As mentioned in my latest Treasure Tuesday, Ryan is back for a little bit from Germany. While visiting, he finished “For Your Eyes Only,” a collection of short stories by Ian Fleming featuring everyone’s favorite spy and decided to write a review for you all.
Fleming departs from novel form, still remains king
For Your Eyes Only, a collection of James Bond short stories, shows Ian Fleming is still the king of thrillers
Title: For Your Eyes Only
Author: Ian Fleming
Quotation: “He turned the docket round and pushed it gently across the desk to Bond. The red san-serif letters, still damp, said: FOR YOUR EYES ONLY…”
Would Recommend to: anyone looking for short stories with all the intrigue of a full novel
For Your Eyes Only is the 9th edition of Ian Fleming’s genre-defining James Bond series, falling in between Goldfinger and Thunderball. It marks a distinct departure form Fleming’s normal style of full novels. For Your Eyes Only is a collection of five short stories, including names film fans will recognize, such as From a View to a Kill and Quantum of Solace (sorry, Bond fans, the stories match in name only). Though no film material comes from the short stories, they stand alone in their own right — Ian Fleming proves that thirty pages is more than enough to pack in thrills, intrigue, and mystery.
In my personal favorite story, Risico, Bond’s adventures lead him to Italy, where a Mediterranean smuggling war heats up, leaving our hero to deal with a shady CIA informant, a beautiful Austrian fräulein, and an opiate trader out to settle a score. Like every other story, Risico develops Bond as a character while keeping the thrills coming.
In the middle of a truly incredible series of novels, this short story collection is a welcome respite and an easy read. For Your Eyes Only exhibits a collection of what a short story should be — great characters, exciting action, and an ending that leaves you wanting more. Though nothing compares to starting at the beginning, For Your Eyes Only serves as a great primer for readers looking to get into the Bond series.
A quick read that fans of thrillers will enjoy, FYEO satisfies in every way imaginable.
“Where one burns books, in the end, he will also burn men.” Heinrich Heine, 1820
About the Author Ryan is a student of business, politics, and German. Holiday season in Europe provided Ryan with great opportunities to eat too much chocolate at too many markets. He read nearly fifty books in 2015 and is trying to keep up the pace in the new year. Up next on his reading list is Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, Kurt Vonnegut’s Galápagos, and Bill Nye’s Undeniable.
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In many ways, For Your Eyes Only is the most Hitchcockian of the Bond movies, and I mean that as the highest of compliments. It is also the most like a European art film which I mean more as a tease, since Glen superficially (yet effectively) adopts certain stylistic elements, including airy widescreen compositions and tense, wordless set pieces to give the proceedings a classier edge.
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