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You Only Live Twice Hardcover – 1 Dec 1964

3.9 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

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--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd; 1st Edition edition (Dec. 1964)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224608509
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224608503
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14.2 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,893,691 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

A sensational imagination (Sunday Times )

Instructive and entertaining (Cyril Connolly ) --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

Book Description

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

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Contains plot spoilers.

First published in 1964, this is the twelfth print outing (eleventh full length novel) for Ian Fleming's James Bond. It was the last of the Bond series published in Fleming's life time.

Following the calamitous events at the end of `On Her Majesty's Secret Service', Bond is a wreck. He is drinking too much, he is gambling and losing too much, and even worse he is making mistakes on assignments that are putting lives at risk. M is on the verge of firing him from the service, but is persuaded by an eminent psychologist to give Bond one last chance, with an assignment so tough that it might shake Bond up and bring the old, dedicated and dangerous agent back to life. M sends him on a seemingly impossible mission to Japan, not to kill or investigate anything, but to schmooze the chief of Japanese intelligence into letting the British have access to a solid gold intelligence source they have in Russia. Bond is indeed shaken up and the assignment proves to be a tough one as he uses all his wits and judgement to get Tiger Tanaka on side. He gains the trust of the Japanese intelligence man, who agrees to hand over the intelligence, but at a price. He needs a deniable operative to perform an assassination, and it seems as though Bond fits the bill. One murder by Bond and the British can have all the access it wants. So Bond undergoes a transformation into a Japanese coal miner and is sent off to slay the mysterious Dr. Shatterhand in his garden of death. But it turns out that as well as the opportunity to fulfil his mission, Bond also has the opportunity for a personal revenge.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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 Majesty's Secret Service).

There is a good possibility he will be removed from active service when he is given a final chance on an impossible mission that takes him to Japan.

Whilst there he forms a friendship with Tiger Tanaka. Who is a senior figure in the Japanese Secret Service.

Tiger asks for Bond's help in a local matter. A Doctor Shatterband and his wife have recently arrived in Japan and have set up home in a castle in one if the nearby islands. They are encouraging people to come and commit suicide as Japan has high statistics of their people taking their life.

On being shown their photographs. Although disguised there is no doubt it is Ernst Stavro Blofeld and Irma Bunt who are masquerading as Doctor Shatterband and wife in their castle retreat.

Bond agrees to help. He does not let on that this is now a personal matter.

Does he get revenge over Blofeld?

This is a slow paced read which is better in the second half of this book. It lacks the action I associate with James Bond and the glamorous woman.

Then again the man is in a state of shook and like in his last adventure Bond finds a form of love in the shape of Kissy Suzuki.

Also mentioned in this are his parents Andrew Bond a foreign representative from Glencoe in Scotland and his Swiss mother Monique Delacroix who both perished whilst climbing at Chamonix in the French Alps when Bond was eleven years old.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Slightly unrealistic premise, but immensely satisfying story, even if the build up is more of a travel guide to the culture of Japan.

Fascinating character development for Bond as he recovers from the loss of his wife at M's behest.

A different kind of mission but with a satisfying outcome with our hero eventually allowed to get back on form.
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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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