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On Her Majesty's Secret Service (James Bond (Original Series) #11)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  13,394 Ratings  ·  497 Reviews
When James Bond rescues a beautiful, reckless girl from self-destruction, he finds himself with a lead on one of the most dangerous men in the world: Ernst Stavro Blofeld, an evil genius who is conducting research that could threaten the safety of the world.
Mass Market Paperback, #X350, 238 pages
Published 1965 by Pan (first published 1963)
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Dave Anderson The novels were adapted out of order. On Her Majesty's secret Service featured the "Transitional" Bond George Lazenby; a former car salesman and model…moreThe novels were adapted out of order. On Her Majesty's secret Service featured the "Transitional" Bond George Lazenby; a former car salesman and model in his first acting performance. There is a biographical-documentary on Hulu about Lazenby "Becoming Bond". I would argue that it is perhaps one of the finest Bond films NOT starring Sean Connery. Mainly for the relationship subplot. Which was the driving plot of the novel...? Unfortunately, Lazenby chose not to continue the role and THAT gave us Diamonds Are Forever. Followed by Live And Let Die. Your mileage may vary.(less)

Community Reviews

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Carmen
Feb 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
All he remembered, before sleep took him, was that she had said when it was all over, "That was heaven, James. Will you please come back when you wake up. I must have it once more." Then she had turned over on her side away from him and, without answering his last endearments, had gone to sleep - but not before he had heard that she was crying.
What the hell? All cats are grey in the dark.
True or false?


ALL CATS ARE GREY IN THE DARK

James Bond is driving through France, where he goes every year. Wh
...more
Richard Derus
Aug 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 4.5* of five

Again a reminder that this is a review of the 1969 film, not Fleming's novel. I found I wasn't able to get past the outdated attitudes in the novels. I think because books are important to me, enduring documents of their times, and films are slight and insubstantial entertainments, I judge films much less harshly. After all, I take them so much less seriously.

This is only a 4.5-star experience because Lazenby's only outing as Bond was stylish and cool. It earned bad reviews f
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F.R.
Oct 24, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I guess if you write a number of books concerning the same character it’s almost inevitable that you’d get bored. Arthur Conan-Doyle did it, as did Agatha Christie – and here is Ian Fleming doing the same. ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ was a not overly successful attempt to fiddle around with the Bond formula; however ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ is an altogether more convincing step in a different direction. Whereas the previous book tore everything up to give a very different kind of Bond tale, ...more
notgettingenough
What I want to know is does James Bond have to go through airport security?

Geneva airport, our plane is boarding. We have just got to the top of the security check queue which is so long today that they have extended it into the airport pathway. That, after a ten minute wait in the fast track of Easy Jet luggage checkin. And today, of all days, is the first time our Easy Jet flight has been on time for years. That’d be right.

But we were okay now, through the thing where you might beep but don’t.
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Mark
Oct 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of 007 and Ian Fleming
This book written by Ian Fleming is the 2nd installment of the Blofeld trilogy, the 1st being "Thunderball" and the 3rd being "You Only Live twice". Ernst Stavro Blofeld is the leader of SPECTRE the criminal organisation that has targeted the NATO and Great Britain on two occasions. The first attempt was stopped by 007 and the second attempt is written about in this novel OHMSS.

James Bond in the beginning of this novel is thinking about his future with the secret service after spending too much
...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Nov 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spy-fi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Daniel
Oct 14, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
"On Her Majesty's Secret Service" was my first James Bond book, and it was exactly what I had wanted it to be: fast-paced, reasonably well-written, and enjoyable overall. Bond, as a character, was a bit more introspective than I had expected he'd be, and while the book was a touch misogynistic, it wasn't as terribly so as I had feared going in. While the book met my expectations, it never really went beyond them, thus the three-star rating. I'll probably read more Bond books, as this one was fun ...more
Sandy
Jun 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ian Fleming's 11th James Bond book, "On Her Majesty's Secret Service," was written, as was the author's wont, while on vacation at his Goldeneye retreat on the north shore of Jamaica, at Oracabessa, in the winter of 1962...coincidentally, not far from where filming for the original 007 movie, "Dr. No," was taking place at that same time. "OHMSS" is the middle segment of what has come to be known as "the Blofeld trilogy," which began with 1961's "Thunderball" (in which Bond and Blofeld do not mee ...more
El
This is that one Bond movie that featured George Lazenby, some guy no one had heard of before and has never heard of since. My childhood memory of the movie was that this was a real snooze and I've always (possibly unfairly) blamed Lazenby for that. Sean Connery was never boring, was my reasoning. (Also not true.)

In any case, because my childhood memories can be somewhat persuasive (in spite of being highly illogical or unreliable), I wasn't particularly looking forward to seeing this one again.
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James
I think this one is my favourite of the Bond novels. Espionage, romance, action etc. Bond is still on the hunt for Blofeld and SPECTRE, but instead he finds Tracy and even love and marriage. Bond is at his most human in this novel.
Brian
Sep 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
* The eleventh Bond book.

* Second appearance of Blofeld.

* Strangely enough, if I were going to read only one of Fleming's Bond books, this probably wouldn't be it, yet it is my favorite in the complete series. No, it's really not so odd: after seeing Bond tortured by love in so many other novels, it's a pleasure to see him finally find a future in it.

* But there's also plenty of action, a worthy adversary, great detail, humor, and pathos. Because of Tracy, though, it all works best on top of a s
...more
Vishy
Apr 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After watching the James Bond movie 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service' last week, I thought I will read the book and compare. Finished reading it today. The basic story goes like this - Bond is driving through some exotic mountain road in Europe. A beautiful woman driving a fast car passes him. Bond tries to catch up with her but he can't. Later he discovers that she is trying to commit suicide. He saves her. But she doesn't thank him. She seems to be a troubled soul. Then Bond is kidnapped by so ...more
Howard Olsen
Apr 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the great Bond books, this is the one famous for ending with Bond being married to Tracy, one of his conquests (it's also famous as the only Bond film starring the immortal George Lazenby). It also has a typically epic adventure as Bond travels to the Swiss Alps to stop Blofeld from attacking British agriculture with biological weapons.

Of all the Bond books, this is probably the one that works best as a piece of literature. We learn a lot about Bond's character: what motivates him to be
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Benjamin Thomas
Nov 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller-spy
This Bond title is probably best known for the movie version because it is the only one to star George Lazenby. While the movie is not often listed among the best-of-Bond lists, the novel itself is one of the better Bond novels. That’s a little strange, because unlike most Bond movies, this one mirrors the novel quite closely.

After the events of Thunderball, James Bond is questioning his future with the Secret Service and has, in fact, mentally prepared a letter of resignation. His future plans
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Douglas Engle
Jan 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So I'm going to start out by saying that I was dead wrong about this book, and that I'm not beyond admitting it. Well, maybe that's too much. I was right, for the reasons I cited, but when I gave the book a chance after those reasons came to light, I found that Fleming had really kicked over into another gear to write this book. I couldn't put it down after that, and I grew as a person and a reader. Here's the original review:

[[As I'm winding my way closer to finishing the original Bond novels,
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Josiah Hawkins
Mar 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is perhaps one of the most surprising Bond books out of the five that I've now read. I wont explain all of why its surprising because I think its better to be just as shocked as I was when you read it rather than know going in. On Her Majesty's Secret Service is the second entry into the infamous Blofeld trilogy where Bond finally meets his match in a dastardly villain.

After the events of Thunderball and The Spy Who Loved Me we find 007 back where it all started, The Casino Royale. This cho
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Lachlan Smith
Jan 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rob Thompson
You Have All The Time in The World

On Her Majesty's Secret Service is the tenth novel in Ian Fleming's James Bond series. It was first published in 1963. It is the second book in what is known as the "Blofeld trilogy". This begins with Thunderball and concludes with You Only Live Twice. Fleming wrote the book in Jamaica whilst the first film in the Eon Productions series of films, Dr. No, was being filmed nearby.

After The Spy Who Loved Me’ ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ is a return to form. In
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Carson
Dec 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having first and last read this novel years ago and - in the meantime - reading every other Bond novel written after Fleming, it was important to re-visit this one which is so vital to the character and story of 007.

James Bond, bored from chasing a presumed-dead Blofeld in the wake of "Thunderball" inadvertently finds his soul mate, important connections and the whereabouts of the re-formed SPECTRE.

It is difficult at this point to separate the novel from the film, the latter of which is pointedl
...more
Leslie
3 stars.

This 11th entry in the original James Bond series has Bond once again facing Blofeld (from Thunderball) and SPECTRE, this time in Switzerland.

I was disappointed with Bond during the first third of this novel -- his character was more similar to the movie Bond (perhaps Fleming felt some pressure to write more like the successful movies?). Specifically he was more of a "ladies' man" and had less of the interior dialogue revealing emotional vulnerability. This aspect of his character does r
...more
Rick Brindle
Oct 23, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The first time I read the Bond books I was a teenager, and at that tender age I have to confess that I thought Fleming actually knew what women were all about, which probably explains my spectacular lack of success with them in my younger years. On reading them a second time around, I have to say (and it seems I'm not the first), the guy had no idea about women.
So, if we accept that Fleming was a social neanderthal, we can concentrate on the story. 007 is hunting Blofled, gets a tip from a mafia
...more
Jen
Jul 29, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Let me preface this by saying that I read the James Bond books because of the adventures, not for the "love". Because the "love" in these stories is apparently the male fantasy. Why anyone would want a woman to act like these women do is beyond me. And sorry to say Ian Fleming has no idea what women are really like. He can't honestly believe that most women have rape fantasies. Being man-handled--yes--but raped? I don't freakin' think so.

I know, I know. Why do I read these books when they irrita
...more
Jim
Jul 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spy
So far this is the best of the James Bond novels I have read. 007 goes to Switzerland after Ernst Stavro Blofeld and his SPECTRE minions disguised as a member of the College of Heralds to back up Blofeld's false claim to be of noble birth. There is a great ski chase down a closed slope complete with hand grenades, avalanches, and a grisly death by a locomorive's snow blower.

Also, 007 falls in love in the course of On Her Majesty's Secret Service and actually gets married. I won't say what happe
...more
Helen Stanton
Apr 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ran out of things to read on a rainy trip to N Wales .....bought in Oxfam for £1.50

A unexpected delight and will def read more. Yes it is a little dated.....and don't look for 3 dimensional women characters . But Bond is an engaging character, touched by tragedy with a dark past hinted at. Fleming is the master of suspense and I even shouted out loud at one bit. Fortunately I was at home and not on the train!!!!
Scott Lyson
Aug 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Lancia Spyder with its hood down tore past him, cut in cheekily across his bonnet and pulled away, the sexy boom of its twin exhausts echoing back at him. It was a girl driving, a girl with a shocking pink scarf tied round her hair. And if there was one thing that set James Bond really moving, it was being passed at speed by a pretty girl.
Heather Macdermott
Read by David Tennant, need I say more? Oh yes, brilliant!
Fleming has a way of writing that I have not come across before, packing a lot of info into a sentence or paragraph without being laborious, tedious or obvious while at the same time perfectly moving the story along while keeping you fully engaged. The language Is perfectly suited to being read by David Tennant.
Jeff Miller
Jan 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So Bond is going to get married. Totally shocked by the ending and by shocked I mean totally expected it from the minute Bond was going to get married.
Shaun
Sep 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
“On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”. I haven’t seen the movie in ages, so I barely knew what to expect for this one, especially as the films are known to take only the title of Ian Fleming’s books and occasionally just whispers of the premises, so I’ll compare it mostly with “Thunderball”, the first Fleming book I read.
A problem I had with Thunderball was over-description, and in a large way, “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” (OHMSS) is better in that regard, but where it fails (to me) is a sort o
...more
Ina
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bücher
Ich war neugierig, als ich dieses Buch zum Verscheinken herumliegen gesehen hab. Bin kein Fan der Filme, aber war neugierig auf die Vorlage.
Man merkt sehr deutlich, in welcher Zeit dieses Buch geschrieben wurde. Kalter Krieg, die bösen Sowjets und die - naja, kalter Krieg eben. Schwarz-Weiß-Denken, recht flache Charaktere und keine wirkliche Entwicklung, aber das ist auch nicht der Schwerpunkt. Das Hauptaugenmerk der Geschichte liegt auf Spannung, auch wenn ich sie nicht so überwältigend fand.

Wa
...more
Lynda Mantle
Sep 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Listened to the audiobook narrated by David Tennant and honestly that man could read a phonebook and I'd give it at least 4 stars... but this was actually a very fun listen and my very first Bond book, which is out of order since it's one of the last written. 007 has a lot more internal dialogue we don't get with the on screen version, which is sad because it makes him a much more well-rounded character. My only thing was trying to follow along with all the French like Fleming just assumes we al ...more
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SSG: Spy/Spec-Ops...: BBC Radio: On Her Majesty's Secret Service 2 8 May 21, 2015 03:39PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Alternate book cover 2 14 Aug 10, 2014 06:28AM  
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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
...more
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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“The World Is Not Enough” 40 likes
“She explained to me later that she must have been possessed by a subconscious desire to be raped. Well she found me in the mountains and she was raped - by me.” 11 likes
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