Short story collection
This new collection of nine short stories written by Ian Fleming is actually a collection of two separate short story books: For Your Eyes Only, and Octopussy And The Living Daylights.
I won’t go over every story since there are 9, but there are some real gems in this collection of great stories. Some of my favorites are:
- For Your Eyes Only – some friends of M’s in Jamaica are killed when they refuse to sell their land to a nefarious man. Bond tracks the man and when he’s arriving at their remote mountain hideout – he encounters the daughter (Judy) of the slain friends on her way to kill Hammerstein herself with a bow. The action of the shootout is great and Judy is a well-done character.
- Quantum of Solice – This really unique story told to Bond over a dinner conversation about a young, beautiful air hostess is one of my favorites. She falls in love with a pedestrian public servant and marries him in Bermuda. Their poor pairing (she likes the social life, he is very un-social) soon leads to her having a open affair with a popular and rich young man on the island. After the husband has a breakdown and is sent away for a while, he returns and emotionally divorces her while still maintaining a relationship publicly. He heaps cold injuries on her and finally divorces her after his assignment ends – leaving her with a mountain of debt. The ending takes an awesome twist and is a great study of human character and the power of un-healed emotional hurts.
- Octopussy – Another unique story told mostly in flashback. It tells the story of a retired English agent who worked intelligence during WW2. After the war, he kills a German who knows of secret hidden gold. He convinces the German officer to show him the hiding place, kills the man, steals the gold, and then retires to a tropical paradise to live ‘happily ever after’. Bond tracks him down and when Bond lets him have a few hours to think out how he should turn himself in, the man goes for one last swim…
- Property of a lady – not terribly unique, but does tell the story of good double-agent espionage. A woman is sent a fabulous Faberge egg in payment for her spy services over the years. The English secret service have known of her double-agency and have been using her to feed false information back to Russia for some time. They don’t want to lose her as a great feed of false information to the Russians, but Bond deduces that the Russians will send her handler to the auction to drive up the minimum price enough to cover her services, and they’ll likely discover who this man is. Bond arrives at the auction, and the adventure begins…
All the stories are good for sure. Again, not rocket science and not to be delved too deeply in – but great little action short stories. Again, another great collection of Bond tales and worth the read. I rate them a solid A-. Highly recommend.