For Your Eyes Only
Sudden emergencies and beautiful girls who aren't quite what they seem are the stock-in-trade of James Bond. And when 007 is on the case there's only one thing you can be sure of - the result will be thrilling. Whether he's dealing with the assassination of a Cuban thug in America, the destruction of an international heroin ring, or sudden death in the Seychelles, Bond gets the job done. In his own suave and unmistakable style.
Reviewed on 11th January 2012
The first of two collections of Ian Fleming's short stories about James Bond makes for interesting reading. There are several themes that flow through, from the usual exotic locations and deaths of the Bond novels to more of a focus on the people - in four cases Bond himself.
Despite this it seems that the collection might not appeal to any but the dedicated fan - they certinly don't have quite the entertainment value of the full length novels. 'From a View to a Kill', 'For Your Eyes Only' and 'Risico' certainly follow the thriller model, focusing on several missions given Bond by M. However of these only Risico really felt like it had the potential to develop into something more.
'Quantum of Solace' is quite different, and Bond plays barely any role in the story apart from as an excuse for it to be told. We lean a little more about his character, as in all these stories, but mostly it seems to be a vehicle for a strikingly plausible tale that Fleming wants to tell.
Finally, 'The Hildebrand Rarity' seems to be almost a test-bed for some of the features of 'Thunderball'. It's another look into Bond's personality, but with a twist that sets it apart a little from the others.
I've enjoyed the little collection, though probably not as much as I enjoy the novels, and would only really recommend it for readers who have already absorbed those and needs that tiny bit more insight into the character.