Quantum of Solace
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Quantum of Solace (James Bond - Extended Series #8 and 14)

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3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  1,722 ratings  ·  126 reviews
Many of Ian Flemingas short stories have been the inspiration for the extremely successful James Bond film franchise, and included in this collection are such stories as "Octopussy, The Living Daylights," and "For Your Eyes Only," The title story, "Quantum of Solace," lends its name to the upcoming James Bond film, slated to release in Fall 2008. This collection will be pu...more
Hardcover, 301 pages
Published 2008 by Penguin Classics
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Daniel
As the title suggests, "Quantum of Solace: The Complete James Bond Short Stories" has everything but the novels -- and Ian Fleming did write mostly 007 novels, so this is a relatively brief collection. While the stories vary somewhat in quality, they do demonstrate that Fleming was a talented writer with a good eye for description, a sharp wit, and strong sense of pacing, even in the tighter format of the short story.

I'm not sure what's suggested by this, but the two best stories in the collecti...more
Tosh
Sep 21, 2008 Tosh rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: men who read in their bathtub
Recommended to Tosh by: It's a James Bond world, that is imagined
The ultimate bathtub or plane reading book. It goes from the eyes to the brain, but doesn't stay long there. In fact it's pure air with a promise of something else. But that something else doesn't come along.

I was raised with James Bond in the pop culture background, and it's interesting to read the original source. All the short stories here are enjoyable but at the same time it's crap.

The beauty of 'James Bond' is more important than the actual literature by Ian Fleming. But saying that I have...more
Marc
These nine stories are more realistic and less fantastic than the novels; there are no depraved villains, no evil global organizations, no elaborate plots to take over the world, no futuristic gadgets. Instead the tales are grounded in the geopolitical context of the late 1950s and early 1960s: Castro's incipient revolution in Cuba, the accelerating collapse of the British colonial empire and, most of all, the Cold War with the Soviet Union.

Most of the stories follow Bond as he carries out a di...more
Becky
I picked up this book because I enjoy the Bond films so much. The Bond of the book world, however, is different in some ways from the Bond of the film world. This Bond, although confident and poised, experiences some inner conflict about the things he must do to serve his country. As in the films, he is a ladies' man. The Bond women are always attractive, with just enough spice to make them interesting bed mates, but in the end, they always end up compliant. I find it an amusing portrayal of wha...more
BrokenTune [Disclaimer: My opinion is not paid for by Amazon.]
Review first posted on BookLikes: http://brokentune.booklikes.com/post/...


I picked up a bunch of James Bond books from a second-hand bookstore a few years ago, and as some of you may have noticed, I am reading my way through them.

When I picked up the books I knew all of the films - probably better than anyone really should - but I did not know much about Fleming's writing or the stories that underpinned the movie plots.

Because of that, I was unaware that Quantum of Solace is basically a re-issu...more
P.Sannie
The original James Bond stories are an interesting read if you want to see what the character was originally like. Ian Fleming's written style is very easy, but I have to say, the stories are at points hilariously dated due to overt un-PC comments for today's standards. One great example from the short story "Quantum of Solace":

Bond says he wouldn't mind having a flight attendant girlfriend because "...it would be fine to always have a pretty girl tucking you up and bringing you drinks and hot m...more
Angela
It's been a few years since I've read any of Ian Fleming's work, and I'd forgotten how enjoyable of a writer he is. His collection of James Bond short stories was a delight to read though definitely not for everyone.

Fleming's 007 should not be confused with the Bond of the silver screen. Readers looking for gadgets or shootouts or wild car chases will be disappointed. Most of these short stories are suspenseful, but not particularly action-oriented. And, in some, Bond is nothing more than a pass...more
Mitch Duckworth

That I truly enjoyed these short adventure gems of Mr. Bond in service to Her Majesty came as quite a happy surprise. Decidedly, I am not a fan of the Bond films (although I adore some scenes and marvel at the stunt-fest opening Albert Broccoli committed to film over his years of producing the franchise installments) and have had only limited exposure to Ian Fleming, having read Thunderball as a youngster. (And after nearly fifty-years, that is of no real value at all).

To a greater or lesser de...more
Michael
unfortunately, I had to abandon my copy of this book, but 70% fully read and 30% skimmed revealed, I believe, one very good story full of psychological complexity, and the rest being pretty straight formulaic fiction, including some filler based on Fleming apparently needing to write something and coming up with two or three scuba diving stories that are only incidentally about License-to-Kill #007.

I suppose I could turn this into one of those really clever academic deconstructions of the bond c...more
Stina Leicht
Don't ask me why I've a soft spot for Bond, but I do. I suspect it's my inner car-geek (mmm car chases) combined with my inner gadget freak. I read my first Ian Fleming long ago while I was in school, but I can't remember which one. I remember being unimpressed at the time. This time around, however, I enjoyed it. The stories weren't as sexist in the ways I'd expected and yet, they were more sexist in ways I hadn't expected. (Same with the racism.) Anyway, fun in a vintage way--in that it provid...more
Anna
The stories waver between three and four stars...he's obviously working some things out. I must say that my appreciation for the title of the collection, and consequently the recent movie, was increased ten-fold by reading the fantastic short story so named! And so begins my decent in to all things Bond!
Madeleine
WOW - very interesting to read because it is SO dated. Racist, sexist, anti-German, you name it. Really liked a couple of the stories, but I had to keep reminding myself it was written around 1960.
Douglas Engle
I have come to the conclusion that I enjoy James Bond immensely as a character, but can stand Fleming's writing only in smaller doses. The majority of the novels are too much. I read for the exposition, enjoy Bond's charisma, and Fleming's natural talent for elaborating on people, and settings, and subjects of all miscellany, then at the sign of the first trope leading the story into a mire of ridiculousness, in a knee-jerk reaction, I throw the book across the room. Afterward, in between other...more
Jon Christensen
Contained Stories are:

The basic plot of each story is hidden behind spoiler tag, even though I have not given away the endings.


"From a View to a Kill" - (view spoiler)
"For Your Eyes Only" - (view spoiler)
"Quantum of Solace" - (view spoiler)...more
Becky
I want to first say that I love, LOVE, love James Bond. Okay, let me correct myself. I love, LOVE, love James Bond MOVIES. I've never read Ian Fleming before and since I do enjoy short stories I expected this to be the perfect book for me to introduce myself to 007's creator.
Ian Fleming is very dry. I had to drag myself through this book. After the first couple of stories it became work to finish the book. There are some movie titles you might recognize:
A View to Kill
For Your Eyes Only
Quantum of...more
Sarah Lu
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrew Webb
If you are curious about the origins of the most successful film franchise in history but do no have the time or interest to read a spy novel, begin here. It reprints the short stories found in "For Your Eyes Only" and "Octopussy and the Living Daylights," along with difficult to find stories featured in some editions of the latter. This edition captures an amazing range of Fleming's writing and numerous insights into the character of Bond.

(the remainder of this review is shamelessly copied and...more
Mimi
Much different from what I expected. Many of the stories in this collection center around characters other than James Bond. The other characters are fairly well developed for stories of this length. The Bond in this collection is not the same Bond represented in the earlier Bond films. He's much more conflicted, especially about assassination assignments. Much of his time is spent daydreaming about the normal life he does not have. Fleming also dedicates a lot of time to setting the scene, thoug...more
Sean Kottke
What's good about this book is that it collects every short story Ian Fleming ever wrote about James Bond, including everything from For Your Eyes Only and Octopussy and The Living Daylights. What's not so good is that it's a pretty mixed bag, with some really good mystery stories ("From a View to a Kill" and "Risico") and some fairly ho-hum pieces in which Bond doesn't do anything more than listen to people talk ("Quantum of Solace," for example, in which Bond listens to the story of an unhappy...more
rabbitprincess
Dec 20, 2009 rabbitprincess rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 007 fans
Shelves: gift-card, 2009
Since there are nine different stories in this collection, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, I shall give each one a review and star rating, then average the ratings out for the collection as a whole.

From a View to a Kill: 4 stars. Top-notch action, definitely kept me in suspense, and left me wanting to know more about the bad guys. I would not be surprised if this were an aborted novel. It seemed to have room for development, but perhaps Fleming was not in the right mindset to finis...more
Joshua
Sep 16, 2008 Joshua rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any looking for cerebral spy stories
The rating reflects only the Penguin addition and not the stories contained inside .


In many ways, the literary Bond is quite different from the film Bond, and liking one doesn't necessarily mean one will like the other. Bond on film is the Bond I know best. He is charming, abrasive, over-the-top, and bullets bounce of him. The literary Bond acts more how a spy should act-- unseen, more human and thoughtful, good with the ladies, but with more misogyny. If you thought the Bond from the films is...more
Christine E.
I'm enjoying listening to this collection of James Bond short stories. It's highly entertaining pulp, full of fast cars, beautiful women, and exotic locations, as well as some quieter (but to me, equally interesting) tales about greed and love gone wrong. In a few stories, Bond is only a minor character. A couple of the stories are set in my homeland, Jamaica, where Ian Fleming owned a home and spent much of his leisure time. Those stories clearly express Fleming's love of my country's beauty, a...more
Sandy Vaughan
Do you like Ian Fleming?
I have liked most all the movies based on his novels since I first saw Gold Finger while I was in high school. I had never read Ian Fleming, which of course Scottish born DH had. I didn't want to be left behind, so when I saw Quantum of Solace on special at Audible.com, and read this publisher's summary, I had to get it. About 8.5 hours long, Quantum of Solace is a compilation of several short stories. I listened to one each night before sleeping.
Narrator, Simon Vance, d...more
Phil Mc
An interesting and entertaining collection of vignettes which initially left me hankering for the longer narrative of a novel. Indeed, many of the stories, either in part or in whole, have since been adapted into films bearing their names; thus allowing for greater expansion of some quality ideas; however, By the third story I began to see this as "Bond: The T.V. Series" and, in this way, there is much to interest anyone with an interest in Fleming's spy.

The only sour note would be the final st...more
Eva Nickelson
I found these short stories entrancing. I will admit, I was more than willing to be entranced, and I was not disappointed. Mired in the Cold War, but without enough time for a thoroughly complex plot, these short stories give a nice glimpse of James Bond on assignment. Whether he lounging with the governor of some British Caribbean Island or sniping across the border into the DDR, Flemming brings to life the conflict of right and wrong to the forefront of Bond's (and occasionally M's) narrative....more
Marvin King
I wavered between 3 and a 4 because the very, very good Quantum of Solace, alone, was enough to make it noteworthy. For students of Bond, those who recognize that the short stories, novels and movies are distinct, but interrelated, you do gain a better understanding of the Bond ethos. That makes it worth reading.
Tom
So basically, the only thing these stories have in common with the movies are some titles and the fact that the main character is named James Bond. It's not even the same Bond. The one in these stories has ethical dilemmas, and worries about whether he'll survive things, and is, basically, a somewhat believable human being. The stories also have nothing whatsoever to do with the movies - there are no memorable villains, just counter spies and revolutionaries who end up on the wrong end of Bond's...more
Benjaminxjackson
this collection of short stories shows James Bond as a Cold War Spy, dealing with the Soviet Block, cleaning up issues left over from World War II, and having a few side adventures in his off hours. (James Bond finds a rare fish for the Smithsonian.) The book's stories have a mixture of cloak and dagger, some stories are more cloak than dagger. There are no gadgets, evil villains stroking cats, or cheesy one-liners. Instead, there are stories about finding enemy agents, sniping, and a recipe for...more
Josh
This is a collection of James Bond short stories by the man who invented the character. Each is a short self-contained unit. Like many reviewers have stated, it is interesting to see where inspiration for different James Bond movies names and certain events originated. However, none of the stories are exceptional and they are pretty easily forgotten shortly after you listen. They are the kind of story you might expect to read in a magazine series. They are better than the recent James Bond book...more
Eric
Jan 27, 2011 Eric rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone that wants to get into 007, but doesn't want to commit to an entire novel
I listened to the unabridged audiobook of this collection of short stories, and I must say I loved the narrator. The collection is comprised of all of the James Bond short stories, which are, in chronological order:

'From a View to a Kill'
'For Your Eyes Only'
'Quantum of Solace'
'Risico'
'The Hildebrand Rarity'
'Octopussy'
'The Property of a Lady'
'The Living Daylights'
'007 in New York'

My favorites were 'Quantum of Solace', 'Octopussy' and 'The Property of a Lady', which surprised me a bit, as the firs...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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