaica. Fleming is at his best when describing his beloved Jamaica, and for a while the reader is there too, sitting next to Colonel and Mrs Havelock on the veranda drinking tea. This device is also extremely
effective in garnering the readers sympathy for M's evident distress over their demise and to win their support for Bond's revenge mission. Time is spelt out for us with unusual clarity with Colonel Havelock's references to the situation in Cuba towards the end of the Batista years. Unfortunately for him and Mrs Havelock, 'Cuba' was
about to descend on them in a most unexpected and terrible fashion.
The Bahamas is the setting for 'Quantum of Solace', but it doesn't really matter, for
all the action takes place indoors, in the Governor's residence to be exact. I found this
the most curious of this set of five and indeed, it can arguably be stated that it is the most curious of all Bond's adventures because....it's not really a Bond adventure at all ! Let me explain; this tale is about how love when speared by deceit can turn to hate, but it's not experienced by Bond, it's told over cigars and drinks TO Bond BY the Governor, as he attempts to fill in a 'polite hour' after dinner, before they could both retire to bed. The protagonists of the Governor's story are one Philip Masters, of the
Colonial Service, and his pretty young wife called Rhoda. It is revealed to Bond how
their wedded bliss became a living hell on Bermuda. There is a slight twist in the tail
at the end of the Governors narrative and Bond is left feeling hollow as he thinks about the emptiness of his so-called dramatic life. This is a feeling that will probably last until he beds his next beauty.
'Risico' (an Italian double agents attempt at the word 'risk') is a tale that has the reader wondering just who is the good guy and who is the bad, as we, and Bond's, sympathies, are first pulled one way and then the other. Set in Italy, this tale concerns Bond's attempts to try and stem the flow of heroin coming into Britain. He initally starts out by acting on information received from a double agent for the American's,
one Signor Kristatos, which points to the smuggling chief being 'The Dove', Enrico
Colombo, but how reliable is Kristatos's information ?
The last tale is called 'The Hildebrand Rarity' and the title refers to a very rare fish that inhabits Chagrin Island in the Seycelles group. Bond (again at a loose end following a previous case) agrees to act as a 'fish-finder' for the wealthy but obnoxious American, Milton Krest. The story eventually turns into a 'whodunnit ?' as the unfortunate Mr Krest ends up dying in very fishy circumstances.
An enjoyable selection of short stories then. As you would expect, the plots aren't as involved as the longer novels but this brevity has its own attractions. It is not long before you are straight into the action and you don't really have enough time to know just what is going to happen next. Some are better than others but all are immensely readable and at the end of the day that's what it's all about isn't it ?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A collection more for the fan than the casual reader, 11 Jan 2012
By 
Jim J-R (West Sussex, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: For Your Eyes Only (Paperback)
The first of two collections of Ian Fleming's short stories about James Bond makes for interesting reading. There are several themes that flow through, from the usual exotic locations and deaths of the Bond novels to more of a focus on the people - in four cases Bond himself.

Despite this it seems that the collection might not appeal to any but the dedicated fan - they certinly don't have quite the entertainment value of the full length novels. 'From a View to a Kill', 'For Your Eyes Only' and 'Risico' certainly follow the thriller model, focusing on several missions given Bond by M. However of these only Risico really felt like it had the potential to develop into something more.

'Quantum of Solace' is quite different, and Bond plays barely any role in the story apart from as an excuse for it to be told. We lean a little more about his character, as in all these stories, but mostly it seems to be a vehicle for a strikingly plausible tale that Fleming wants to tell.

Finally, 'The Hildebrand Rarity' seems to be almost a test-bed for some of the features of 'Thunderball'. It's another look into Bond's personality, but with a twist that sets it apart a little from the others.

I've enjoyed the little collection, though probably not as much as I enjoy the novels, and would only really recommend it for readers who have already absorbed those and needs that tiny bit more insight into the character.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly surprising, 24 Mar 2001
By A Customer
As with most short stories I begun with a few apprehensions but they were very much dispelled by the end of the first story 'From a view to a kill'. The next four stories were all as good as eachother but my particular favourite was Risico which featured characters from the film For Your Eyes Only which was the only similarity between the film and the book. I thoroughly recommend it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Short story-tastic, 18 April 2009
By 
Stuart Fleming "spiderstu" (Derby, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: For Your Eyes Only (Paperback)
Excellent insight into the character. Each story is easy to fit in to a hectic day. Ideal for reading when travelling.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bond in shorts...., 23 Oct 2013
The first of the James Bond short story collections. Although many of the title's have been used for the films, the storylines are in no way similar.

I am not normally a fan of short stories as I find them difficult to get into. However these are in no way your standard flick through tales. I suppose that they could all be labelled more of a novella. Although Bond features in each one he is not always the main character. For example in Quantum of Solace, Bond is told the story and takes a back seat to learn a valuable lesson of revenge. Different themes are explored and Bond's personal relationship with 'M' comes under scrutiny in For your eyes only, allowing us to see the actual person behind the letters.

I won't give a run down on the plot for each one but I have to say that in my opinion the best storyline was saved until last. The Hildebrand Rarity has enough mystery and intrigue to make the reader wish for sequel. I hated leaving the book wondering what had happened.

Nearly as good as the novels, and don't be put off by the format.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming - Bond shows a quantum of solace in this rarity, 25 Sep 2013
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
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Published in 1960, this collection of short stories was the eighth print outing for Ian Fleming's superspy James Bond. By using a short story format Fleming was forced to write pithier, faster tales than a full length novel, but was also free to experiment a little with his story telling and tell stories that would just not sit comfortably within the usual Bond milieu. For my money it is one of Fleming's best pieces of writing. Story by story:

From a view to a kill - This is a `straight' Bond adventure, a fast paced thrilling ride from start to finish, with a lot of incident packed into it. The tale opens dramatically with the murder of a dispatch rider in France. Bond is sent in to try and find the killer, and soon is onto a hitherto unseen trail due to an old maxim of M's. There is an interesting investigation and the tales ends with a thrilling action set piece.

For your eyes only - The tale opens with the brutal murder of an elderly couple in Jamaica. Bond is dispatched by M to avenge the murder, as it turns out the couple were old friends of M. The meeting between M and Bond is superb, and starts a running theme throughout the story of the morality of Bond's actions, and the weight that is sometimes on M's shoulders. There is a vividly drawn section with Bond closing in on his prey, and a tensely written and thrilling final shootout. It's the best of the `straight' adventures here.

Quantum of solace - Don't worry, this bears no resemblance to the film, it is much much better. This is the first of the tales here in which Fleming tries to do something different. Bond is attending a dull dinner party, after it ahs finished hi host starts to tell him a story about one of the hosts old friends, his emotional shortcomings and the break-up of his marriage. It's a clever piece of writing, managing to bring this every day tale into the Bond Milieu, and showing Bond's more human side as he reacts to the tale. Fleming in previous books had a really vivid prose style that he used to great effect to describe physical situations, here he uses it to similarly good effect to describe the emotional situation as he dissects the marriage. It's a superb piece of writing.

Risico - Another straight Bond adventure in which he is sent off to Italy to deal with a smuggling ring. After his initial contact with an informant he sets off to kill Enrico Columbo, who he has been told is the head of the racket. But after a dramatic scene, Columbo captures Bond and in a well written meeting the two men become friends. Columco tells Bond that he has been set up by the informer, adn they set off together to deal with the real villain in another excellently portrayed shootout.

The Hildebrand rarity - The second experimental tale here. Bond is travelling on a yacht with a tycoon and his wife. The tycoon is a bully, and regularly beats his wife. He is also searching for a rare fish, the Hildebrand rarity of the title. After finding and killing the fish, he is later found dead himself. After an internal debate, Bond sets the scene to make it look like an accident rather than murder, so as to save himself from being embroiled in a murder investigation, and because he feels sorry for the wife. This is another tale that focuses on Bond's human side, and looks at his attitude to death and morality.

The book is worth 5 stars.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Different to the films, 15 July 1999
By A Customer
This was one of the very first Bond books I read after watching the repeats of the films on ITV. I have always been fascinated by the secret service and decided to try a novel about it. One of the first things which struck me about this book was how different it was to the films. You really get a better understanding of the films after reading a Bond story. It gives more of an insight into Bond's feelings and emotions towards the situation which he finds himself in. Anyone who likes the films should definitely try reading an Ian Fleming novel for themselves. For Your Eyes Only is brilliantly written and makes you feel differently about the James Bond character. The only downside to the book is that you would expect a Bond novel to contain more action than it does. Excellent.
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For Your Eyes Only (James Bond 007)
For Your Eyes Only (James Bond 007) by Ian Fleming (Paperback - 4 April 2002)
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