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9 October 2010

The Spy Who Loved Me (1962)

Bloody Hell, this book was hard work! It's Bond in the style of Mills and Boon. Yes, you heard me... Mills and bloody Boon! Aaaagh!

The story is written from the point of view of Vivienne Michel who finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Poor old Viv. She's unlucky in love... well unlucky in everything really, and true to form she gets caught up in a dastardly plot by some gangsters that involves them burning the motel she is working in to the ground in order to claim the insurance. Silly old goose! Enter James Bond who by a stroke of luck just happens to be passing by. Despite making a few uncharacteristic mistakes, he manages to save the day, bed the girl, and be back on the road before breakfast. And there you have it. Pants!

I don't know the significance of the love story approach. You get a little bit of titillation, but really I found the first half of the book to be irrelevant. It doesn't add anything to the story. Even when Bond arrives, he lacks his usual efficiency and bumbles around making schoolboy errors. It's like his heart isn't in it. And neither was mine.

The film takes very little from this tale. You do get a hint of Jaws in Sol Horror with his steel-capped teeth and Bond talks about a case he's been working on involving a double agent, but that's it. About the only thing in common is the title.

Don't waste your time with this one. I give this uncharacteristic Fleming flop a 2.

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