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

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3.5 of 5 stars 3.50  ·  rating details  ·  3,053 ratings  ·  116 reviews
Published posthumously, this book is an anthology of three novellas featuring the world's best-known secret agent, James Bond.
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Published October 1st 2009 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published June 23rd 1966)
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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...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...more
Matthew
"Look my friend, I've got to commit a murder tonight. Not you. Me. So be a good chap and stuff it, would you?"

1966 saw the release of the final publication from Ian Fleming, the short story collection Octopussy & The Living Daylights. Originally published with the two title stories, a third short story was added upon the release of the paperback edition, The Property of a Lady. When the tome was reprinted by Penguin in the early 2000's, a fourth tale was added to the mix, 007 in New York. Al...more
Clare
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...more
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...
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...more
Jaime
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...more
Cory
The back of my edition says that this collection is "classic moments" in the life of a spy. I think they might have read a different book to me, or perhaps not read it and put in whatever the James Bond equivalent of Lorem Ipsum is.

This is a melancholic set of stories, fixated on the way that one's past -- and one's foibles -- can swing around to affect the future, and about the power both of misunderstandings, and of small incidents to cause cascading problems. Even Bond's self-satisfaction in...more
Aditi
I'd give this book a rating of 3.5/5. I enjoyed these tremendously, after realising with some surprise just how different the films are to these stories, and then thought with exasperation about how I should have read the books long ago, because of course the books are better than the films. Bond is not quite as trigger happy here, for one. The books are almost slow, delicious, and honeyed in detail as compared to the "Wham-Bam_Thank-You-Ma'am of the films. This is my first JB book, and I'd now...more
Douglas Engle
The Living Daylights is like condensed Bond mystique. At a scant 35 pages (in the Quantum of Solace collection), Fleming frames and develops his character through a simple encounter, a mission in Berlin, a shot from a hotel window. The key to this story is how much it doesn't accomplish. Bond goes nowhere. He gallivants, of course, as that's his MO, that's who he is. He gets fixed on a girl, too, naturally. But he stays on mission. He stays in the room, with one foil to bounce some very insightf...more
Cateline
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...more
Brian
* 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...more
Phil
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...more
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...more
Jeff
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...more
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...more
Lacey Lane
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...more
Mark
Nov 07, 2012 Mark rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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. (...more
F.R.
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
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...more
Emperador Spock
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...more
Andrew
The final instalments of the Bond story,two of the four interludes included here giving titles to two of the lengthy 007 cinema extravaganzas,'Octopussy' & 'The Living Daylights' which bear little or no resemblence to these brief literary versions. However, I have to say that I found these short (in one instance shamelessly sketchy!) adventures a good read! Bond is pared down to the rib-cage & spine, parading little of his typical flippancy; this is Bond as he might have been had Ian Fle...more
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...more
David Williams
Octopussy and The Living Daylights is a short story collection by Ian Fleming. It was collected and published after Fleming’s death. The book is very short and only contains four stories. “Octopussy” Is a story about a former British officer who is now in retirement. All seems to be well until a man named Bond shows up and exposes an old crime. “The Living Daylights” has Bond using his skills as a sniper to protect a spy who is trying to escape from East Berlin. In “Property of a Lady” Bond has...more
Seth Madej
Ian Fleming was a writer who, when he was bored, could never fool his reader into thinking he wasn't. I suspect that's why his short stories are so good. Each one was a break from form for Fleming, something he could stay interested in and excited about for the short burst it took him to write it.

The four stories in this collection are blissful for deep 007 fans, and "The Living Daylights" might in fact be the best of Fleming's Bond stories of any length. It concentrates everything that's most i...more
David
This is a short book with three enjoyable stories. "Octopussy" has nothing to do with the Bond movie, other than there is some action in the ocean. I enjoyed the character with a secret who is pursued by Bond. The backstory is interesting as well. The ending is not what the reader would expect. It is a neat little story with an ironic ending.

"The Living Daylights" is much more familiar if you have seen the movie, although it is just the beginning of the movie. Still, the big screen took Fleming'...more
Adam Stone
Octopussy and The Living Daylights comprised the final unpublished James Bond stories penned by Ian Fleming. The book comprised of four stories the title stories Octopussy, The Living Daylights and The Property of a Lady and James Bond in New York.

The main three stories were all about 30 pages in length. They were all quite good stories engagingly written with some very typical Bondian elements but were just quick sketches and would probably have worked better if they have been placed into the...more
Keith
Jul 19, 2011 Keith rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: James Bond fans
A collection of four short stories, this was Ian Fleming's last James Bond book, and to my mind, the weakest. Besides the two title stories, the book contains "The Property of a Lady" and "James Bond in New York," but the last is more a vignette than a story. The stories are interesting, but I've found only one of them, "The Living Daylights," suspenseful. Even in that story, there was no sense of danger to Bond, and I read Bond stories for that sense of danger. Bond is at his best when his deat...more
Martyn
When I first read through the Bond novels (32 years ago!) I didn't have much time for the short stories. I found them dull and I couldn’t wait to get back to the “real” action of the novels. But, having spent the last eighteen months or so re-reading the entire series of Fleming’s Bond books, the short stories are now among my favorites pieces in the canon.

Those collected here are tight and paced well and provide some sharp focus to the character that is often missing among the later novels.

I l...more
Kyle
An odd assortment of Bond stories, from a variety of sources such as Playboy magazine and Sotheby's in-house magazine, goes to show how pervasive the British icon had become at the end of Ian Fleming's life. The stories are very straight-forward, and could be summed up as goading a former agent into remorse, spotting another spy at an auction, taking out a sniper before the "Trigger" takes out one of his friends, and a daydream about 24 hours in New York - which ends up being a joke about the Ce...more
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Not Impressed 11 17 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...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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“Look my friend, I've got to commit a murder tonight. Not you. Me. So be a good chap and stuff it, would you?” 5 likes
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