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The Spy Who Loved Me (James Bond Novels) Paperback – September 2, 2003

132 customer reviews
Book 10 of 45 in the James Bond 007 Series

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Editorial Reviews


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About the Author

Ian Fleming (1908-1964), creator of the world's best-known secret agent, is the author of fourteen James Bond books. Born in London in 1908 and educated at Eton and Sandhurst, he became the Reuters Moscow correspondent in 1929. In the spring of 1939, Fleming went back to Moscow as a special correspondent for the London Times. In June of that same year, he joined Naval Intelligence and served throughout World War II, finally earning the rank of Commander, RNVSR (Sp.). Much of the James Bond material was drawn directly from Fleming's experiences as an intelligence officer. Later, Fleming became a consultant on foreign affairs for the London Sunday Times, by which time he had become far better known as the creator of James Bond.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (September 2, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142003263
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142003268
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #637,121 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Timothy W Gannon on May 31, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a really unusual, but most enjoyable James
Bond book. As is often the case of the Bond novels
made into movies released in the 1970's, this novel
and the 1977 film have absolutely nothing in common
other than the title. But in this case even the main
character is different. Bond does not even appear
until the final third of the book.
The story is told in first person by a woman who
ultimately crosses Bond's path. "The Spy" is Bond and
"Me" is Fleming's main character, Vivienne Michel.
She is an attractive, single, 23-year old woman who
has been shafted by two lovers as the story begins.
The very idea of a 54-year old man writing a story
from the point of view of a woman more than 30 years
his junior is interesting. However, when the older
man is Fleming and known for creating characters with
names like Pussy Galore, it is not only interesting
but amusing!
The narrator, Vivienne, uses flashback to describe the
events of her life as the novel opens. As a naive
young girl she was burned by one lover and in spite of
that experience, she allows herself to be burned
again. At the completion of her trip down memory
lane, she suddenly finds herself in the clutches of
two thugs. She has no idea what they are up to except
that they want to harm her. It is, of course, Bond
who becomes her knight in shining armor and rescues
her in spite of his admitted carelessness.
There is a story within the story here as well. Bond
describes his most recent assignment, thwarting a
SPECTRE plot involving the attempted assassination of
a Soviet defector. It is a shame that this vignette
has never been the subject of a movie.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By "Eric the Well-Read" on January 17, 2010
Format: Audio CD
First off, I must say that my experience w/ Blackstone audio books has been VERY positive. I've purchased most of the audio books in the Bond series, & so far I've only had problems w/ one of them (On Her Majestie's Secret Service). A couple of the discs had what appeared to be glue (from the packaging?) on them & would not play properly. When I first encountered the problem, I called the 800 number on the box, fully expecting to get an automated answering service w/ menu options. To my surprise, a very pleasant woman named "Carol" answered, assuring me that there would be no problem getting a replacement disc to me free of charge. The entire phone call was over in a few minutes & left me feeling very happy w/ the company & w/ my purchase Thank you, Carol!

As for the Blackstone Bond series audio books, Nadia May does an outstanding job narrating this book. It took some getting used to hearing a woman narrator after listening to Simon Vance's excellent narration on several titles (this is the only title in the Bond series NOT read by Vance), but this is also the only Bond novel written by Fleming in first person from a woman's perspective, so it makes sense to use a woman narrator. Unlike some narrators I've encountered w/ other companies (such as Brilliance) who read descriptive passages AND dialogue using the SAME TONE so that it's difficult to tell which character is actually speaking, May (like Vance) gives each character his or her own voice and manner of speaking. It makes for a MUCH more pleasant & enjoyable listening experience.

Part of the fun of the original Bond novels is seeing how they compare to the films that bare their titles. In many cases, there's scarcely any similarity at all (and sometimes none whatsoever). However, I actually enjoy that.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By J Bond on June 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
Ian Fleming's tenth James Bond number is a departure from the usual mold of a Bond story:the entire tale is told from a female viewpoint. The first third of the novel details two past love affairs of Vivienne Michel's (the main character) life. Twice she is burned by men, and she eventually decides to go to America to start a new life. There she finds employment at a cheap motel where she works as a desk clerk. This first part of the novel is probably the best part, it is a very interesting in-depth character study. Although Fleming's efforts to understand female psychology are to be commended, it just doesn't work well in a Secret Service story.
The second part of the story is definitely the worst. It introduces the "vilians", actually small-time thugs. They characters may seem scary to Vivienne but a Bond reader expects more. Some readers appreciate the change from the usual super-villain, and this is welcome, but the thugs could have been much better drawn out to be made into more menacing characters.
In the final third of the story, Bond arrives. It seems almost pointless to include him in the story at all. BOnd has no character in this novel, he is simply a "night in shining armour". He is as two-dimensional as cardboard. All the fleshing out of his character throughout the books since CASINO ROYALE seems to dissappear here, as if it never happened. Althoug this part of the book is the most thrilling, it does not measure up to Vivienne's flashbacks. Some readers criticize the gunfight at the novel's end as "just the usual, nothing special", etc. This is not true. The battle is cleverly thought out. For the first time since perhaps the fight against The Robber in Mr. Big's warehouse in LIVE AND LET DIE, Bond must plan his strategy carefully.
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