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Octopussy & The Living Daylights: Discover two of the most beloved James Bond stories (James Bond 007, 14)

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The two original stories, "Octopussy" and "The Living Daylights," were both adapted for publication in comic strip format in the Daily Express in 1966 1967. James Bond started out as a literary character and soon turned into a movie franchise, becoming a “pop culture” icon in the process. Those eggs, of course, would also figure in the "Octopussy" film, as did an auction sequence, but in wholly different contexts, of course. Original Dust Jackets: small closed tear at top left on front panel on Quintet otherwise no chipping, tearing or creasing to DJs, no wear to DJ spine tips, no wear to flap creases, no edge wear to any of the DJs, no soiling or staining of note to DJs, fading to individual book titles to spine on Essential otherwise no spine fading, ever so faint spine sun darkening to spine on Quartet. In this story an old British officer is found living in Jamaica off of money he’s secured by selling stolen Nazi gold, for which he also murdered a Nazi officer in the war.

In the second edition, the collection's title was shortened to Octopussy; most paperback reprints of the 1970s and 1980s used the abbreviated title. 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. Here, Bond is given a particularly nasty assignment by his superior, M: to kill the sniper who will be attempting to shoot a British agent; an agent who will soon be making a dash across the no-man's-land between East and West Berlin; the zone soon to be known as "Checkpoint Charlie.This is a fast-moving, suspenseful story, replete with wonderful detail regarding both weapons and Berlin, as well as a neat twist of an ending. and has a good deal of difficulty falling asleep the night before his mission (in previous books, he'd fallen asleep with a mere shrug, seemingly impervious to worry). The technical storage or access is strictly necessary for the legitimate purpose of enabling the use of a specific service explicitly requested by the subscriber or user, or for the sole purpose of carrying out the transmission of a communication over an electronic communications network. Before his death, Ian Fleming reportedly had intended to compile a second book of short stories in the same vein as For Your Eyes Only.

In Octopussy, Bond really plays a bit role – he’s been asked to take care of some business while he’s on vacation, so he efficiently interviews his target and leaves. Fleming was so unhappy with the final piece, he wrote to Wilson and refused payment for something he considered so lacklustre. In another review I read this was originally published in an auction house magazine, so there you go. The Living Daylights" had first appeared in The Sunday Times on 4 February 1962; "The Property of a Lady" was commissioned by Sotheby's for the 1963 edition of their journal, The Ivory Hammer; while "007 in New York" first appeared in the New York Herald Tribune in October 1963. There is a good attempt at characterisation of Smythe, but I found the alternations between 1960s Jamaica and post-war Alps clunky, the ending contrived and the whole narrative style somewhat approximate.

Bond is shown undertaking (yes, that is a pun) quiet little jobs without the usual wham-bang excitements. James Bond, as written by Ian Fleming, is much more human and vulnerable, often struggling with the moral dilemmas of taking lives for the service of his country. A very good copy, dust jacket spine head and tail rubbed, prelims and final few leaves a little age toned and spotted. Publisher's dark grey cloth-effect paper over boards, blocked in silver, patterned grey endpapers, pictorial dust-wrapper illustrated by Richard Chopping. Both stories were turned into movies, with Roger Moore in 'Octopussy' and Timothy Dalton in 'The Living Daylights'.

Back in the summer of 2018, I found myself trapped in a humdrum job in a company that underwrote insurance policies. The three stories serve as mere codas to a famous series; vignette glimpses of some of Bond's lesser cases. When he is finished, Corporal Menzies comes from the Pavilion of the Gun Club and dismantles the rifle and its stand. These little short stories share almost nothing except their titles with the movies that were made by Hollywood under the same titles.Bond appears only briefly in this story, which is told mostly in flashback from the perspective of Major Dexter Smythe, the man Bond has been sent to bring in.

Fleming gives us a wealth of detail regarding the auction process and the egg itself (it's not just a green emerald egg, but "girdled by afixed gold belt enameled opalescent oyster along a reserved path in champleve technique over a moire guillochage with painted Roman numerals in pale sepia enamel.The collection consisted of two short stories--the title piece and "The Living Daylights"; a third story, "The Property of a Lady," was added for the book's paperback incarnation. While he considers what to do, Smythe is pricked on the torso by a poisonous scorpion fish and, on the verge of death, is pulled under the water by his pet octopus. What the man has done is even worse, because in stealing the Nazi gold he murdered a man who "was like a father" to Bond.

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