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on 17 November 2017
A classic
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on 8 November 2012
Very entertaining! David Tennant TELLS the story with perfect inflections and accents! It was the perfect thing to listen to while on a long road trip!
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HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERon 23 October 2012
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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on 22 May 2015
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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on 13 September 2016
You might recognise this title, and if you do then you probably know that this book is one of the installations in the James Bond series. In fact, I’m assuming this was one of the earlier ones, because there’s a big twist at the end of the book which I knew was coming thanks to references back to it in later books.

In this book, 007 heads up into the Swiss Alps to track down Stavro Blofeld, one of his biggest and most enduring arch-enemies. Bond is there on a pretext, pretending to be an expert in genealogy who’s performing a service for Blofeld, but there’s danger at every turn, especially because he packs light to avoid any further suspicion.

For me, it was an enjoyable enough read, but it did get heavy at times and whilst I powered through it in a day, that was only because I spent most of the day travelling. It isn’t one of the best Bond books, but it just about sneaks its way into the top half, and if you’ve seen the movie then you’ll know what to expect and be able to make the call on whether to read it. Either way, I’d recommend it to other Bond fans, or people who like skiing and bobsleighing.
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HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 17 October 2012
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
First I'd like to say this is a really cracking audio book and is excellently narrated by the glorious David Tennant in all his native Scot's accent.

This book was written in 1962 and published when the world was a wholly different place.
There are two versions of James Bond the films and the books.

A modern reader reading the books for the first time is often surprised at how different James Bonds is. Bond is a lot more direct, less comedic and a lot more direct.
The other novels were published in the late 50s when times and attitudes were very different. Bond is a lot meaner and of the world.

But this novel is something different it was written when the films were on the go and to my ear it certainly has a cinematic feel to it as if Fleming was writing the story for the screen. As apposed to the other pre film books published in the 1950s.
Now this is no bad thing.
Like most Bond stories it really rolls along and Fleming has a good eye for detail and great descriptive skills he knows how to crank up the tension for the many exciting set scenes.

When this book was released as a film and for many people it was memorable because the James Bond roll was switched to George Lazenby.

Many people think he was a poor replacement for the much beloved Sean Connery a definite Scott- Lazenby was not Scottish (nor English and was chosen because rumour as it, because of the way he walked in a popular TV Commercial!)
but the other strange thing that has been noted by other fellow reviewers s that the publishers have chosen a Scottish narrator - David Tennant to read the book uses his Scots brogue, if that's the correct descriptive word?

To Tennant- he really is excellent. I have heard many of his audio readings - mostly via the Dr Who book releases where he has proved himself a gifted reader.
Here he handles the vocalizations really well and there are many to handle including a whole lot of the female type. He handles them with aplomb and the story is enhanced by his terrific vocal talents.

Fleming has written a really great story which entertains the listener.
If you like Bond in the films you will love this audio version.

The great thing is there are a whole slew of audio books to celebrate the anniversary of James Bond and that can't be bad thing can it?
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on 29 March 2012
Ian Fleming was certainly on top of his game when he wrote OHMSS. Following on from Thunderball and The Spy Who Loved Me, Blofeld's trail is going cold when Bond meets his match - the gorgeous and slightly reckless Tracy.

Disguising a love story as a thriller can't be an easy thing, and Fleming does it again in this story, with echoes from Casino Royale subtly arranged throughout the tale. The plot is incredibly believable from the emotional aspect in Bond himself through to Blofeld's secret mountain-top hideaway and dastardly plan.

It's almost fifteen years since I last read the Bond stories and I'm constantly impressed by how much more about the character they are than I remembered, and than in other books which purport to be of similar genre. I think this is why they have survived the intervening years and not been brushed aside like many other books must have been (although the film series probably helped).

The film version of OHMSS is one of the closest to the novel it was based on. George Lazenby's portrayal of Bond seemed to fit well with the character I was reading about and I found my mind's eye visualising him in the role. Overall, one of the best of the series - an absolute classic.
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on 30 May 2017
Nice size book, great graphic art. This is my favourite Bond film, and this book does it justice. Might well look at others in the same series now.
It came in very good time, well wrapped, thank you so much!
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VINE VOICEon 28 April 2016
Inarguably Fleming's best written story which would later become the best of the Bond movies.
In the books James is a bit more of a romantic than on film but even so he only truly falls in love twice and the story Herr between him and Tracy is as glorious as the action.
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on 16 July 2016
Not all of the Bond books were coherent from start to finish. Some of them wandered off and lost the reader. Some, like The Spy Who Loved Me are not about Bond at all but this is a classic Bond with all the elements. The film of this book is the one closest to any of the Bond books. Fleming builds the suspense superbly in his usual way.
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