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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On Her Majesty's Secret Service: Ian Fleming - Happy Christmas Mr Bond...
On Her Majesty's Secret Service: Ian Fleming - Happy Christmas Mr Bond...

OHMSS is the eleventh appearance in print (counting the short story collection of For Your Eyes Only as one entry) for Ian Fleming's James Bond. Originally published in 1963 it finds our hero disillusioned with life in the secret service after a year on the trail of the probably dead...
Published on 23 Oct. 2012 by Victor

versus
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A low key adaptation
I read all the Bond books as a young teenager, and I loved them for their mix of glamour, action and adventure - and of course, Bond himself - sexy, charismatic, a good guy with the dangerous aura of the bad guy... OHMSS was always my favourite, as it showed Bond as a more rounded character, thoughtful and loving, who is the redeemer and who is redeemed in his turn...
Published on 2 Oct. 2012 by Bee of Good Cheer


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On Her Majesty's Secret Service: Ian Fleming - Happy Christmas Mr Bond..., 23 Oct. 2012
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: On Her Majesty's Secret Service
On Her Majesty's Secret Service: Ian Fleming - Happy Christmas Mr Bond...

OHMSS is the eleventh appearance in print (counting the short story collection of For Your Eyes Only as one entry) for Ian Fleming's James Bond. Originally published in 1963 it finds our hero disillusioned with life in the secret service after a year on the trail of the probably dead Blofeld after the events of Thunderball. On the point of resigning, a chance encounter with a girl with the sort of problems that even Bond finds difficult to deal with changes both of their lives. Soon Bond is on the scent of Blofeld, tracking him down through means as varied as Corsican gangsters and the Royal College of Arms. And along the way Bond falls prey to that which he had always feared, committing an act seemingly out of character that leads to the gripping and numbing finale, with an ending even bleaker than that of Casino Royale.

This has all of Fleming's trademarks, all the qualities that made almost all of his Bond stories great reads. From the off there is a feeling of danger for Bond, either as he and Tracy are kidnapped in the opening pages, or when he is working undercover, with the threat of discovery always in the background, through to big final battle. The action scenes, especially Bond's frantic ski chase, are written with verve and vigour, and leave the reader breathless with excitement. There is character development for Bond - it is interesting to observe him becoming emotionally involved with someone for the first time, as Tracy breaks down the walls surrounding his heart. There are great descriptive passages, one can almost taste the salt in the air when Bond os on the beach, or feel the cold and see the icy snow spraying up as he is chased through the Alps. I love this aspect of Fleming's writing, very few authors can do such good descriptive work and still keep the action flowing and entertaining. And few authors of action novels bother to colour their tales so richly. Finally there is the feeling of something different. There are not many action thrillers which rely on a knowledge of heraldry, or a visit to the royal college of arms, populated by people with names such as Sable Basilisk! This section, essential to the plot, could have been dry and boring, but Fleming injects it with a little humour and makes it an enjoyable little diversion.

The plot is great, the action thrilling when it comes, the feeling of tension and danger all pervading and gives the book a real edge. The interweaving of Bond's personal life is an ingenious stroke, and lifts this book higher than most of the rest of the series. It is a classic book, worthy of 5 stars.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars James Bond - human being, 2 Jan. 2003
By 
K. Narayanan (Chennai, Tamil Nadu India) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
If you are used to the James Bond of the movies- this James Bond may come as a bit of a surprise - We see him as a bored bureaucrat on a thankless job, as a bit of a snob, as a hothead turned on by a woman overtaking him, as a loner trying to come to terms with - perish forbid - matrimony!
We follow him as he impersonates a Scottish peer, trying to act as a heraldry expert- We see him struggle to maintain his cover when a colleague is killed in front of him -We also see him meet Sable Basilisk and Griffon Orr Pursuivant, and discover his family motto - "the world is not enough" -
and his crest(3 bezants (balls)-"I am sure that is a valuable bonus")
We meet his prospective father in law, an uncommon criminal with the name of an angel - we follow him through his bloody and desperate ski ride through the Swiss alps- and we are there with him at the end of the book - where Bond takes the girl in his arms and says that they have all the time in the world.
Its not a book with a clean ending - its more like a significant chapter of the James Bond file - The most devastating personally - but as far as saving the world or Britain is concerned, the operation is done "offscreen" so to speak.
And the ending is surely one of the best of all thriller endings.
Riveting stuff- the most gadgety movie can't come near this stuff.
They dont make books or heroes like that anymore...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On Her Majesty's Secret Service: Ian Fleming - Happy Christmas Mr Bond..., 23 Oct. 2012
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
OHMSS is the eleventh appearance in print (counting the short story collection of For Your Eyes Only as one entry) for Ian Fleming's James Bond. Originally published in 1963 it finds our hero disillusioned with life in the secret service after a year on the trail of the probably dead Blofeld after the events of Thunderball. On the point of resigning, a chance encounter with a girl with the sort of problems that even Bond finds difficult to deal with changes both of their lives. Soon Bond is on the scent of Blofeld, tracking him down through means as varied as Corsican gangsters and the Royal College of Arms. And along the way Bond falls prey to that which he had always feared, committing an act seemingly out of character that leads to the gripping and numbing finale, with an ending even bleaker than that of Casino Royale.

This has all of Fleming's trademarks, all the qualities that made almost all of his Bond stories great reads. From the off there is a feeling of danger for Bond, either as he and Tracy are kidnapped in the opening pages, or when he is working undercover, with the threat of discovery always in the background, through to big final battle. The action scenes, especially Bond's frantic ski chase, are written with verve and vigour, and leave the reader breathless with excitement. There is character development for Bond - it is interesting to observe him becoming emotionally involved with someone for the first time, as Tracy breaks down the walls surrounding his heart. There are great descriptive passages, one can almost taste the salt in the air when Bond os on the beach, or feel the cold and see the icy snow spraying up as he is chased through the Alps. I love this aspect of Fleming's writing, very few authors can do such good descriptive work and still keep the action flowing and entertaining. And few authors of action novels bother to colour their tales so richly. Finally there is the feeling of something different. There are not many action thrillers which rely on a knowledge of heraldry, or a visit to the royal college of arms, populated by people with names such as Sable Basilisk! This section, essential to the plot, could have been dry and boring, but Fleming injects it with a little humour and makes it an enjoyable little diversion.

The plot is great, the action thrilling when it comes, the feeling of tension and danger all pervading and gives the book a real edge. The interweaving of Bond's personal life is an ingenious stroke, and lifts this book higher than most of the rest of the series. It is a classic book, worthy of 5 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You Have All The Time in The World, 22 May 2015
By 
SirChutney "@sirchutney" (Newcastle upon Tyne, UK) - See all my reviews
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is the tenth novel in Ian Fleming’s James Bond series. It was first published in 1963. It is the second book in what is known as the “Blofeld trilogy“. This begins with Thunderball and concludes with You Only Live Twice. Fleming wrote the book in Jamaica whilst the first film in the Eon Productions series of films, Dr. No, was being filmed nearby.

After The Spy Who Loved Me’ ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ is a return to form. In some ways it is a typical Fleming book. The plot is over the top and the story is exciting. Bond is in danger throughout. We also get the customary large scale battle at the end. This is all interspersed with action and pace, for example Bond’s frenetic ski chase. But in other ways Fleming departs from his normal blueprint as he shows an emotional side to Bond. Bond visits the grave of Casino Royale‘s Vesper Lynd, which he apparently does every year. He also asks the enigmatic Tracy to marry him after becoming emotionally involved. Both Bond and Tracey appear to be isolated people who both want more security in life.

Fleming is also great at the descriptive passages too. The scenes on the beach or in the Alps are well depicted and expressed in a way without breaking up a flow in the narrative. Fleming does insist on protracted explanations of card games and alpine sports.

In summary, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is a notable chapter in the saga of James Bond. It pits Bond against his arch nemesis Blofeld’s and is one of the better books. The mingling of Bond’s personal life into the tale elevates this book higher than most in the series and this keeps the reader gripped until the end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On Her Majesty's Secret Service: Ian Fleming - Happy Christmas Mr Bond..., 23 Oct. 2012
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
OHMSS is the eleventh appearance in print (counting the short story collection of For Your Eyes Only as one entry) for Ian Fleming's James Bond. Originally published in 1963 it finds our hero disillusioned with life in the secret service after a year on the trail of the probably dead Blofeld after the events of Thunderball. On the point of resigning, a chance encounter with a girl with the sort of problems that even Bond finds difficult to deal with changes both of their lives. Soon Bond is on the scent of Blofeld, tracking him down through means as varied as Corsican gangsters and the Royal College of Arms. And along the way Bond falls prey to that which he had always feared, committing an act seemingly out of character that leads to the gripping and numbing finale, with an ending even bleaker than that of Casino Royale.

This has all of Fleming's trademarks, all the qualities that made almost all of his Bond stories great reads. From the off there is a feeling of danger for Bond, either as he and Tracy are kidnapped in the opening pages, or when he is working undercover, with the threat of discovery always in the background, through to big final battle. The action scenes, especially Bond's frantic ski chase, are written with verve and vigour, and leave the reader breathless with excitement. There is character development for Bond - it is interesting to observe him becoming emotionally involved with someone for the first time, as Tracy breaks down the walls surrounding his heart. There are great descriptive passages, one can almost taste the salt in the air when Bond os on the beach, or feel the cold and see the icy snow spraying up as he is chased through the Alps. I love this aspect of Fleming's writing, very few authors can do such good descriptive work and still keep the action flowing and entertaining. And few authors of action novels bother to colour their tales so richly. Finally there is the feeling of something different. There are not many action thrillers which rely on a knowledge of heraldry, or a visit to the royal college of arms, populated by people with names such as Sable Basilisk! This section, essential to the plot, could have been dry and boring, but Fleming injects it with a little humour and makes it an enjoyable little diversion.

The plot is great, the action thrilling when it comes, the feeling of tension and danger all pervading and gives the book a real edge. The interweaving of Bond's personal life is an ingenious stroke, and lifts this book higher than most of the rest of the series. It is a classic book, worthy of 5 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On Her Majesty's Secret Service: Ian Fleming - Happy Christmas Mr Bond..., 23 Oct. 2012
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
OHMSS is the eleventh appearance in print (counting the short story collection of For Your Eyes Only as one entry) for Ian Fleming's James Bond. Originally published in 1963 it finds our hero disillusioned with life in the secret service after a year on the trail of the probably dead Blofeld after the events of Thunderball. On the point of resigning, a chance encounter with a girl with the sort of problems that even Bond finds difficult to deal with changes both of their lives. Soon Bond is on the scent of Blofeld, tracking him down through means as varied as Corsican gangsters and the Royal College of Arms. And along the way Bond falls prey to that which he had always feared, committing an act seemingly out of character that leads to the gripping and numbing finale, with an ending even bleaker than that of Casino Royale.

This has all of Fleming's trademarks, all the qualities that made almost all of his Bond stories great reads. From the off there is a feeling of danger for Bond, either as he and Tracy are kidnapped in the opening pages, or when he is working undercover, with the threat of discovery always in the background, through to big final battle. The action scenes, especially Bond's frantic ski chase, are written with verve and vigour, and leave the reader breathless with excitement. There is character development for Bond - it is interesting to observe him becoming emotionally involved with someone for the first time, as Tracy breaks down the walls surrounding his heart. There are great descriptive passages, one can almost taste the salt in the air when Bond os on the beach, or feel the cold and see the icy snow spraying up as he is chased through the Alps. I love this aspect of Fleming's writing, very few authors can do such good descriptive work and still keep the action flowing and entertaining. And few authors of action novels bother to colour their tales so richly. Finally there is the feeling of something different. There are not many action thrillers which rely on a knowledge of heraldry, or a visit to the royal college of arms, populated by people with names such as Sable Basilisk! This section, essential to the plot, could have been dry and boring, but Fleming injects it with a little humour and makes it an enjoyable little diversion.

The plot is great, the action thrilling when it comes, the feeling of tension and danger all pervading and gives the book a real edge. The interweaving of Bond's personal life is an ingenious stroke, and lifts this book higher than most of the rest of the series. It is a classic book, worthy of 5 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On Her Majesty's Secret Service: Ian Fleming - Happy Christmas Mr Bond..., 23 Oct. 2012
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
OHMSS is the eleventh appearance in print (counting the short story collection of For Your Eyes Only as one entry) for Ian Fleming's James Bond. Originally published in 1963 it finds our hero disillusioned with life in the secret service after a year on the trail of the probably dead Blofeld after the events of Thunderball. On the point of resigning, a chance encounter with a girl with the sort of problems that even Bond finds difficult to deal with changes both of their lives. Soon Bond is on the scent of Blofeld, tracking him down through means as varied as Corsican gangsters and the Royal College of Arms. And along the way Bond falls prey to that which he had always feared, committing an act seemingly out of character that leads to the gripping and numbing finale, with an ending even bleaker than that of Casino Royale.

This has all of Fleming's trademarks, all the qualities that made almost all of his Bond stories great reads. From the off there is a feeling of danger for Bond, either as he and Tracy are kidnapped in the opening pages, or when he is working undercover, with the threat of discovery always in the background, through to big final battle. The action scenes, especially Bond's frantic ski chase, are written with verve and vigour, and leave the reader breathless with excitement. There is character development for Bond - it is interesting to observe him becoming emotionally involved with someone for the first time, as Tracy breaks down the walls surrounding his heart. There are great descriptive passages, one can almost taste the salt in the air when Bond os on the beach, or feel the cold and see the icy snow spraying up as he is chased through the Alps. I love this aspect of Fleming's writing, very few authors can do such good descriptive work and still keep the action flowing and entertaining. And few authors of action novels bother to colour their tales so richly. Finally there is the feeling of something different. There are not many action thrillers which rely on a knowledge of heraldry, or a visit to the royal college of arms, populated by people with names such as Sable Basilisk! This section, essential to the plot, could have been dry and boring, but Fleming injects it with a little humour and makes it an enjoyable little diversion.

The plot is great, the action thrilling when it comes, the feeling of tension and danger all pervading and gives the book a real edge. The interweaving of Bond's personal life is an ingenious stroke, and lifts this book higher than most of the rest of the series. It is a classic book, worthy of 5 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On Her Majesty's Secret Service: Ian Fleming - Happy Christmas Mr Bond..., 23 Oct. 2012
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
OHMSS is the eleventh appearance in print (counting the short story collection of For Your Eyes Only as one entry) for Ian Fleming's James Bond. Originally published in 1963 it finds our hero disillusioned with life in the secret service after a year on the trail of the probably dead Blofeld after the events of Thunderball. On the point of resigning, a chance encounter with a girl with the sort of problems that even Bond finds difficult to deal with changes both of their lives. Soon Bond is on the scent of Blofeld, tracking him down through means as varied as Corsican gangsters and the Royal College of Arms. And along the way Bond falls prey to that which he had always feared, committing an act seemingly out of character that leads to the gripping and numbing finale, with an ending even bleaker than that of Casino Royale.

This has all of Fleming's trademarks, all the qualities that made almost all of his Bond stories great reads. From the off there is a feeling of danger for Bond, either as he and Tracy are kidnapped in the opening pages, or when he is working undercover, with the threat of discovery always in the background, through to big final battle. The action scenes, especially Bond's frantic ski chase, are written with verve and vigour, and leave the reader breathless with excitement. There is character development for Bond - it is interesting to observe him becoming emotionally involved with someone for the first time, as Tracy breaks down the walls surrounding his heart. There are great descriptive passages, one can almost taste the salt in the air when Bond os on the beach, or feel the cold and see the icy snow spraying up as he is chased through the Alps. I love this aspect of Fleming's writing, very few authors can do such good descriptive work and still keep the action flowing and entertaining. And few authors of action novels bother to colour their tales so richly. Finally there is the feeling of something different. There are not many action thrillers which rely on a knowledge of heraldry, or a visit to the royal college of arms, populated by people with names such as Sable Basilisk! This section, essential to the plot, could have been dry and boring, but Fleming injects it with a little humour and makes it an enjoyable little diversion.

The plot is great, the action thrilling when it comes, the feeling of tension and danger all pervading and gives the book a real edge. The interweaving of Bond's personal life is an ingenious stroke, and lifts this book higher than most of the rest of the series. It is a classic book, worthy of 5 stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The BEST bond book ever, 5 Aug. 2000
By A Customer
Ian Fleming shows a completely different side of his cult star James bond in OHMSS, Bond appears caring and this develops his character brilliantly, and his marriage is one of the best aspects of any bond book, the book is funny and also tragic, but we all knew it would end that way
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5.0 out of 5 stars As we would have expected you, Mr Bond....., 13 July 2013
By 
Ian Thumwood "ian17577" (Winchester) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
It's pretty easy to spot the faults in Ian Fleming's novels and at times, the writing can be pretty poor with the author having a propensity to used exclaimation marks at the end of each sentence whenever there is any action. Sometimes the stories can stretch credibility or even seem naive by today's standards. From a literary point of view, this is almost the equivalent of eating at MacDonald's. That said, this book is a thoroughly good read and perhaps more credible than some of the lesser Bond books like "Moonraker." It is fast paced and reasonably well structured in comparison with some of the weaker efforts. It is also less sexist than some of the other offerings even if we must shake our heads in disapproval of his purusit of the girls in his office.

As far as the story is concerned, I felt this followed a very similar path to the film albeit the "groovy" Sixties element that marred the cinematic version is thankfully missing. Instead, you find that the girls in the clinic have unglamourous names like Beryl and there are references to ther U2 spy plane and Garry Powers. i.e. Fleming was not a fan of the "Swinging Sixties" as his negative comments about beatniks in this book testfies. Having earlier read "From Russia with love", the stories now seem to have moved on from the grim 1950's and on to the early part of the next decade - in fact, it is as if Fleming had started to be influenced by his character's screen incarnation.

If you are looking for a Bond novel that will fulfill your expectations, then "OHMSO" has this is bucket-loads. It is an archetypal Bond adventure and many elements of the films manifest themselves in this book whereas some of the other stories have an almost "black and white" feel than belongs to an era before Bond's appeared on screen. It's fair to say that Fleming could be uneven as a writer even within one book. I'm not surprised that Le Carre is alleged to have lambasted his work yet the films have a style and class about them that means there will always be an interest in understanding how James Bond was originally preceived.

All in all, this is one of the more credible and better written stories and has a fast pace even if Fleming seems to typically rush through the last third of his books. The film could have been excellent but was ruined by the wooden acting of Lazenby. On the page, Bond remains a more human and believable figure and it is this novel that has my preference to the filmatic equivalent.
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