Octopussy

Publication date: 1966

The final Fleming book is not a novel. Instead a thin collection of short stories were gathered together after Fleming’s death.

My favourite is The Living Daylights which survived intact to be used as the opening segment the movie of the same name. In the story Bond is sent to Cold War Berlin to kill a KGB sniper before the sniper kills a defector.

While waiting he notices a beautiful girl carrying a cello. Later he realizes that the cello girl is the sniper and instead of killing her he just wounds her. His secret service companion is unimpressed with Bond’s behaviour and Bond replies “With any luck it’ll cost me my double-o number.” In the movie he says “Stuff my orders! I only kill professionals. Tell M what you want. if he fires me I’ll thank him for it.” In either case it’s the real Bond we are seeing. Great stuff!

The Property of a Lady was added to the paperback edition and sees Bond going to an auction to spot a Russian agent who will be bidding for a lot.

Octopussy is in fact a mostly non-Bond story about a soldier who found some Nazi gold at the end of the war and committed murder to keep it. Bond is sent out to Jamaica to arrest him. Both of these stories are touched on in the movie Octopussy.

In recent years a fourth story, 007 in New York, has been added to the book. It’s basically Bond looking forward to stopping over in the city and deciding what to eat.

In 2008 these stories were included in a Quantum of Solace collection.

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