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The Spy Who Loved Me by Ian Fleming
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Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
One wonders if, having perfected the James Bond plot in Thunderball, Fleming felt his only option for going on was to abandon it completely. The Spy Who Loved Me is told from the first-person perspective of a young Canadian woman who was largely raised in England and is now traveling the United States; it covers her entire life up until she meets Bond, which means he doesn't appear until the 58% mark, when he happens to stop at the motel where she's being menaced by a pair of gangsters.

I like it but I don't love it. Like with his experiments in For Your Eyes Only, I think Fleming is surprisingly good at straight literary fiction, but this doesn't quite measure up to them. Fleming has an interesting objective here of exploring the tensions between a woman's sexual desires and the kind of sex both men and society expect of her (one gets quite a negative image of "sexual liberation"), and there's an effective undercurrent of minor tragedy to the whole thing. But other writers have certainly covered these areas with more insight than him, and the coda where the fatherly police chief tells Vivienne to get over Bond was a bit obnoxiously paternalistic.

Still, one is never un-entertained (I can really only say that of one Bond novel so far), and the climax is Fleming doing his Fleming thing the best he can: a small-scale series of action scenes that are nonetheless intense for how real and difficult Fleming writes it. Killing is never easy, even when it's James Bond against two small-scale mobsters. I enjoyed reading it, but it will never be my favorite Bond novel.
  Stevil2001 | Jun 8, 2019 |
Quasi un romanzo rosa...

Avete letto bene. Questi 007 versione cartacea sono un mondo a parte rispetto al cinema. Questo qui, in particolare, sembra più un diario adolescenziale che la trama di un intricato giallo di spionaggio. La protagonista (ed anche "io narrante") è più la ragazza (Viv, alias Vivienne) che non il nostro Bond. La maggior parte del libro si dilunga nella caratterizzazione psicologica della fanciulla e il nostro eroe compare soltanto oltre la metà del libro e senza mai essere preponderante nella storia che è condotta dal punto di vista di Viv. Grazioso, con una scrittura un pò retrò e romantica, mai troppo "tecnologico" (a differenza dei film) e di lettura spensierata ma dalle ampie descrizioni. Va via in un lampo lasciando però la voglia di inseguire ancora James ed il suo mondo nella prossima avventura.


Riletto a distanza di quasi 10 anni... davvero divertente e diverso da quello che ci si aspetta in confronto al personaggio cinematografico che qui non è neanche il centro della storia. Può non piacere, ma per quel mi riguarda trovo deliziosi i filmetti dell'America anni '50 e quindi vado a nozze con l'atmosfera che qui si respira: il motel sulla strada, l'avventura, l'azione, i gangster, l'eroe positivo ma non troppo, la fanciulla da salvare ma non indifesa. Scrittura divertente proprio perchè stridente con le aspettative del genere "agente segreto". ( )
  Magrathea | Dec 30, 2017 |
The Spy Who Loved Me by Ian Fleming is the tenth novel featuring English spy James Bond, 007. The book was released in 1962 even though it was written earlier.

Vivienne Michel, a French-Canadian woman came back home after five years in London. Ms. Michel finds a job in an isolated motor lodge in the Adirondacks, but is left there by herself by the caretakers to wait for the owner to come and lock it up for the season.

Instead of the owner, two thugs show up and rough Viv around with the intention of burning down the motel for the insurance money. But before things get out of hand, a certain English spy, back from a mission driving through the Adirondacks happen to get a flat tire by the motel and save the day.

The Spy Who Loved Me by Ian Fleming is an unusual entry in the series since it is narrated by a French-Canadian woman and not James Bond. The famous spy enters the story about half-way in, and is basically a deus ex machina.

Fleming, it seems, tried to write a character study which fell a bit flat. Personally I thought that the first person narrative by a woman was an interesting twist on the series and a brave attempt by the author.

The aspect which I most enjoyed in the novel is that Bond realizes that he is no better than the people he hunts. The only difference is which side they’re on, of course we had to read a long story and deal with a forced espionage narrative to get to that point.

Even though this novel got trashed when it first came out (Mr. Fleming even tried to stop the publication), I enjoyed much of it and the peculiar angle it represented. One could tell this is an early novel, the dialog is clunky and the narrative doesn’t flow as well, but if you’re looking for pulp type read, this book is not that bad.

For more reviews and bookish posts please visit: http://www.ManOfLaBook.com ( )
  ZoharLaor | Nov 18, 2017 |
This is such a strange "James Bond" book, as James is barely in it! He doesn't show up until chapter 10 - and there's only 15 chapters! Overall, this is a pretty boring effort. It is written from the point of some woman named Viv, and the first 6 chapters are all about her, and they are dull, dull, dull. Then two tough guys, Horror and Sluggsy, cross her path, and then, finally, 007.
SPOILER ALERT - he rescues her, has sex with her, and then leaves her. The End. ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | Jul 6, 2016 |
This was the first James Bond story that I have read, though I've seen quite a few of the movies, including the one that shares a title with this book. However, the only similarities between this book and the movie are the title, and a character by the name of Bond, James Bond. It was an okay read, full of terribly corny dialogue and characters, some PG-13 type sex and violence, and not much else. ( )
  fuzzi | Apr 26, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
To be clear: Fleming did like this novel, at least at first. Then he heard what the reviewers had to say, and he was so upset that he wanted to more or less disown it. The book is a departure from the rest of the James Bond novels—it’s narrated by a girl, for one thing (saints alive!), and James Bond only comes into the picture later on. Fleming wrote the book this way for a specific reason, but the reviews were bad.
added by elenchus | editlithub.com, Emily Temple (Jan 28, 2018)

» Add other authors (31 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ian Flemingprimary authorall editionscalculated
Michel, VivienneAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Kröner, JackTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
May, NadiaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stone, NickIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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(From back of book) Vivienne Michel is in trouble. Trying to escape her tangled past, she has run away to the American backwoods, winding up at the Dreamy Pines Motor Court. A far cry from the privileged world she was born to, the motel is also the destination of two hardened killers -- the perverse Sol Horror and the deadly Sluggsy Morant. When a coolly charismatic Englishman turns up, Viv, in terrible danger, is not just hopeful, but fascinated. Because he is James Bond, 007; the man she hopes will save her, the spy she hopes will love her...
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142003263, Paperback)

‘He was about six feet tall, slim and fit. The eyes in the lean , slightly tanned face were a very clear grey-blue and as they observed the men they were cold and watchful. His good looks had a dangerous, almost cruel quality that had frightened me. But now I knew he could smile, I thought his face exciting, in a way no face had ever excited me before …’

Vivienne Michel is in trouble. Trying to escape her tangled past, she has run away to the American backwoods, winding up at the Dreamy Pines Motor Court. A far cry from the privileged world she was born to, the motel is also the destination of two hardened killers—the perverse Sol Horror and the deadly Sluggsy Morant. When a coolly charismatic Englishman turns up, Viv, in terrible danger, is not just hopeful, but fascinated. Because he is James Bond, 007; the man she hopes will save her, the spy she hopes will love her …

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:55 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

British secret agent James Bond arrives just in time for Vivienne at the Dreamy Pines Motor Court after two hardened mobsters show up.

» see all 9 descriptions

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