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The Spy Who Loved Me (James Bond (Original Series) #10)

3.39  ·  Rating Details ·  7,250 Ratings  ·  456 Reviews
'No woman had ever held this man. None ever would.'

Trying to escape her tangled past, Vivienne Michel has run away to the American backwoods, ending up at the Dreamy Pines Motor Court. A far cry from the privileged world she was born to, the motel is also the destination of two hardened killers - the perverse Sol Horror and the deadly Sluggsy Morant - who have her in their
Paperback, 172 pages
Published 1980 by Triad/Granada (first published January 1st 1962)
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Mar 25, 2016 Carmen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No One
This book was a disgusting piece of shit. Avoid at all costs.

What? You want details? Okay. For one thing, I have no idea what possessed Fleming to write a book from a female first-person perspective. He is a misogynist. Trying to write from a female perspective when you barely acknowledge that women are human is problematic at best.

It seems as if his main aim was to use first-person female perspective in order to write lurid and titillating (to an asshole male reader) scenes of sex from a wom
Richard Derus
Rating: 3.75* of five

1977's film, not 1962's book, is under discussion. The film is not one single thing like the book. Apparently, the story was forbidden to the filmmakers, though not the title. I had no idea the films were so contentious, litigious, and all-around ornery to make! This rewatch has been quite an education.

I now know I will never be A Critic, as in publicly known to the civilians, in books, music, or film. I hate the Po-Mo MFA Pit-Sniffers in vogue among Those Who Read Seriously
May 23, 2010 F.R. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
‘The Spy who Loved Me’ is of course the ‘odd’ James Bond novel. The book which is told from a female point of view, the episode where Commander James Bond is not even mentioned until over halfway through, the one which doesn’t seem like a spy novel at all. It’s an interesting experiment, but what struck me on (re-)reading it now was how poorly conceived and badly executed it was.

Nothing in Ian Fleming’s other novels suggests that he had a great understanding or appreciation of female characters.
Benjamin Thomas
Aug 09, 2015 Benjamin Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller-spy
Well that was different…

Ian Fleming really changed things up with his 9th novel in the James Bond series. (Tenth book in the series if you count the collection of novelettes in “For Your Eyes Only”). First, Fleming changes from his usual third person point-of-view to a first person telling of the tale. Second, we don’t see the story unfold from Bond’s eyes but rather from Vivienne “Viv” Michel, a young Canadian lady trying to escape from her unlucky-at-love past and fleeing to small-town America
Jan 14, 2009 Michael rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. This was something else. A terrible, terrible something else.

The Spy Who Loved Me differs from all of the other Bond books, in that it's written in the first person, from the perspective of Vivienne Michel, a vivacious young lady who finds herself alone, looking after a motor lodge in north-eastern America.

The book falls into three sections... the first looks at Vivienne's background and how she came to find herself babysitting an empty motel. Essentially, this is a depressing look at the g
When I read Diamonds are Forever, I was struck by how dissimilar the movie was to the book. Obviously the movies are loosely based on the books, and some are more loosely based than others.

This is the most loosely based ones to date.

In fact, the only thing connected to the book in this case is the title.

Here's the trailer from 1977. Look at all that action! The skiing! The guns! The 'splosions! The thingy coming out of the water! None of those things exist in the book. The Bond girl from movie i
Mike (the Paladin)
Not too impressed with this one...too much soap opera for me I suppose. But even after all the blood shed, violence and warnings that "men" involved in this sort of life no matter which side are still dangerous...Viv is still in love with Bond.

Should I sigh here?
Aug 17, 2011 Sandy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although the fifth James Bond movie, 1967's "You Only Live Twice," was the first film in the series to radically differ from its source novel, perhaps no other 007 picture jettisons author Ian Fleming's original conception as completely as 1977's "The Spy Who Loved Me." In essence a remake of "YOLT," substituting nuclear subs for manned space capsules (check out the point-by-point comparison of the two films in Raymond Benson's excellent "James Bond Bedside Companion"), Roger Moore's third outin ...more
Beth Bonini
Apr 10, 2016 Beth Bonini rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, crime
The introduction to this book describes it as an "anomaly, an exercise in style, an experiment in genre-blending" . . . but I would describe it as a bad romance novel, in which the heroine gets beaten up by some pretty vile thugs and the hero doesn't even show up until the last third of the novel. I haven't read any Ian Fleming before, and I didn't really detect the elegant stylist in this one. So perhaps I should read another Fleming book just to make sure I really don't need to bother any more ...more
Jan 13, 2009 Kristiana rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Jan 28, 2015 Leslie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm glad that I decided to go back and read this one, which I had previously skipped. Although Bond has an important role, this entry in the Bond series (#10) is quite different in style and content from the others. A first-person narrative of a girl just reaching adulthood in the early 1960s into whose life gangsters & violence (and eventually James Bond) suddenly erupt.
Sep 15, 2016 Jim rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Now, ask yourself this: Why would anyone be interested in reading a novel from the point of view of a Bond girl -- and a one-night stand at that! The book is 60% over before Bond appears -- in an isolated motel near Lake George in the Adirondacks where the girl, Viv Michel, is being threatened by two hoods.

I like Ian Fleming's James Bond novels -- but not this one. You can skip The Spy Who Loved Me. As far as I'm concerned, it was probably written by somebody else. The only reason I didn't aband
Frank Hughes
Considered the runt of the James Bond litter, this is actually a very interesting novel. Fleming claimed he wrote it to show that Bond was not a hero, but nearly as sordid as the people he pursued. So badly received was the book when published, Fleming insisted that no reprints be made or a paperback published during his lifetime. As for films, he insisted only the title could be used and no film should be made of the actual story. Yet it is well worth the read for any Bond fan.

In a short prolog
Gary Foss
I was not very wild about this particular installment.

First off, it's quite short. The Bond stories by Fleming all tend to be thin, but this one is 50-60 or so pages shorter than a typical Bond novel. Given that most Bond novels are 200-250 pages, that makes this one pretty brief. By itself that wouldn't be a problem, but the first third of this book is all about a French Canadian girl's young adulthood experiences in school and working while having the occasional romantic misadventure. It's not
Rick Brindle
Sep 26, 2014 Rick Brindle rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This is very unlike the other Bond books. It's written from a woman's perspective and told in the first person, from the main character's point of view. Viviene Michel is a young Canadian who encounters bruising relationships with men and ends up working in a motel in America, where she is set upon by gangsters out to murder her as part of an insurance scam. Miraculously, 007 turns up and saves the day.
This story simply, sadly, just reinforces Fleming's view of both the world and women. Through
Lindsay Stares
It took me a long time to track down this book: I couldn't get it through the library, and I eventually broke down and bought it (a bad idea in my tiny apartment). Wow. It's totally worth the money and shelf space. Just fantastic. Be warned, it does read like a noir/romance which happens to feature (but not star) James Bond. One of my favorite things about going through and actually reading the Bond books, is that they are all different. For that, and for the narrator's perspective on Bond, I lo ...more
Carey Combe
Dec 24, 2013 Carey Combe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was advised to write this after having heard that Donna Tartt is the only female writer who has written a bestselling book with a male narrator. So I tried this - Macho Ian Fleming writing in a first person female narrator. Loved it...
Dave Anderson
Jun 21, 2015 Dave Anderson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
There is no worse sentence made up of letters and words from the English language than this: "All women love semi-rape." (Page 128) That is a tone deaf observation.

Ian Fleming's "The Spy Who Loved Me" is a badly written James Bond novel. It is Fleming writing from a woman's perspective, using first person narrative. It is the kind of novel that should inspire aspiring writers to rise up and say, "I can do better than this", and do so. I can only assume that Sue Grafton, Sara Paretsky, and Janet
Aug 25, 2011 Martyn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 'For Bond Addicts Only'
This book is so awful that it leads me to one of two conclusions - firstly, that it was written, despite its release date, very early by Fleming and was an extended short story that was never meant to be a novel. Or secondly, that Fleming didn't actually write it at all and published it as a favor to an admirer or in payment for something.

My reasons for the first conclusion are simple - the dialog, action and even the psychological aspects of Bond are so different from any of the other novels th
Arjun Mishra
Aug 01, 2012 Arjun Mishra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
Here is an interesting turn of events. Fleming writes an incredibly short yet excruciatingly insightful Bond book from the point of a view from a growing woman with various heritages and identity issues. Despite avowed hatred from the Bond fan and critic community at the time - a backlash so strong that Fleming moved to abort his experiment and cancel future publications - I love this book. It is not a disaster; it is far from it. It is an excellent coming of age story told from a Bond girl who ...more
I read this book because it was one of the books which I inherited from my mother and I have it in an edition with an alluring dust-jacket, showing a dagger in a burnt parchment and the hand written words on the parchment "The Spy who loved me". The design was by Richard Chopping, the famous illustrator of the Bond stories, and frankly his illustration is a lot more striking, memorable and skilful as an illustration than the story is in terms of writing. If the author had not been Ian Fleming I ...more
Jan 15, 2012 Wellington rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

What was that? This is different from the other Ian Fleming James Bond books because it was written from the first person from the female point of view. It read more like a young adult teenage romance ... It was a murderous beginning of a dumbstruck girl looking for love. Unfortunately, it was the only book I brought with me to the airport and so I stuck with it.

James Bond would make his entrance 2/3 into the book to save the girl and the book. Well, he saved the girl and should have let the boo
Stephen Herron
Sep 08, 2014 Stephen Herron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
By far my favorite Ian Fleming Bond novel so far, The Spy Who Loved Me is, I feel, the prototype Jack Reacher novel. Indeed, a Reacher novel from the POV of another character would be a fantastic read.

Probably something of a shock at the time of its release, TSWLM marks what I think is a real step forward for Fleming, writing sympathetically from a female point of view. His charming historically appropriate misogyny merely reads like schoolboy naivety here, and isn't really even jarring. Viv is
Jul 07, 2015 Jake rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Well, ok. The Spy Who Loved me is the only James Bond novel by Fleming not written in the third person. It is instead written in the first person from the point of view of Vivienne Michel, a young Canadian women who, at the age of the 23, has decided to travel from Quebec to Florida on a Vespa after two failed relationships. On the way, she gets into some rather nasty trouble with a couple of gangsters and is saved (and swept off her feet, of course) by none other than James Bond.

Fleming's atte
Aug 13, 2016 Jay rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
A James Bond book from a woman’s point of view. Sounds like Fleming was reading one of those books about getting over writer’s block. And that is what this feels like, a writer’s exercise. In this case, Fleming’s heroine tells her history before the action starts, more than half way through the book. Her history is really more her sexual history. Fleming is writing more frankly about sex in this one, and spending much more time on it than previous Bond books. In this case, it’s not a very happy ...more
An odd one. Bond hardly appears in this novel at all, and it's the weaker for it. Fleming wrote Bond well. As his character he seemed to understand him. Other people not so much. Vivienne isn't James, and throughout the best part of the book you're waiting and hoping for Bond to arrive and start being Bond. Sadly, it's all a little too late.
Brenda Ayala
Mar 23, 2016 Brenda Ayala rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed
This book is utter crap.

This is my first foray into the Bond world of books. I have one other one I will read, and my only reason is because it was given to me by a friend who was moving and I never give up on a book from a friend. I'm seriously tempted to throw this book in a fire and watching it go up in a fiery blaze.

Why do I hate it so much?

Because this is literally the most misogynistic, sexist piece of shit I've read in a long, long time. This guy had no clue what the fuck he was talking a
Jan 06, 2013 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, spy
While there are certainly some, shall we say, less-than-progressive views on women on display here, I appreciate Fleming's effort to present Bond in a different light. Vivienne may be a dip, but it amuses me to see 007 through the eyes of a fangirl.
Apr 11, 2015 Billy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Absolutely no one
So bad it actually makes the movie seem like Masterpiece Theatre.

Favorite line: "These men were Dynamite from Nightmare-land." It takes a rare talent to write something that bad.
Greg Z
Nov 11, 2015 Greg Z rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
How about "Motel Nymph"? Yes, that was the title of this mess when published by Stag magazine in the USA (according to Wiki). After initial publication of the hardback, Fleming requested no reprints and no paperbacks. And even on the information page of this edition, Fleming refuses to take all the credit, as authorship reads: "Ian Fleming with Vivienne Mitchell." (By the way, Vivienne is said motel nymph.) This is the kind of stuff that shouldn't even be published, much like "Go Set a Watchman" ...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 about Ian Fleming...

Other Books in the Series

James Bond (Original Series) (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • Casino Royale (James Bond #1)
  • Live and Let Die (James Bond #2)
  • Moonraker (James Bond #3)
  • Diamonds Are Forever (James Bond #4)
  • From Russia With Love (James Bond #5)
  • Doctor No (James Bond #6)
  • Goldfinger (James Bond #7)
  • For Your Eyes Only (James Bond #8)
  • Thunderball (James Bond, #9)
  • On Her Majesty's Secret Service (James Bond, #11)

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“Loneliness becomes a lover, solitude a darling sin.” 34 likes
“All women love semi-rape. They love to be taken.It was his sweet brutality against my bruised body that made his act of love so piercingly wonderful.” 28 likes
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