It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!
^ Back to Top
The MI6 Community is unofficial and in no way associated or linked with EON Productions, MGM, Sony Pictures, Activision or Ian Fleming Publications. Any views expressed on this website are of the individual members and do not necessarily reflect those of the Community owners. Any video or images displayed in topics on MI6 Community are embedded by users from third party sites and as such MI6 Community and its owners take no responsibility for this material.
James Bond News • James Bond Articles • James Bond Magazine
FOR YOUR EYES ONLY
FROM A VIEW TO A KILL / FOR YOUR EYES ONLY
QUANTUM OF SOLACE / RISICO
THE HILDEBRAND RARITY
The second short story collection to be discussed and the highest-rated one managed to claim a top 10 spot.
Two top 5 spots were secured, including one bronze medal. With two more 6th places and one 7th place added to the mix, FYEO ended up in five top halfs.
No bottom finishes were noted for this one, or these five I’d better say, which makes FYEO the lowest-ranked entry without one.
The worst rankings here were three penultimate places.
In total FYEO obtained 107 points, making it our first competitor to pass the 100-points mark.
In this sense, it's QOS and THR which stand out and actually showcase Fleming's skill as a short story writer. Both of these stories feel more akin to TSWLM and 'experimental' if anything, and are certainly more character/drama based. Both hold up better than that novel for me personally, and Fleming's writing/themes are certainly more consistent. I'm particularly a fan of THR, particularly the underwater sections of the story (both when Bond is snorkelling and Krest poisons the fish. I particularly like Bond's disgust at the latter as well. Along with the opening of GF and sections of TMWTGG it highlights the literary Bond's humanity). Krest is also rather vividly written as this horrid loudmouth of an antagonist but still comes off as menacing when needed.
2. From Russia with Love
3. Live and Let Die
4. Casino Royale
6. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
7. You Only Live Twice
8. Diamonds Are Forever
10. Dr. No
11. The Man with the Golden Gun
12. The Spy Who Loved Me
Great ranking mate!
As for this one, THR and Risico are my favourites. THR has Fleming describing underwater life, so that’s always a big plus. Additionally, Krest is an absolute abomination of a person, without any redeeming quality. This guy you just love to hate.
But Risico still takes the cake here for me. It has everything that I love comprised in a small Bond story: Italian setting, Italian food, Italian cars, ships, an action scene, Cold War intrigue (even though only in the background) and that typical ally-is-the-villain trope.
As a lover of all things Italy, and especially the food, there is one complaint though: it’s not tagliatelli, it is tagliatelle. A food lover like Fleming should know that.
Still though, one vowel away from pure perfection, Risico remains one of my very favourite Fleming stories.
This much discussed work of Fleming in which SPECTRE gets introduced came in 3rd for two members.
It also obtained one 4th and two 6th places. Three participants gave it the exact spot at which it ultimately landed: 8th.
No last places for TB, though one member ranked it penultimate and another two members put it in 12th, giving it a total of three bottom 3’s.
TB collected a total of 111 points.
FYEO was my #13. All short stories are solid but none is real highlight for me. Well, Krest stands out as the ultimate asshole of all Fleming characters. Fleming managed to create a very unlikeable person here, I almost can't read it. Like I said earlier, I prefer TLD and OP to all these stories.
TB is like DAF a novel where I have some difficulty to go through some chapters. I.e. the chapter where the plane is hijacked and all crew members are killed is surprisingly long and not interesting at all (imo). The introduction of Blofeld is a highlight but unfortunately he isn't mentioned much more and Largo isn't that interesting (both in the novel and on screen).
My favourite part? The funny bit with M and Moneypenny at the beginning.
I ranked it #12, only in front of FYEO and and DAF.
I ranked it at #4
Largo Is an interesting villain, realistic plot of hijacking nuclear bombs, a tough, competent, fleshed out Bond Girl In Domino, and a combination of humor, thrill and action.
Fleming's description of underwater scenes were very great.
SPECTRE was also at its peak, with his description of Blofeld really menacing and threatening.
Sorry to say, but the plots of the two next novels were fantasy and full camp to me, Brainwashing allergic beautiful patients? Building a castle in Japan? Outlandish! It felt like Fleming already predicted the Roger Moore Era campiness.
I liked this one, it got it all right and in place, it's also Felix Leiter's last appearance, he never appeared in the next two books, which was also a miss for me.
It felt like a proper Bond novel, the next two doesn't have that feel, both were inconsistent in tone
(OHMSS was outlandish but trying to be drama, YOLT was a dark novel but trying to be a Japanese Pulp Fiction)
Find it much better in the film, where it's a slog and repetitive.
It really hurts me, it's depressing for me.
How dare you guys?! :((
I should add the I loved the evolution M’s health regime. How he and Bond switch sides at some point in regards to the new, organic life-style.
Well, I couldn't put it above Moonraker, Casino Royale and From Russia With Love (Thunderball Is my favorite, but those three, in terms of quality and writing were better).
But for me, it's the best of the later novels.
That said its first quarter, and a lot of its ideas within it, are really interesting to me. Seeing Bond's hedonistic side is an example. He's not necessarily a man in a dark, cynical place at the beginning of this novel as he is at various points in Fleming's stories, but is simply bored. He finds passing excitement in gambling, sex, and alcohol, to the detriment of his own body (which seems to be extensively scarred from his work, reading Fleming's descriptions). While M's health kick is played for laughs, there's certainly an underlying idea of Bond's mortality at play here - and I suspect Fleming felt this about himself in regards his own lifestyle/age. It's a great set up for a Bond adventure, and tells us so much about a man whose job is to go on dangerous assignments and quite possibly not come back.
Apart from that I'm a fan of Largo as a villain. He's thug, but a rather good looking, charismatic one. I honestly wish we saw more film villains along this line, and I certainly find him better than the rather uninspired film incarnation. Same for Domino who is rather vividly written in an almost femme fatale type way. The chapter where her and Bond first meet, presenting it from Domino's POV which in turn makes Bond come across as a sort of 'mysterious stranger' etc. is great stuff. Blofeld is also rather vividly written. The SPECTRE meeting is also a highlight and perfectly conveys the menace/weight of this organisation.
Much like the film, the ticking 'clock' of the stolen missiles never really felt gripping to me. I dunno, it doesn't feel like Bond is racing against the clock to stop something awful more than he is doing a job. Again, I have much harsher thoughts on the film, and I certainly prefer Fleming's descriptions of the underwater battles more than the depiction in the film, but the meat of this book never quite works for me. I appreciate it more for what it tells us about Bond as a character, how he interacts with certain types of villains/Bond girls etc.
Well, Leiter came back in TMWTGG. I would say though that one of the things that I find a bit dull about this novel is the lack of Fleming's fantastical touch which he was so skilled at writing. I feel he's at his best when evoking the supernatural or trying to be outlandish, as he tends to present these scenarios in a grounded, verisimilitude-ious way (DN and the fighting of the giant squid is an example of this - it's an outlandish premise, but Bond genuinely gets hurt and the chapter is written in a tense, even dark way). I dunno, the tone of this novel is a bit more lighthearted in places but just lacks that bit of edge to the escapism that I love from Fleming's writing in LALD, MR, DN, FRWL etc.
We aim to please ;)
Granted, this one’s really amazing too.
As for the novel, despite atrocities committed to Italian cuisine on page 39, TB is one of my favourites.
Being a fan of both film adaptions, it’s one I love to revisit. It has plenty of mystery and exoticness. It also has Domino, one of my absolute favourite Bond girls.
With its scuba-action and underwater goings-on, it has that summery vibe as well. Great stuff for poolside reading.
In hindsight, I should have ranked it higher though.
I don't buy the argument that either Fleming or McClory was a saint. Fleming stole from McClory without crediting him, and in response McClory tried to overreach for other Bond rights.
I was the other bronze. I love every bit of this novel: Blofeld, Largo, Domino, the larger-than-life scheme Bond goes up against, Fleming totally in his element writing underwater adventure. This is where it’s at when it comes to literary Bond for me. There are just two I consider better.
FYEO is just a great collection. Of all Fleming’s short stories, “For Your Eyes Only” and “Risico” are the two that feel the most like one of Bond’s usual adventures scaled down to short story form. "The Hildebrand Rarity" is great in terms of its villain and Fleming’s underwater writing. I rather enjoy the different nature of “From a View to a Kill” too with the mystery Bond has to solve, the exciting climax, and Mary Ann Russell. “Quantum of Solace” is probably my least favorite here, but it’s an interesting read nevertheless.