Book Review: The Spy Who Loved Me by Ian Fleming

September 14, 2016

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.

  • 167 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612185533

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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.

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.

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Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer:I got this book as a gift.
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One Comment

  • RobSeptember 16, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    That perspective shift is really interesting. I didn’t realise any of the Bond novels had different protagonists, and I have a bit of a hard time imagining Fleming writing strictly from a woman’s point of view.

    I’ve only read the first two novels, but I’m looking forward to eventually giving this one a try.

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