For Your Eyes Only (Bond 8)

By Ian Fleming

Rating: 3 stars

I mostly read this because I never have read a James Bond story and wanted to see how different they were to the Bond we know from the films. This is a collection of five short stories and the first thing that struck me was that Bond was only on active duty in two of them (‘From a View to a Kill’ and ‘Risico’). He was sent on a personal revenge mission by M in ‘For Your Eyes Only’, isn’t involved in ‘Quantum of Solace’ at all, except as part of a framing story and has just finished a mission and is at a loose end for a while in ‘The Hildebrand Rarity’.

The Bond of the book felt very different to the suave ladykiller that we’ve come to know from the films, very much more grounded and, frankly, not necessarily likeable. And I was struck that the stories often still reflected the trappings of empire, even though that empire was very much in decline in the 1960s when the book was written. All in all, interesting in an historical sense but I’ll not be clambering to read more Bond books.

Book details

Publisher: Pan Books
Year of publication: 1960

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