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For Your Eyes Only: Five Secret Occasions in the Life of James Bond Hardcover – 1 Dec 1960

4.3 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd; 1st Edition edition (Dec. 1960)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224602055
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224602051
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 16.7 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,568,246 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

For Your Eyes Only is five Bonds for the price of one, showing Fleming equally at home with the short story as he was over the long haul. Related themes appear across the collection--domestic abuse, just revenge--but these are stories for reading in their own right.

From a View to a Kill has Bond in Paris, outsmarting both the bad guys and the other European intelligence services to solve a murder mystery centred on stolen NATO documents. Cold-blooded murder aside, this is a gentle and engrossing story with some fine descriptive touches by Fleming.

In For Your Eyes Only itself, Bond is on an M-instigated revenge mission in the wilds of Canada and Vermont. Notable for its account of his enemy stalking and unexpected rendezvous with the beautiful Judy Havelock, For Your Eyes Only also portrays closely the relationship between Bond and M, whose inertia over the correct course of action Bond resolves: "It had come to the point where justice ought to be done ... But M was thinking, is this justice or is it revenge? M wanted someone else, Bond, to deliver judgement".

Quantum of Solace is a brief but diverting oddity in which Bond barely moves from his seat. The story is an after-dinner tale of human cruelty told by his host--probably prompted by his preconceptions of Bond's work--which elicits the response, "It's extraordinary how much people can hurt each other." After this interlude, Risico picks up the pace with a heroin smuggling, vendetta-inspired rollercoaster set against an Italian backdrop.

In the final story, The Hildebrand Rarity, Bond finds himself in deep water on a fishing expedition when emotional and physical violence lead to another "justified" murder which Bond covers up. Who committed the crime? Does it matter? This is Bond as agent of natural justice above and beyond institutional law. --Iain Campbell --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


Mr Fleming's licensed assassin is in good form … Few men can have been able to mix business with pleasure so successfully as Bond (The Times Literary Supplement ) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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.
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Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Although a collection of short stories, two of which seemed to be quite un-Bond-like, they all really add to his character and are told with exquisite attention to detail.

Each highly different from the others and with neat little flourishes to keep you guessing, this was a really enjoyable departure from the full novels.

Good reading.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Bond books continue to fascinate. Many of the famous ones often contrast with the films and the delight for me is reading those books where the stories have little relation to their cinematic counterpart. By the time Fleming had written the five stories in this collection he had really hit his stride and whilst some of the longer efforts tend to get a bit flabby (especially at their conclusions) I think it is fair to say that the shorter efforts represent his best efforts. Something like "The spy who loved me" is demonstrative of how Fleming honed his journalistic style of writing in the shorter books. This collection offers some even better story telling and, in my opinion is the best of all the 7 Bond books I have read to date and has dated markedly less than many of the other publications.

The five stories in this collection actually starts weakly. "From a view to a kill" concerns the assasination of a dispatch rider and the subsequent endeavours of James Bond to rectify the situation. The method of subterfuge used is highly improbable and the story loses credibility insofar that the ruse should be repeated a second time. However, this short effort is followed by the brilliant "For your eyes only" where Bond is sent on a mission of personal retribution by M. This is typical Bond territory and has the feel of the opening sequence from a Bond film with there being plenty of action and a more decisive 007. "A quantum of solace" is an experimental piece and involves Bond as a reluctant guest at a dinner party where his host explains a story about a former colleague. Oddly enough , Fleming is often at his best the further he is removed from the world of espionage and the little twist at the end makes this a compelling story despite the lack of action.
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