On Her Majesty's Secret Service (The James Bond Classic Library)
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On Her Majesty's Secret Service (James Bond (Original Series) #11)

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  7,521 ratings  ·  282 reviews
When James Bond rescues a beautiful, reckless girl from self-destruction, he finds himself with a lead on one of the most dangerous men in the world: Ernst Stavro Blofeld, an evil genius who is conducting research that could threaten the safety of the world.
Hardback
Published July 1st 1997 by Fine Communications (first published 1963)
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Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: 4.5* of five

Again a reminder that this is a review of the 1969 film, not Fleming's novel. I found I wasn't able to get past the outdated attitudes in the novels. I think because books are important to me, enduring documents of their times, and films are slight and insubstantial entertainments, I judge films much less harshly. After all, I take them so much less seriously.

This is only a 4.5-star experience because Lazenby's only outing as Bond was stylish and cool. It earned bad reviews f...more
F.R.
I guess if you write a number of books concerning the same character it’s almost inevitable that you’d get bored. Arthur Conan-Doyle did it, as did Agatha Christie – and here is Ian Fleming doing the same. ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ was a not overly successful attempt to fiddle around with the Bond formula; however ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ is an altogether more convincing step in a different direction. Whereas the previous book tore everything up to give a very different kind of Bond tale,...more
El
This is that one Bond movie that featured George Lazenby, some guy no one had heard of before and has never heard of since. My childhood memory of the movie was that this was a real snooze and I've always (possibly unfairly) blamed Lazenby for that. Sean Connery was never boring, was my reasoning. (Also not true.)

In any case, because my childhood memories can be somewhat persuasive (in spite of being highly illogical or unreliable), I wasn't particularly looking forward to seeing this one again....more
Sandy
Ian Fleming's 11th James Bond book, "On Her Majesty's Secret Service," was written, as was the author's wont, while on vacation at his Goldeneye retreat on the north shore of Jamaica, at Oracabessa, in the winter of 1962...coincidentally, not far from where filming for the original 007 movie, "Dr. No," was taking place at that same time. "OHMSS" is the middle segment of what has come to be known as "the Blofeld trilogy," which began with 1961's "Thunderball" (in which Bond and Blofeld do not mee...more
Daniel
"On Her Majesty's Secret Service" was my first James Bond book, and it was exactly what I had wanted it to be: fast-paced, reasonably well-written, and enjoyable overall. Bond, as a character, was a bit more introspective than I had expected he'd be, and while the book was a touch misogynistic, it wasn't as terribly so as I had feared going in. While the book met my expectations, it never really went beyond them, thus the three-star rating. I'll probably read more Bond books, as this one was fun...more
Howard Olsen
One of the great Bond books, this is the one famous for ending with Bond being married to Tracy, one of his conquests (it's also famous as the only Bond film starring the immortal George Lazenby). It also has a typically epic adventure as Bond travels to the Swiss Alps to stop Blofeld from attacking British agriculture with biological weapons.

Of all the Bond books, this is probably the one that works best as a piece of literature. We learn a lot about Bond's character: what motivates him to be...more
James
I think this one is my favourite of the Bond novels. Espionage, romance, action etc. Bond is still on the hunt for Blofeld and SPECTRE, but instead he finds Tracy and even love and marriage. Bond is at his most human in this novel.
Douglas Engle
So I'm going to start out by saying that I was dead wrong about this book, and that I'm not beyond admitting it. Well, maybe that's too much. I was right, for the reasons I cited, but when I gave the book a chance after those reasons came to light, I found that Fleming had really kicked over into another gear to write this book. I couldn't put it down after that, and I grew as a person and a reader. Here's the original review:

[[As I'm winding my way closer to finishing the original Bond novels,...more
Todd Allison
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brian
* The eleventh Bond book.

* Second appearance of Blofeld.

* Strangely enough, if I were going to read only one of Fleming's Bond books, this probably wouldn't be it, yet it is my favorite in the complete series. No, it's really not so odd: after seeing Bond tortured by love in so many other novels, it's a pleasure to see him finally find a future in it.

* But there's also plenty of action, a worthy adversary, great detail, humor, and pathos. Because of Tracy, though, it all works best on top of a s...more
Lachlan Smith
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrew
Bond's 11th assignment,published in 1963(that's as new as The Fab Four!),follows a familiar enough pattern to the previous ten pacy novels;exotic locations (by 1960s standards!)& an exciting under-cover investigation with taciturn, charmless thugs & glamourously dumb women,culminating in a cliff-hanging & violent climax,from which Bond emerges bloodied but unbowed!. But O.H.M.S.S. is different, very different! Bond falls in love with Tracy,daughter of Corsica's criminal boss & a...more
Jen
Let me preface this by saying that I read the James Bond books because of the adventures, not for the "love". Because the "love" in these stories is apparently the male fantasy. Why anyone would want a woman to act like these women do is beyond me. And sorry to say Ian Fleming has no idea what women are really like. He can't honestly believe that most women have rape fantasies. Being man-handled--yes--but raped? I don't freakin' think so.

I know, I know. Why do I read these books when they irrita...more
Steven Peterson
In many of the James Bond novels by Ian Fleming, the characters are not fully drawn out. This book does a better job than most of works in the series. James Bond develops a romantic relationship--far more complete and touching than with most other women linked to him in the series--with Tracy. The key strand, though, in this story is Bond's hunt for the ever unplesant and dangerous Ernst Stavro Blofeld, head of S.P.E.C.T.R.E. By the end, the strands do come together, making this one of the more...more
Tim
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Taksya
Non amo James Bond, ma non saprei dire perché... non sono mai stata attratta dai libri (anche se nella libreria di mio padre c'era la serie completa della Garzanti nella sua prima edizione) e credo di aver visto in tutto solo un paio di film dall'inzio alla fine. "Al servizio segreto di Sua Maestà" è uno di questi e il motivo per cui ho resistito per tutta la pellicola è la presenza di Dame Diana Rigg... meglio nota al tempo come "Emma Peel".
Decisa a leggere qualcosa di Fleming ho preferito farl...more
Thom Swennes
In a military and soldierly tradition, members of the MI6 branch of the British Secret Service wage sorties, skirmishes and battles with their enemies and archenemies in a war for peace (and of course British interests). Unlike the armed forces, these soldiers work in the shadows and are never accorded the public commiserations for their failures or accolades from their successes. They are, however, sometimes forced to befriend or ally themselves with a known nemesis. After Operation Thunderball...more
Helen Stanton
Ran out of things to read on a rainy trip to N Wales .....bought in Oxfam for £1.50

A unexpected delight and will def read more. Yes it is a little dated.....and don't look for 3 dimensional women characters . But Bond is an engaging character, touched by tragedy with a dark past hinted at. Fleming is the master of suspense and I even shouted out loud at one bit. Fortunately I was at home and not on the train!!!!
Heather Macdermott
Read by David Tennant, need I say more? Oh yes, brilliant!
Fleming has a way of writing that I have not come across before, packing a lot of info into a sentence or paragraph without being laborious, tedious or obvious while at the same time perfectly moving the story along while keeping you fully engaged. The language Is perfectly suited to being read by David Tennant.
Charlene
This book does have a specific allure that is very of it's time. James Bond is not really the most likable character - he is charming and endlessly resourceful, but his treatment of women leaves much to be desired and he can be rather judgmental. But the adventures he gets up to, and the thrill of the suspense is really addicting, so even if I was shaking my head at various points, I really enjoyed the gripping story.

The piecemeal way in which Bond tries to get at the sinister and equally resour...more
David Orphal
Definitely my favorite Bond book yet!

First off, the plot only demands a reasonable amount of suspended disbelief. First, an Alpine resort hide out is a lot more believable to me than the Island of Dr. No. Second, the evil plot of SPECTRE is almost believable. Using hypnosis to trick people into using biological-weapons to infect agricultural products (mad-cow, swine flu, avian flu, etc...) would be an interesting way to wage economic war on a country as small and isolated as England. It's only t...more
Jim
Of all the Bond books, I think I like this one the most. The movie with Sean Connery was great & it blended in my mind perfectly with the book. I guess it's the romantic streak in me that made it so hard hitting.
Frank Hickey



Fleming develops more with each story.


He always teaches us something, in the most entertaining way.


He teaches us here about genealogy.


Seamlessly, he blends it into the hunt for Blofeld, the world's arch-criminal.


Bond changes in this story, too. He starts out as a roue, chasing pleasure through the

casinos.

Then this hunt changes him.


He becomes a different kind of Bond.


Fleming makes this exciting and credible.


Many people have now seen the movies.


Few have read Fleming's books.


But they sh...more
Stephen Winter
Feb 07, 2014 Stephen Winter rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Adults and Mature Audiences
The book was absolutely astounding! The plot had basically no plot holes. The book flowed with utmost smoothness and perfection - an excellent testament to Fleming's writing strength. Although the book does have a slow start, once it gets going it's hard to put it down. I would recommend this book to adults and mature audiences however, as it does tend to be a hard read. There was violence, sexual themes, and excessive drinking as well as minor foul language, so that is something to beware if yo...more
Unwisely
My uncle took me aside over Christmas and said he had a box of SF books in his basement he was going to give to goodwill but I should go through them. This was in there.

I am not a big James Bond fan - I've seen several films but couldn't really come up with a plot of any of them. I remember an overbearing womanizer, with cheesily named females.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. First, Bond has more of an inner life than comes through in the films (at least the older ones; I have only seen...more
Thomas Strömquist
"One of the best in the series: this novel dives deeper than ever into the man James Bond. First he's contemplating resignation from his work and later on he actually embarks on the route towards (some sort of) family life. Searching for Blofeld, who orchestrated "Thunderball", Bond finds him with unexpected help and in a very unexpected setting. Blofelds new plan is not easily revealed. The really good (much better than it's reputation) George Lazenby movie is quite true to the book, but again,...more
Billie
This was my first time reading this Bond story (its the only Bond movie I've never seen all the way though). Fleming takes you into world of cards, skiing, the Union Corse, and all types of women and of course violence. This is the middle book of the so called "Blofeld" trilogy.(the other two being "Thunderball" and "You Only Live Twice". I'm finding Fleming to be more and more and more elitist as I read him and Bond to be more and more torn between hero and anti hero. A good early summer read h...more
Alec
On Her Majesty's Secret Service is often hailed as Ian Fleming's most satisfying literary endeavor. Intriguingly, the novel contains a key difference when compared to its cinematic adaptation: The 1969 film starring George Lazenby includes a lengthy montage to depict Bond and Tracy falling in love. In contrast, Fleming skips this period of their romance as evidenced by the two month gap between Chapters 5 and 6. Why did Fleming avoid this period? Was he unable to relate to such a blissful interl...more
Adam Stone
On Her Majesty's Secret Service is the tenth James Bond novel, and is also a sequel to Thunderball, and the second book in the Blofeld trilogy, as Bond tries once again to stop the machinations of Blofeld who managed to get away after the events in the previous novel, who has an even more ingenious, if slightly less ambitious, scheme in mind in this book.

It is also famous as the novel where James Bond actually gets married to one of his many conquests, Tracy Di Vicenzo, which did seem to be qui...more
awesomatik.com
Ian Fleming – On her Majesty’s Secret Service

Ich wollte schon immer mal einen James Bond Roman lesen. Nach einiger Recherche ist die Wahl auf oben genanntes Abenteuer gefallen, das in vieler Hinsicht einen besonderen Platz in der Biographie Bonds einnimmt. Es ist der zweite Teil der sogenannten Blofeld-Trilogie (zwischen “Thunderball” und “You only live twice”). Bond hat genug vom Agentendasein und möchte seinen Job an den Nagel hängen, da tauchen zeitgleich die Frau seines Lebens und sein Erzri...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Ian Lancaster Fleming was a British author, journalist and Second World War Navy Commander. Fleming is best remembered for creating the character of James Bond and chronicling his adventures in twelve novels and nine short stories. Additionally, Fleming wrote the children's story Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and two...more
More about Ian Fleming...
Casino Royale (James Bond, #1) From Russia With Love (James Bond, #5) Goldfinger (James Bond, #7) Live and Let Die (James Bond, #2) Moonraker (James Bond, #3)

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“She explained to me later that she must have been possessed by a subconscious desire to be raped. Well she found me in the mountains and she was raped - by me.” 8 likes
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