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Octopussy and 007 in New York by I Fleming

Octopussy and 007 in New York (edition 2008)

by I Fleming

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Title:Octopussy and 007 in New York
Authors:I Fleming
Info:Penguin Books (2008), Paperback
Collections:Your library

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Octopussy and The Living Daylights by Ian Fleming



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I listened to the audio book of this. I mean, come on, it's James Bond and read by T. Hiddleston- you can't really ask for a better match than that for tone quality and accent.
The way the stories were read made it very easy to just zone out and listen without getting lost or losing interest. That's a big bonus for me because I'm a visual/tactile reader. I love the feeling of pages between my fingers, the heft of a book in my hands and enjoying the type of font they've chosen for it.
I found myself really getting sucked into all three of the stories. I think I liked The Living Daylights the best. Something about some of the lines of James Bond getting annoyed or the Capt. getting excited made me rewind them to get a second listen since the first time I was too distracted giggling to fully hear what was said.

Lucy Fleming (Ian's daughter) read the final story "007 in New York" after a short interview with Tom Hiddleston. Lucy's reading definitely had a different feel to it from the other stories. Hers felt more...distanced? Probably because having Tom read the stories felt more like a performance (since the stories are incredibly masculine for obvious reasons) and Lucy's felt like having a friend visiting, reading to cheer you up if you were stuck sick in bed. It was still a great read and I enjoyed it. ( )
  jovemako | Aug 7, 2015 |
Having now completed all 14 Bond books by Fleming, I have these observations:

1) Bond is very much a man of his time who reflects Fleming's attitudes about the world. He is particular about women, food, drink, cars, guns, and many other things that are fascinating to men who don't really want to grow up.

2) Bond's worldview values order and freedom. He thinks the English are best suited to facilitating a world that fits his view.

3) Bond is a romantic. He loves a certain kind of woman and values them as helpers, companions, and lovers.

4) I say Bond is a romantic despite "rants" in Casino Royale and other novels against long-term relationships and family life. The later books all have Bond musing about the possibility of "settling down." This persona, by the way, is very different from the Bond of the movies, except maybe for the Daniel Craig movies, in which Bond seems a little more tender toward the women in his life.

5) Some of my favorite moments in the novels are when Fleming spends time writing about non-spy things in which he is interested. For example, food, cards, and golf.

6) Although Bond is an iconic character - and Fleming had to know this once the series took off - the author shies away from making Bond a flawless hero who is always at the center of the action of the novel. Fleming spends long sections of books examining the antagonists and the worlds from which they emerge, and even steps away from Bond entirely in a couple of stories and the disastrous The Spy Who Loved Me.

Overall, well worth the time I devoted to them. A completely new perspective on the character I have loved in the movies.
  scootm | Jun 30, 2015 |
The last of Fleming’s 007 books, and that means I’ve now read the lot. I can now cross them off the list. Yay. Although, to be honest, I’m not entirely sure why I decided I had to read them all – because it turned out they were all pretty terrible. Octopussy & The Living Daylights is, as the title might suggest, a collection – and both story titles have been used for Bond movies, although the films bear zero resemblance to the source material (as usual). In ‘Octopussy’, an ex-SOE man who was a bit naughty with some gold in Italy just after the war finished is visited at his home in Jamaica by Bond. Certain hints are dropped, but the man accidentally gets stung by a stonefish while feeding it to an octopus he has sort of adopted. In ‘The Living Daylights’, Bond has been charged with killing a sniper who they’ve learnt will make an attempt on a defector who’s making a run for it from East to West Berlin. Bond has always been brutal, but this one is more brutal than most. ‘The Property of a Lady’ sees Bond trying to flush out a Soviet spy during an auction for a Fabergé globe. The last story is a squib in which Bond flies to New York, daydreams about the day ahead… only to cock up the reason he’s been sent there. Meh. ( )
  iansales | Feb 22, 2015 |
In these shorter works, Fleming's mastery at creating suspense even without a complex plot or much action is on display.

"Octopussy" is the story of a British major who stole some Nazi gold during the war, committing murder in the process. Bond is sent to investigate, and basically shows up in the story just to inform the major that the jig is up. The story is basically a morality tale about how crime doesn't pay, truth will out, and all those sorts of clichés...but Fleming does an excellent job of showing why they are actually true---and more profoundly, how good ends cannot be achieved by evil means, and an action such as this results not in happiness but misery, even while one may (temporarily) "get away with it". A really interesting character study, and quite philosophically and psychologically astute.

In "The Living Daylights", Bond is sent to snipe a sniper...an assignment about which neither he nor M is thrilled. It's not quite murder, he knows, but almost...close enough from his perspective as the man who has to do it, at any rate. Lots of interesting characterization of Bond himself in this story.

"The Property of a Lady" is about a triple agent---a Soviet spy turned double, but actually still working for Moscow---being used by British intelligence to unwittingly pass on false information to her Russian spymasters. This part of the story is hardly fictionalized, and was much more interesting to read after learning about similar real-life espionage activities (see, for example, Agent Zigzag by Ben Macintyre). But when an unusual payoff reveals her true allegiance, Bond sees an opportunity to uncover her boss, the head of Soviet espionage activities in Britain. Again, for a story with basically no action (in the form of physical peril to Bond), this is surprisingly suspenseful. ( )
  AshRyan | Dec 14, 2011 |
The last of Flemings Bond books. Once again Bond is shown as a fuller, more flawed, and interesting character than in the movies. These 4 shorts stories leave me w a Bond that I want to read more about. But alas. . . . I hope the new movies continue telling the stories of this fallible and remarkable character. ( )
  JBreedlove | Dec 28, 2010 |
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First words
"You know what? said Major Dexter Smythe to the octopus.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This anthology contains two shorter works only, "Octopussy" and "The Living Daylights." Please distinguish between it and any editions that also include "The Property of a Lady" or "007 in New York." Thank you.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142003298, Paperback)

Whether it is tracking down a wayward major who has taken a deadly secret with him to the Caribbean or identifying a top Russian agent secretly bidding for a Fabergé egg in a Sotheby’s auction room, Bond always closes the case—with extreme prejudice.

This new Penguin edition comprises four stories, including  Fleming’s little-known story “007 in New York,” showcasing Bond’s taste for Manhattan’s special pleasures—from martinis at the Plaza and dinner at the Grand Central Oyster Bar to the perfect anonymity of the Central Park Zoo for a secret rendezvous.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:08 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

For James Bond, British secret agent 007, international espionage can be a dirty business. Tracking down a wayward major who has taken a deadly secret with him to the Caribbean, identifying a top Russian agent secretly bidding for a Faberge egg in a Sotheby's auction room, and more, it's all in a day's work for him.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

Legacy Library: Ian Fleming

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