Author: Ian Fleming
Publication date: 16th April 1962
Publisher: Jonathan Cape
Cover artist: Richard Chopping
Following the original publication of the book, Fleming ordered that it not be released as a paperback. On first reading it is disappointing, as Fleming takes the radical approach of writing the book from the perspective of the heroine of the book.
Bond does not appear until the end of the book and it is missing the familiar descriptions of food, drink, cars, etc that marked out the previous Bond outings.
Only on Fleming’s death was it released as a paperback and it is worth a read as a Fleming novel, but perhaps not as a Bond novel.
What we say
Ian Fleming experimented radically with The Spy Who Loved Me. The story is told in the first person by the heroine, Vivienne Michel, and James Bond only appears in the last third of the book.
Again, it showcases a different side of Fleming’s writing but received an extremely poor reception. As a result Fleming asked his publisher not to issue reprints or a paperback edition. He later explained that he wrote The Spy Who Loved Me because of his dismay of learning his books, written for adults, were being read by the young and wanted to write a cautionary tale.
Of course, he may have been bored with writing a new thriller year after year and wanted to try his hand at something different. But at the end Vivienne receives a lecture about the dangers of all men like Bond, good and bad.
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