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On Her Majesty's Secret Service (James Bond Novels) [Paperback]

4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Ian Fleming's best books Dec 11 2003
If James Bond could do well in the big screen he certainly does in this novel by Ian Fleming. Fleming brings his entertaining writing into a realistic novel. I love this book. It brings excitement, suspense, romance, a little novelty and the shocking climax is Fleming's best ending in a 007 novel.
The beginning of the book has Bond rescuing a suicidal woman from a beach. Bond at this point of his spy career is bad. He wants a discharge from the service in order to possibly start a family. In the meantime he meets the same woman at a French casino where he saves her at the table. Her name is Tracy, a spoiled and hard-nosed girl who is exactly a contessa and daughter of a crime boss. Later on the story takes a sudden turn. Tracy's father, Marc-Ange offers Bond a proposition. He would give Bond vital information about the whereabouts of the evil Blofeld if Bond would marry his daughter. Bond is hesitant. He actually likes her but refuses the deal. Bond thinks it over. Bond doesn't want to miss the chance of apprending Blofeld, so he agrees to court Tracy, but not to marry her. Bond receives Blofeld's wherabouts in the mountaintops of Switzerland. He assumes the alias of Sir Hillary Gray, a genealogist, in order to infultraite Blofeld's "medical clinic" who specializes at curing people's allergies. Surprisingly, when Bond gets there, the place is guarded like a fort and the attendants are all woman. Bond uses his charm to woo the ladies in order to learn Blofeld's evil plan. Bond's investigation soon goes out of control and becomes a target of Blofeld and his goons. He escapes the dangerous mountaintops of the Swiss Alps and reunites with Tracy. The story then turns into a chase and Bond & Tracy must survive, along with their passisonate love for each other. I won't reveal the rest of the plot along with the surprising ending because I want you readers to read this fantastic novel. Ian Fleming is an amazing author. Oh by the way the movie is just as good as the book. Bye.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Written 40 years ago, but coming true today Nov. 6 2003
The book is a sequel to Thunderball. James Bond continues his pursuit of the international criminal, Ernst Starvo Blofeld. In Thunderball, Blofeld used nuclear blackmail to extort money from the world's governments only to have his plans thwarted by James Bond. In this story, he has concocted another plan for revenge on England. At the start, James Bond makes some important discoveries after a chance meeting with Tracy during a game of baccarat (banco). Tracy is the most unique Bond girl ever created by Ian Fleming in my opinion. The rest of the book builds up the suspense and the frightening plan Blofeld has in store.
Written in 1963, the thought of someone like Ernst Starvo Blofeld ever existing was quite frankly far fetched. But now in the early part of the 21st Century, such a man does exist and his name is Osama bin Laden. In the story, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, the name Osama bin Laden could easily be exchanged with that of Ernst Starvo Blofeld. I wonder what Ian Fleming would think if he were alive today.
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5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite Bond Jan. 11 2004
James Bond has come to a crossroads in this book. He's seriously thinking of quitting and goes as far as composing a bitter resignation from the Secret Service. He's restless, unhappy and is looking for ...something. And then he meets a girl. In the middle of a romance that surprises and even scares him a little Bond gets handed an asignment that turns out to be far more complicated than even he could've dreamed. Blofeld is back and this time their encounter becomes personal.
If you saw the excellent movie then you know what happens.
Ian Fleming did a fantastic job with the sublte foreshadowing. Bond meets Tracy in the same town where he met Vesper Lynde in Casino Royale. We learn that he's been visiting Vesper's grave once a year for years. It reminds the reader that Bond does have a heart and it can be moved. Later, Bond, to his chagrin realizes that he wants to wrap this Blofeld business up mainly so he can get back to Tracy.
In addition to this, the usual Bond trademarks are here. You have a horrifying villain, revolting flunkies, glorious scenary, a desperate chase that almost gets Bond killed and an unforgetable ending.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bond Faces the Unthinkable March 5 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is probably Ian Fleming's most interesting and personal James Bond novel. This book precedes "You Only Live Twice" as it sends James Bond on a mission to track down the head of SPECTRE. This is a very well written novel and is very interesting trying to fathom what Fleming had been contemplating for his hero at that time in his life. I found this absorbing novel very difficult to put down once I started reading it as I did with its follow-up. If you do decide to read it I recommend that you read it before "You Only Live Twice." I will go one step further, if you read both of these novels then read "The Man with the Golden Gun" after you finish "You Only Live Twice." These three novels make up a sort of trilogy. One hint: "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" is very close to the movie version. "You Only Live Twice" and "The Man with the Golden Gun" movies have very little at all to do with the Fleming novels in any direct sense of plot and conflict. So don't be discouraged. I have read these three novels several times over. In this novel the relationship between Bond and M becomes clearer while Bond's own convictions come under self-scrutiny. Is there a line between duty and honor?
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