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Octopussy and The Living Daylights

(James Bond (Original Series) #14)

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  6,314 ratings  ·  346 reviews
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.

This new Penguin edition comprises four stories, including  Fleming’s little-known story “007 in New York,” showcasing Bond’s
Paperback, 123 pages
Published September 6th 2012 by Vintage Classics (first published June 23rd 1966)
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3.55  · 
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 ·  6,314 ratings  ·  346 reviews

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(B+) 76% | Good
Notes: James Bond, in each episode, searches for people: to apprehend, to identify, to shoot and to warn, with mixed results.

- 12 fresh eggs
- Salt and pepper
- 5-6 oz. of fresh butter

Break the eggs into a bowl. Beat thoroughly with a fork and season well. In a small copper (or heavy bottomed saucepan) melt four oz. of the butter. When melted, pour in the eggs and cook over a very low heat, whisking continuously with a small egg whisk.

While the eggs are slightly more moist than you would wish for eating, remove the pan from heat, add rest of butter and continue whisking for half a minute, addi
May 07, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Reread this book after such a long time. This was my first brush with the iconic British spy in a book written by the creator, Ian Fleming. I had read a Bond novel by John Gardener earlier though.

The edition I have contains the following three stories
• Octopussy
• The Living Daylights
• The Property of a Lady
Some editions feature an additional story - 007 IN NEW YORK. I wish my edition included this one.

In these stories you will get to accompany Bond on his missions across the globe: Jamaica, West
Oct 14, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is to Ian Fleming’s Bond stories as Coda is to Led Zeppelin – a thin collection of what’s left after it’s over.

Led Zeppelin was no more after the demise of their drummer John Bonham in 1980. Coda was released in 1982 featuring a collection of previously unreleased tracks from various sessions throughout the band’s twelve-year reign as metal gods. Ian Fleming passed away in 1964 and Octopussy and The Living Daylights was published posthumously in 1966 after Fleming had taken the world by sto
Feb 09, 2014 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.

This is a short story about a man, living in Jamaica, who sto
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
A collection of four short stories. Two share titles with James Bond movies, but the substance is nothing like the subject matter of the stories. Will review more later.
aPriL does feral sometimes
Number 14 in the James Bond series, 'Octopussy and The Living Daylights' is the last Book penned by Ian Fleming in the series. It consists of four short vignettes:


An officer succumbs to a moment of greed after World War II in collecting a couple of bars of Nazi gold, a crime which catches up to him.

-The Property of a Lady

A surprising payday for a KGB spy! and one of the few actual spying cases done by James Bond in this series.

-The Living Daylights

An East-Germany escape, a cello-playin
Bill Lynas
Apr 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ian Fleming shows that the James Bond adventures work equally well in the short story format. While not perhaps on such an epic scale as other 007 tales all three episodes are written with Fleming's superb journalistic style.
David Dalton
Dec 26, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spies
I finally finished reading all of the Ian Fleming James Bond books. I picked up a paperback collection of all the Fleming Bond books years ago from Sam's. But never got to this last book. Till I finally picked it up via Kindle and now I knocked it out. Another collection of short stories.

Most of the time, the Bond movies have little to do with the actual books, like Goldeneye (not even a short story), or The World is Not Enough (family motto mentioned in a Bond book). Three of the stories in thi
Jun 22, 2015 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
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
Roxana Chirilă
So, when I think of James Bond, I think of this super-spy guy who solves his missions by killing enemies, while getting all the dangerous, beautiful women.

As such, this collection came as a bit of a surprise. Firstly, because it's 142 pages long (which is short) and contains three short stories and a thing (we'll come back to the thing a bit later). Secondly, because Bond falls in love with one single woman in the entire book, and she's on the other side - on the other side politically, and on t
Apr 17, 2014 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
May 21, 2012 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. (
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...
Feb 04, 2016 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
"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
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
The final book in the original Bond series consists of three short stories. These were uneven. The least interesting as a story was the one about Bond eyeing bidders in an auction. This reads like Fleming was doing a kind of product placement story highlighting the action and intrigue of a fine arts auction. In another review I read this was originally published in an auction house magazine, so there you go.

I enjoyed the other two stories more. In Octopussy, Bond really plays a bit role – he’s
Aug 10, 2017 rated it liked it
James Bond started out as a literary character and soon turned into a movie franchise, becoming a “pop culture” icon in the process. I have watched a few Bond movies, discreetly enjoying them, without really becoming a fan. Perhaps that is why I was never really tempted to explore Fleming’s originals. I now realise that this slim volume of four posthumously published short stories are quite atypical of the Bond oeuvre and possibly not the best introduction to Fleming’s work. In “Octopussy”, Bond ...more
Although I remain largely unimpressed by James Bond in the short story format, these selections are slightly better and more memorable than the ones featured in For Your Eyes Only. "Octopussy" is the sole standout, partly because of its unorthodox format of being told from villain Smythe's point of view and in flashback. "The Living Daylights" has an intriguing setup, but feels like a prologue to a much bigger story and ends before it really goes anywhere. As for the other two, meh. The best thi ...more
The other day I came across this audiobook of James Bond short stories narrated by Tom Hiddleston.

I was like, well hello there.


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
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
Dec 10, 2014 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 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
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
Nov 27, 2011 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
Aug 10, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, adult, series
2 1/2 stars
This is one that I had forgotten about reading. I don't even know how I ended up reading it in the first place, but this is the only James Bond story I've read and from this story I gather that Ian Flemming's James Bond is a bit different from the one in the movies. The short story Octopussy is very different from the movie of the same name. Instead you get an okay action thriller without all of cheesiness that is the movie. That's not a bad thing, but I just thought it was a little d
Gina Boyd
Jun 22, 2015 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.
May 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
not the best writing, but it does show a human side of Bond. Good afternoon read
Jan 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like For Your Eyes Only, this rating is an average of all the short stories. This is the last book Fleming wrote, which I didn't realize until I was almost through it. So I'll have to go back to the previous one and end there. Octopussy (***) is a story I was familiar with because it's briefly recapped in that movie and is another story told from someone else's perspective with Bond a lesser character. I thought this worked a little better in The Spy Who Loved Me but it does work here as well. T ...more
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Not Impressed 11 20 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. He was a grandson of the Scottish financier Robert Fleming, who founded the Scottish American Investment Trust and the merchant bank Robert Fleming & Co.

Fleming is best remembered for creating the character of James

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)
“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
“Because people are very careful with the secrets of their own business doesn’t mean that they’ll be careful with the secrets of yours.” 2 likes
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