Written by Ian Fleming
Number 8 in James Bond (Original Series)
Publisher: Jonathan Cape
Genre: Espionage, Thriller
Original Language: English
Read from 2019-08-05 to 2019-08-23
Read in English
Review: I’ve come to have relatively low expectations of the Bond books, but For Your Eyes Only exceeded those expectations by quite a wide margin.
It’s a collection of short stories, which I now think suits Bond rather well. Instead of various contrivances to drive the plot forward, these are snippets of the “regular” life of an agent such as Bond, and for a franchise which essentially seems to be based on stereotypes of what the franchise should be like, the variety in these short stories is refreshing. One of them is literally a dinner-party in which another guest tells Bond a story - and that’s it.
Bond also seems more human in these stories than in the previous ones. Especially the way in which he, and the stories as a whole, treats women, which I’ve found to be over-the-line problematic in some of the previous books, feels more like a reflection on Bond himself: a way to make up for something that he knows is lacking in his life.
I wouldn’t say that any of the stories in this book are exceptional, but together they work very well. It’s been too long since I read Casino Royale for me to be certain about this being my favourite Bond-book, but For Your Eyes Only was certainly a very pleasant surprise.