The Spy Who Loved Me

The Spy Who Loved Me, by Ian Fleming was a short but fun read. As I mentioned yesterday, it was written from “the Bond girl” perspective. Vivienne recalls her upbringing and failures with men for the first half of the book. Then, in the midst of her reverie while managing a closed motel, two gangsters barge in and her nightmare truly begins.

My favorite quote from the book is when Vivienne realizes, “Love of life is born of the awareness of death, of the dread of it.” This suspense is gripping, constantly fearing for Vivienne. Even when James Bond shows up at the door with a flat tire.

I now understand why the movie was nothing like the book, but in name only. The first half of the book was only the drama and heartbreak of Vivienne’s past, and the main story for the rest of the book would have made for a very short movie. It was wonderful as a book though.


Speaking of Bond, Dave’s Long Box lists his top “Bondian” moments from all the James Bond movies. Scroll down the page for his first choices of 1-4.


And thanks to SQT, for a referral to Carey at Holtzbrinck Publishers. I just received two free books in the mail for me to review on the site: Battlestar Galactica: The Cylons’ Secret and Battlestar Galactica: Sagittarius Is Bleeding. The second is written by Peter David, one of my favorite authors. So, I’m excited to start on these soon!


12 thoughts on “The Spy Who Loved Me”

  1. I almost picked up Casion Roalye (SP?) at Barnes and Noble last night. Almost, I opted out for a vampire romance because I was on a budget… but next time!

  2. Wow, that sounds really emotionally draining. I don’t tend to read too many books like that because I come away all tense and sad and overwhelmed. But I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  3. I will have to read a Bond book one day. I think that Ian Fleming was a very talented man. He goes from Bond to family fun in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I’ll just add it to my ever growing TBR list. I am so behind in Battlestar Galactica as in never watched it, cause I keep missing it. I have got to watch it, the blogs I frequent constantly talk about it, I have to see what I am missing. Right now I must read Eragon in between spurts of a professional text Robert McKee’s “Story” (ick).

  4. Katie – I’m picking up Casino Royale next time I’m at the bookstore too.

    Alyssa – It wasn’t really draining. But then, I read it in separate sittings. It was intense, but mainly just the last half.

    Carrie – Did you enjoy the books or movies more?

    Amy – I just recorded Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to my DVR the other night! I plan on watching it over Christmas.
    And I confess that I really don’t watch Battlestar anymore. I’m a huge fan of the original. But maybe the books will catch me up on what’s going on in the story..

  5. I look forward to getting to this one. It sounds similar to the way he wrote Casino Royale in that there are distinct stories going on in the first half and second half of the book. They go together well but they are obviously different aspects of the story.

  6. Anyone writing about James Bond, especially writing about the source work or canon, automatically wins my heart.

    “The Spy Who Loved Me” is a fun read, and while horribly dated, I savor that. I love reading Fleming and tasting the flavor of the world in the fifties, drinking in the Cold War paranoia, the sexism (no, I’m not a sexist..just a weary historian), the peaks at cities as they were before the corporations moved in and McDonalds were on street corners from Belgrade to Rio.

    I have just finished reading “The Man With The Golden Gun”, not a great literary work, but a fun Bond novel, with scenes that should have been worked into a film. Definitely.

    Perhaps with Daniel Craig, some of the Fleming magic will be reclaimed.

  7. Thanks, Stewart..
    It is fun to go back to that era in books. Maybe because I wasn’t around then, but I find it interesting. Anyway, Fleming’s work is definitely fun.
    It’s funny that it took this latest Daniel Craig “Bond” to get me (and a lot of others) to start reading (or re-reading) the original Fleming novels! I’ve seen just about every James Bond movie… And read some of Benson and Gardner’s Bond books.. But this is the first time I’ve sought out the original Fleming works in ernest.

  8. Costco had a boxed set of all Fleming’s Bond books. He really enjoyed them. I might give them a try. Right now, I’ve been playing the “From Russia With Love” PS2 game. Something happened to the memory card and it lost my game. I have to start all over again.

  9. I do love the older Bond novels… in particular Thunderball and For Your Eyes Only, though Casino Royale is a decent read as well. (though none of them are really like the movies, except for Craig’s characterization of Bond. He really fits what Ian Fleming intended for the role, even if I do have some nostalgia for Connery… )

  10. I would also encourage you to read Casino Royale sometime. It’s a lot of fun and I was surprised on just how much the filmakers of the recent movie drew from the novel. I will add I also really enjoyed the new movie as well as Daniel Craig as Bond.

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