Written by Ian Fleming

Number 8 in James Bond (Original Series)

Publisher: Jonathan Cape
Pages: 232
Genre: Espionage, Thriller
Published: 1960-04-11
Original Language: English

Bond watched her as she reached the edge of the tables and came up the aisle. It was hopeless. She was coming to meet someone — her lover. She was the sort of woman who always belongs to someone else. What damnable luck! Before Bond could pull himself together, the girl had come up to his table and sat down. ‘I’m sorry I’m late. We’ve got to get moving at once. You’re wanted at the office.’ She added under her breath: ‘Crash dive.’ Sudden emergencies and beautiful girls who aren’t quite what they seem are the stock-in-trade of James Bond. And when 007 is on the case there’s only one thing you can be sure of — the result will be thrilling. Whether he’s dealing with the assassination of a Cuban thug in America, the destruction of an international heroin ring, or sudden death in the Seychelles, Bond gets the job done. In his own suave and unmistakable style …

Read from 2019-08-05 to 2019-08-23
Read in English
Rating: 4/5
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.