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Octopussy and the Living Daylights (James Bond (Original Series) #14)

3.53  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,400 Ratings  ·  214 Reviews
The three novellas in this anthology delve deeper into the James Bond character and psyche, are full of atmosphere and detail, and are, in short, pure Fleming.Raymond Benson, author of High Time to Kill
Audio CD, 3 pages
Published February 1st 2009 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published January 1st 1966)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Carmen
Apr 28, 2015 Carmen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bond fans
This was going to be dirty work and Bond, because he belonged to the Double-0 Section, had been chosen for it. Perversely, Bond wanted to force M to put it in black and white. This was going to be bad news, dirty news, and he didn't want to hear it from one of the Section officers, or even from the Chief of Staff. This was to be murder. All right. Let M bloody well say so.

Four Bond short stories. None are very interesting.

1.) OCTOPUSSY
This is a short story about a man, living in Jamaica, who sto
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Brightness
3 stars for the short stories.

5 stars for Tom Hiddleston's narrations.

The short stories were good. Here we have Octopussy, The Property of a Lady, and The Living Daylights. All three have very different tones to them and all have a different version of Bond.

Octopussy was probably my favorite. Bond is actually only a minor character and the story really centers around Major Dexter Smythe, a retired WWII hero who is implicated in a murder that involved a stash of Nazi gold. Smythe is a very intere
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Sandy
Jun 22, 2015 Sandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When English author Ian Fleming passed away on August 12, 1964, at the age of 56, he had not yet put the finishing touches on his final James Bond novel, "The Man With the Golden Gun." Oh, sure, he'd gotten a first draft down on paper--working at his Oracabessa, Jamaica winter home called Goldeneye, as usual--but the plethora of convincing detail that had been the hallmark of the previous dozen Bond books was sadly missing from the final product. And so, when the novel was ultimately released so ...more
El
Again, paralyzed with options! Here we have Octopussy (the movie came out in 1983) and The Living Daylights which came out... later... with Timothy Dalton. But these are novellas, they're short, and apparently they were published together in this short story collection. (Though I beg to ask - can you have a "short story collection" when said collection includes only two stories? I feel like that's cheating.)

This is an exceptionally short book, even with both stories together. I think it clocks i
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Clare
Apr 17, 2014 Clare rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was very surprised by this audiobook. I had as certain idea of what "James Bond" is... and this wasn't it.

I've read spy stories, and thrillers, and these stories were much more like THAT. These stories are from the '60s and were more introspective and character based than I expected from a "James Bond" novel. Somehow I expected something full of mindless action, car chases and meaningless sex. I bought it because I enjoy the sound of Tom Hiddleston's voice-- I'd listen to him read the phone b
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Zee
"Whether it is tracking down a wayward major who has taken a deadly secret with him to the Caribbean or identifying a top Russian agent secretly bidding for a Fabergé egg in a Sotheby's auction room, Bond always closes the case—with extreme prejudice."

Ahh, the world of international espionage. Thanks to Fleming, being a spy has never been so attractive. He single-handedly painted the otherwise secret world of Mi5 operatives in gold gilt. The genre itself became synonymous with the Christian Dio
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James
A posthumous collection of the remaining Bond short stories: "Octopussy", "The Property of a Lady", "The Living Daylights" and "007 in New York". Having read this far it would be a shame not to complete the set...
Tracy
Dec 15, 2014 Tracy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Tom Hiddleston really gave a fun reading to the material. He created distinct accents and personalities for each character. I liked his take on Dexter Smythe...you could tell he was having a lot of fun recording the stories. He reads at a slightly slower pace than I tend to like (I usually like narrators who don't pause and act out the characters' deliberations), but he injects a lot of personality in the readings and this collection is under 4 hours long.

I think each story in this collection h
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J'aime
This audio book includes the novella Octopussy as well as three other James Bond stories. I've seen many of the films, but until now had never "read" any of the Ian Fleming novels. During a recent road trip, I decided to start with this because I'm a fan of the reader. Hiddleston reads with a clear, strong voice, changing his cadence or accent as the characters change. I look forward to hearing him read other books.

It probably wasn't a good idea to start with the very last, posthumous collection
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Gina Boyd
Jun 25, 2015 Gina Boyd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't give a DAMN about James Bond, but I listened to this audio book, and Tom Hiddleston's voice is MAGIC and should be used for everything. He should record all the audio books, provide all the narration, make all the announcements, and replace Siri and her non-Apple kin. The world would be a better place.
Ann-Marie
Jul 15, 2015 Ann-Marie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
The other day I came across this audiobook of James Bond short stories narrated by Tom Hiddleston.

I was like, well hello there.

description

Had no idea that he did this! So I checked it out from my library, listened to it, and enjoyed it!

I’ve seen all the Bond films and have always thought about reading an Ian Fleming book someday. Discovering that Tom Hiddleston had narrated these short stories was all the push I needed, and icing on the cake. I was happy to see that two of the three he narrated happened to
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Michael
Feb 09, 2016 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of the Bond film series
Recommended to Michael by: Jeff Hancock
I really do enjoy the Bond short stories because in the absence of broad-reaching plots and numerous characters, Fleming gives us insight into the character that's difficult to convey on film.

Octopussy took me by the greatest surprise as it has nothing at all to do with the film bearing its name (although the film did happily borrow significant elements from The Property of a Lady and Moonraker), and indeed added more fuel for Spectre than anything. What we have here is a fairly dark tale that s
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Rick Brindle
Feb 11, 2015 Rick Brindle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I've finally worked through my re-read of the Bond novels, some 30 years after first reading them. What a different experience this time around. Right, so here we are with four short stories. In Octopussy, 007 warns a former British Army officer that his wartime secret has been discovered and it's time for him to face the music. In Property of a Lady, Bond has to spot a KGB paymaster at an expensive auction. In The Living Daylights, he has to kill an assassin, and In 007 in New York, he has to w ...more
Rob Thompson
A slender collation of Bond short stories published in 1966, two years after Fleming had died. It comprises Octopussy, The Property of a Lady, The Living Daylights and 007 In New York. Viewers of the Bond movies will recognise two of the titles and a lot of the plot elements. The character of Hannes Oberhauser, an Austrian climbing and skiing instructor who acted like a father to Bond, is also introduced. Oberhauser features in the movie Spectre.

The stories themselves are enjoyable and are some
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Grant Howard
Oct 02, 2015 Grant Howard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have really enjoyed both of Fleming's short story collections.
This set has three great short stories and one pointless, but inoffensive vignette.

"Octopussy" has shades of Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Sign of Four" (and perhaps one of these in turn influenced F. Paul Wilson's "The Tomb"?). It's a Bond-lite tail of an ex-secret service man living in retirement in Jamaica who Bond visits to call out on a dreadful sin from his past. (As I write this we've had the trailer, but still await the release
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Jennifer
My foray into the world of audiobooks continues.

3.5 stars for the stories and the extra 1.5 stars for the excellent narration.

I've not ever been what one could call a James Bond fan. I'm not a James Bond hater, either. I had no strong feelings about the character/books/movies one way or the other. This was based on my trying to watch assorted Bond movies when I was younger and not being able to get into them. Therefore, I never attempted to read any of the books, assuming I wouldn't like them.

Fl
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Gretchen
Hard to rate this one, as it is a short story collection. Obviously, some are better than others. I think Bond was more "himself" in these than in The Man With the Golden Gun," but the final story in this book (and ultimately the series) was a bit anticlimactic (though ironic).

The title story is very good, with wonderful animal symbolism. The "outside" view of Bond really crystalizes the power of his personality.

Reading the Bond series this year has been such an enjoyable "study." Fleming's abi
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Amanda
My first Bond and Ian Fleming's last--I'm not a particular follower of the franchise, but I enjoyed the sparseness in the original stories. The selections have a distinctive (if dated) mood, slow and languid like cocktails on a hot summer's day.

Stories in the collection:
OCTOPUSSY: This had a nice lack of Bond, but not enough octopus, IMO. I know it's meant to be introspective or something, but I went into this for the octopus, okay.

PROPERTY OF A LADY: a.k.a. the one with the auction. Actually a
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Cateline
Feb 02, 2014 Cateline rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Octopussy, The Living Daylights, The Property of a Lady and 007 in New York by Ian Fleming

Four Bond adventures, three of which are probably about novella length and one, the last, a short story are pared to the bone. No fluff, straight up stories that give the reader an insightful view into what James Bond's life was actually like. Some show his doubts about his job, but all show the business end of the job.

The stories have Bond dealing with a washed up Major in Jamaica who plays dangerous game
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Brian
Sep 26, 2011 Brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
* The fourteenth Bond book.

* The last Bond book by Ian Fleming, published posthumously but including three short stories originally published (by Playboy and Argosy) between 1962 and 1965 (roughly between The Spy Who Loved Me and The Man With the Golden Gun). (Later editions than mine include a fourth story, "007 in New York.")

* Bond here gets to demonstrate an unattractive yet very human failing: having rather more sympathy for a beautiful woman than a plain one. And perhaps it is too bad: if t
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Phil
Jul 24, 2012 Phil rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Again a solid 3 stars for Fleming and the end of my intensive read-through of all 14 Fleming Bond books. This - the second posthumous publication - is, like For Your Eyes Only, a short story collection. However, as the original publcation only contained two stories and must have been about 120 pages of very large type, it's not really good value for money. Even adding "Property of a Lady" only brings it up to about 140 pages.

I think that the short form suited Fleming, because he could indulge hi
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Steve Mitchell
The last book of James Bond stories published by Ian Fleming. These four stories (The first time 007 in New York was published in the UK is this volume) actually fit in Bond's chronology somewhere around On Her Majesty's Secret Service rather than after the Man with the Golden Gun. All are better than the final couple of Bond novels - even if Property of a Lady has the biggest plot hole that Fleming ever allowed in any of his stories.
Octopussy sees Bond chasing up a crime committed at the end of
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Jeff
Jul 28, 2009 Jeff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another short story collection by Fleming and also another Bond book to be published after the author's death. It contains both the worst of and the best of the Bond short stories.

Octopussy: Told from the point of view of Dexter Smythe; Bond comes along to arrest him for treason but actually gives Smythe some time to commit suicide so as not to be shamed. Smythe even privately thanks Bond for this respect. Classic Fleming chill. The story has almost nothing to do with the 1983 movie of the same
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John
Well, I guess I shouldn't be too harsh on this because it was compiled from unfinished documents after Fleming died. Still, these stories are not nearly as compelling as the shorties in For Your Eyes Only.

The title story, Octopussy, really doesn't contain much of Bond at all. Now, that alone doesn't mean it's a bad story (I loved the Quantum of Solace story even though Bond was merely an audience member), but there really was nothing Bond-like to grab your attention here. It is just not that gr
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Lacey
May 14, 2013 Lacey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Meh, it was OK. There are 4 short stories in this book. The first one Octopussy hardly featured James Bond at all. Instead it was a story about a retired WWII British Military man who does some bad things and ends up in Jamaica where James Bond is sent to question him. A very detailed and interesting story even if James Bond had a small part.

The second story, Property of a Lady, was about identifing a Russian secret agent in the British government. Not a bad story but somewhat anticlimatic. The
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Mark
Nov 07, 2012 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Ian Fleming and 007
A short story collection which was released after the death of Ian Fleming.

'007 in New York': Is more a bit of tourist information than an actual short story. But it shows Flemings skill of description, but here it lacks his usual strength which makes boring stuff come alive.

'Octopussy': This story is not a 007 adventure but more a tale of WOII where a soldier steals from the Nazi's. But while doing that he makes a mistake which brings 007 on his doorstep. An impressive little tale well told. (
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F.R.
Dec 04, 2011 F.R. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a rag-bag of stories that screams of a collection put together posthumously. It’s amazing how little excitement there is within these four tales; indeed they all just drift aimlessly into each other. But then, to be fair, I can’t now remember any detail about the adventures in ‘For Your Eyes Only’ either. Perhaps it’s the case that Fleming was a much better long-distance runner than he was a sprinter, as these tales – which mostly lack sex and dramatic tension – seem far removed from eve ...more
Andrew
Apr 07, 2013 Andrew rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Final book in the James Bond ouvre, a collection of wide-ranging short stories: he acts as a sniper, tracks down a British soldier who stole Nazi gold, goes to an auction at Southby's, and wanders around New York City.

Definitely a downbeat to end the series, as was the final novel (Man with the Golden Gun), which were both published after Fleming's death. Overall the books are interesting, and at some points thrilling, but held to modern standards very slow, and held to the movies at times prett
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Emperador Spock
Jun 16, 2012 Emperador Spock rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bond-novels
The last Bond book to have anything to do with Ian Fleming, and it's a short story collection, the second in the series. The first one, 'For Your Eyes Only' was quite good, so I'd had some hopes for this one as well. And what do you know -- it doesn't disappoint.

'007 in New York': 2 stars. The worst story in the book, makes an impression of its being a beginning for a scrapped up novel, and a rather trite beginning at that. On its own it's just flat and pointless.

'Octopussy': 4 stars. A solid st
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Paul Lyons
A great improvement over Ian Fleming's last collection of James Bond short stories "For Your Eyes Only." This final publication of Fleming's James Bond series contains three engaging short 007 tales, and one odd entry that felt very unfinished.

"Octopussy" is an interesting story...that happens to feature James Bond as a marginal supporting character. That said, "Octopussy" is a fun piece of writing...portraying a selfish, and morally unsound man who past discrepancies have come back to haunt him
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Not Impressed 11 19 Jul 21, 2012 02:37PM  
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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
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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)
  • The Spy Who Loved Me (James Bond, #10)

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“Look my friend, I've got to commit a murder tonight. Not you. Me. So be a good chap and stuff it, would you?” 6 likes
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