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You Only Live Twice (Penguin Modern…

You Only Live Twice (Penguin Modern Classics) (original 1964; edition 2004)

by Ian Fleming

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Title:You Only Live Twice (Penguin Modern Classics)
Authors:Ian Fleming
Info:Penguin Classics (2004), Edition: New Ed, Paperback, 224 pages

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You Only Live Twice by Ian Fleming (1964)

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Later Bond. Have been reading these in order, each year I take one on our winter vacation. Went to the local used book store last minute and this was the only one they had. I enjoyed this one a great deal. On the shorter side I believe, read quickly anyway. The usual issues to grapple with here, as always there is at least a hint of intolerance/stereotyping/racism in his books, but it usually seems like 'of the time' as they say. ( )
  BooksForDinner | Jan 13, 2017 |
Fleming's powers were already fading in this, the twelfth James Bond book, the last to be published before his death. The first half consists of pointing and laughing at the Japanese, the second half is a rather daft and underwhelming mission to assassinate Blofeld (who has devolved to pantomime-villain status with little motivation beyond wanting to watch people die). The book ends with an amnesiac Bond living as a (I suspect, rather unconvincing) Japanese fisherman. ( )
  PeterCrump | Jan 10, 2017 |
"You are to enter this Castle of Death and slay the dragon within."


I really enjoyed this book! It begins with Bond in mourning over his wife's assassination at the end of the previous book. He's in pretty bad shape. Then he's off to Japan to do some spy stuff, but he must exchange a favor and kill Dr. Guntram Shatterhand. Turns out - it's Ernst Stavro Blofeld! And Irma Bunt is there too! The two enemies who killed his wife! Woo hoo! THEN, he, 007, becomes an amnesiac! And he gets Kissy Suzuki pregnant to boot! The book ends with Bond on an island, with no memory of who he is!

Again, this was a good book, though it was hard for me to read the part about the blowfish dinner without hearing Homer Simpson's voice bellowing "Fugu me!" :-) I also liked chapter 21, "Obit:" quite a bit! It is M.'s obituary of 007 and reveals quite a lot of Bond's biography and background! Of course he isn't "Bond" at the end of it all, is he? Gotta read the next one! ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | Jul 25, 2016 |
First Edition, 1964
  bonedoc86 | Apr 24, 2016 |
I'd only read one of Ian Fleming's 'Bond' books before, and I really didn't like it. (It was 'Goldfinger', I believe). But, since I like all the movies so much, and I came across this book for free somewhere or other, I thought I'd give another try.
Well, although this one didn't actively offend me, it's still not the best-written example of literature. However, it was quite interesting to me for a couple of reasons.
First, it was UTTERLY different from the movie of the same name. I wouldn't have recognized one as being based on the other. The bad guy creates a poisonous garden which lures Japanese citizens to suicide, hoping to create a big enough social disturbance to get kicked out of the country and be able to demand a big payoff, all the while satisfying his psychotically sadistic urges... It's ridiculous, over-the-top - and Very, Very Bond-esque!
As I indicated above, the majority of the story is set in Japan. It was VERY VERY obvious that Ian Fleming went on a typical first-time vacation to Japan, and jammed most of the things on the must-see tourist list into the book, along with a few of his own observations. As I also did a similar trip, I found it fascinating - and surprisingly accurate, in some regards, although not wholly so (for example, Japanese people disrespecting and shoving old ladies? From my observance, the opposite is true! The elderly women Demand respect and are quite pushy themselves!).
Some bits of the book are quite dated... especially the concept that Bond could masquerade in Japan as a Japanese man by dying his skin darker and shaving his eyebrows. Very weird concept, since many Japanese have lighter skin than your average Brit, and I've never noticed anything remarkably distinctive about the Asian Eyebrow. It does make me suspect that people in the 50s and 60s who saw movies with Westerners playing Asian roles in movies might have thought they were somehow convincing, however... ??? ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
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You only live twice:
Once when you are born,
and once when you look death in the face.
To Richard Hughes and Torao Saito, But for whom etc....
First words
The geisha called 'Trembling Leaf', on her knees beside James Bond, leant forward from the waist and kissed him chastely on the right cheek.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
The James Bond Adventure Novel that takes 007 to the exotic Orient... to the suicide gardens of the maniacal Dr. Shatterhand... and the arms of the most enticing heroine Fleming ever created, the delightful KISSY SUZUKI.
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On the brink of becoming a security risk after the death of his wife, Secret Service agent 007 is sent to Japan and encounters an old enemy.

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