The Reader’s Digest 007

What it says in the title: describe the Bond books in a single sentence. Two at most. The shorter the better.

Casino Royale: Baccarat and balls. And bitch.

From Russia with Love: Let’s just see what happens if we spring this Russian spy trap.

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service: Tear out the last page and it’s a happy end.

The Man with the Golden Gun: How to get your readers to whistle.

Over to you, ladies and gentlemen…


Live and Let Die: This was okay in 1954

You Only Live Twice: Spoiler; Everyone dies

For Your Eyes Only: Bitesized Bond


The Spy Who Loved Me- this wasn’t ok in 1962

Thunderball - pugilism, plagerism and plutonium under da sea.

Octopussy and the living daylights- The Good, The Bad and The Ugly ( though not necessarily in that order)

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You Only Live Twice: Depressed man finds purpose only to be reborn.

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Moonraker: Nazis with moustaches build a rocket. This story goes nuclear.
Diamonds are Forever: Bond breaks Vegas. Two brothers, two killers, too bad.
Dr No: Bond fights a super villain on an island base. Has a shit ending.


Casino Royale: Hero wins at cards but loses car, girlfriend and ability to sit comfortably.

Dr No: Quirky Asian recluse’s grand plans end in a crapload of troubles.

Goldfinger: German businessman declares Ft Knox his “bank”, but early withdrawal leads to substantial penalties.

The Spy Who Loved Me: Tale of romance and intrigue told from the point of view of a woman, by a misogynist.

You Only Live Twice: Man who got away with nuclear terrorism is executed for evil gardening.

OHMSS: Jaded womanizer finds the one female who can make him believe in love again. Three guesses how it ends.

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These are more like capsule reviews than synopses, but here goes:

Licence Renewed: OHMSS meets the China Syndrome. It;s not 1965 anymore -get used to it.
For Special Services: Bond’s Saab goes to Texas. “Great reviews, John - now take what worked the first time and do it again, only more so!”
Icebreaker: Neo nazis and double-agents in Finland. What do you mean, Alistair MacLean didn’t write it?

Role of Honour: Bond learns to use a computer and fly an airship. If you’re waiting for a wow finish after so slow a start, you’re reading the wrong book.
Nobody Lives For Ever: Colonel Sun and YOLT meet in Key West. Maybe it is 1965 again!
No Deals, Mr. Bond: From Ireland to Hong Kong to rescue double agents. See RoH re: wow finishes.

Scorpius: Religious suicide bombers. What do you mean Scorpius isn’t Adnon Kashoggi?!
Win, Lose or Die: Bond is the ruler of the Queen’s nay-vee. Whoever said about OHMSS “Ian Fleming has never written anything better” should say it again for Mr, Gardner.
BrokenClaw: Half-Chinese, half-Blackfoot villain. Exotic concept only to Europeans.

The Man From Barbarossa: A briefing too far, Why not just tell Bond “It’s a lot like Operation Icebreaker”?
Death is Forever: No Deals, Mr. Bond in Europe. There’s probably another double- or triple-agent in there somewhere.
Never Send Flowers: Bond tracks a serial killer through Europe. When did this become his job?

Seafire: Neo-nazis in Europe again. Back to Bond’s real job - a little too late.
COLD: Mafia teams up with secret militias in two novellas for the price of one, with the same ending in each. Ever wonder what happens to Bond’s old girlfriends?

(BTW, thank you, Mr. Gardner, for your incomparable contribution to the canon. RIP.)



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Who he? Related by any chance to Alistair MacLean? His neater cousin perhaps? :smiley:

And that was your third revised edit? What were your first two and the original like? :stuck_out_tongue:

CASINO ROYALE – The legend begins–Bond wins at cards, encounters a real ball buster, and loses the girl.

LIVE AND LET DIE – Voodoo, sharks, and loss of limbs–the end result is Bond lives and the villains die.

MOONRAKER – Nazi plot to destroy London blown to smithereens.

DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER – Diamonds, doubles, and douses of mud–it’s a dirty job as 007 shuts down a smuggling pipeline.

FROM RUSSIA, WITH LOVE – Bond enjoys Russian honey trap, escapes with girl and bait, but can’t avoid a little SMERSH needling.

DOCTOR NO – Fu Manchu-like villain sabotaging American rocket launches gets buried under his own cover story.

GOLDFINGER – The man with the Midas touch robbed of Fort Knox dream heist by Bond and Pussy Galore.

FOR YOUR EYES ONLY – Tales of a Russian hit team, MI6 revenge, a dinner story, a double agent running drugs, and murder aboard a yacht keep 007 active.

THUNDERBALL – Bond encounters sun, sea, and SPECTRE in the Bahamas–with a little atomic blackmail thrown in.

THE SPY WHO LOVED ME – Flat tire leads to motel fling with damsel in distress while dealing with mob-backed thugs.

ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE – Bond prevents Blofeld’s angels of death from unleashing bacteriological warfare on the world, Blofeld responds by cutting short Bond’s honeymoon.

YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE – Bond enters a garden of death, slays the beast, and forgets about it.

THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN – Bond tries to earn back his 007 status in a duel of assassins–and hits his target.

OCTOPUSSY & THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS – Nazi gold, a musical sniper, a Faberge egg up for auction, and a zoo rendezvous keep 007 busy.


COLONEL SUN – M is kidnapped, but a Greek tragedy is averted when Sun is eclipsed by Bond.

JAMES BOND: THE AUTHORIZED BIOGRAPHY OF 007 – Bond tells tales–both shaking and stirring.

JAMES BOND, THE SPY WHO LOVED ME – While searching for missing nuclear submarines, Bond meets his match in XXX-rated lover Anya, but he still manages to keep his British end up.

JAMES BOND AND MOONRAKER – Bond avoids harm on land, sea, air, and space and gets Goodhead in the end.

LICENSE RENEWED – Times change, but 007 remains the same as he saves the world from multiple imminent nuclear meltdowns–Bond is most definitely back.

FOR SPECIAL SERVICES – Blofeld returns in a plot involving pythons, hungry ants, satellite tapes, and ice cream–yes, ice cream. It’s a rocky road for 007.

ICEBREAKER – Neo-Nazis and double agents galore in the great white north of Finland–it’ll take more than that to melt 007’s nerve.

ROLE OF HONOR – SPECTRE’s newest recruit is one Bond, James Bond–is this Bizarro world?

NOBODY LIVES FOREVER – SPECTRE puts out a million-dollar contract for 007’s head on a silver platter but makes the mistake of using Bond’s friends as pawns–yeah, good luck with that.

NO DEALS, MR. BOND – Dead spies, severed tongues, and a new version of The Most Dangerous Game–Bond must sift through all the clues and distractions to catch his adversary–the sinisterly named Blackfriar (which incidentally should have been the book’s title).

SCORPIUS – Religious fanatics and suicide bombers make a deadly combination for 007 to deal with in a plot that’s ahead of its time.

LICENCE TO KILL – After his best friend is maimed and his license to kill revoked, Bond sets out on a personal mission of vengeance Yojimbo-style–hasta la vista bad guys.

WIN, LOSE OR DIE – Bond gets promoted, takes a warship cruise on the Mediterranean, and faces off against a multi-headed organization that threatens the biggest leaders of the world.

BROKENCLAW – Bond puts the kibosh on a double scheme to crash Wall Street and hamstring the American submarine system–you can’t say Lee Fu-Chu doesn’t think big.

THE MAN FROM BARBAROSSA – A sham trial, an arms deal, and a political coup are the setting in Russia, but Bond tips the scales of justice in Britain’s favor.

DEATH IS FOREVER – Death is everywhere as members of a western cabal get murdered one by one as part of a plot for assassinating European leaders in the Channel Tunnel, but Bond short-circuits the Poison Dwarf’s best laid plans.

NEVER SEND FLOWERS – Bond must hunt down an assassin who’s a master of disguise and targeting the British royal family–no pressure.

SEAFIRE – A Caribbean disaster is in the cards unless Bond can sabotage a submarine being used as part of a twisted neo-Nazi plot to create death in paradise.

GOLDENEYE – 007 faces off against 006 with Britain’s fate hanging in the balance–let’s hear it for the sexist, misogynist, dinosaur.

COLD FALL – If at first you don’t succeed, try again is the motto when Bond crosses paths twice in five years with an American militia teaming up with the Italian mafia.


ZERO MINUS TEN – The countdown begins with three albino Chinese, a secret Triad ceremony, a stripper, and a 007 walkabout in the Australian Outback all leading to an explosive Hong Kong handover and a grudge that goes back over a century.

TOMORROW NEVER DIES – Fake news rules the day as a media mogul tries to instigate World War III between the British and Chinese all for the sake of ratings–let the mayhem begin!

THE FACTS OF DEATH – Sperm samples are the modus operandi of a terrorist group threatening the world with biological warfare and instigating a Greek-Turkish war–it’s a treacherous odyssey that has 007 written all over it.

HIGH TIME TO KILL – It’s a three-country race against time and the elements for Bond’s mountaineering team as they are pushed to their limits in a climb to the top of the world in the Himalayas to recover a microdot on a crashed airplane–who said being a double-oh agent is easy?

THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH – Bond falls for a girl with daddy issues which nearly gets him and M killed–fortunately, he realizes his mistake in time to prevent a major catastrophe involving important oil pipelines. His reward? Learning firsthand that Christmas indeed comes more than once a year.

DOUBLESHOT – 007 suffers from blackouts, is framed for murder, goes on the run, and stops a joint plot by a mad matador and the Union to forcefully take back the Rock of Gibraltar–it’s double the pleasure, double the fun, and double the Bond girls.

NEVER DREAM OF DYING – Ghosts of the past return to haunt 007 as good friends get maimed, former allies become enemies, and the Union returns to crash the party that is the Cannes Film Festival.

THE MAN WITH THE RED TATTOO – Bond returns to Japan having to brave a spoiled, headstrong girl, an incredibly agile Kappa, the dangerous Yakuza, and an infinite amount of deadly mosquitoes–all in a day’s work for 007.

DIE ANOTHER DAY – Bond uncovers a plot involving a disguised North Korean colonel leading a hostile takeover of South Korea, stops it, and as usual lives to die another day.

BLAST FROM THE PAST / MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DOOM / LIVE AT FIVE – Bond encounters a vengeful enemy from his past, the original Playboy, and an ice skating defector.

SILVERFIN – Bond begins his illustrious career with an adventure stretching from the halls of Eton to the lochs of Scotland while tangling with eels, disfigured pigs, and an abrasive arms merchant.

THE MONEYPENNY DIARIES: GUARDIAN ANGEL – Bond gets a front row seat of the Cuban Missile Crisis and some needed assistance from one Jane Moneypenny.

BLOOD FEVER – A defunct secret society is reborn and stealing precious artworks all over Europe led by a clean-freak germaphobe, but leave it to Bond to mess with his plans.

THE MONEYPENNY DIARIES: SECRET SERVANT – While Bond is recovering from being brainwashed in Russia, Moneypenny goes behind the Iron Curtain to get the man who killed her boyfriend.

DOUBLE OR DIE – Bond becomes a puzzle solver as he follows hidden clues to track down a missing mathematician involved in a top secret government project–it’s elementary, Mr. Holmes.

HURRICANE GOLD – Storms, kidnappings, stolen plans, crocodiles, and a Caribbean island that is more gilded prison than tropical paradise–it’s a whirlwind adventure for Bond.

THE MONEYPENNY DIARIES: FINAL FLING – While Bond is off hunting down a terrorist, Moneypenny details her personal investigation into the MI6 mole and eventually gets her man.

FOR YOUR EYES ONLY, JAMES / MONEYPENNY’S FIRST DATE WITH BOND – Moneypenny gets up close with Bond in bed and at dinner – this might be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

DEVIL MAY CARE – Bond teams with a fellow double-oh agent to stop a madman from unleashing mass quantities of drugs on the U.S. streets and dropping a big bang on Russia.

BY ROYAL COMMAND – Bond gets involved with an Eton maid and goes on the run from both the government and would-be assassins after saving the life of the King of England–some things never change.

A HARD MAN TO KILL – A most dangerous criminal escapes police custody on a cruise ship bound for Europe, but he doesn’t account for a most persistent adversary–a boy named Bond.


Top marks, Double-OhAgent.

But let’s see what you can do with the 1967 003 1/2: The Adventures of James Bond Junior, Geoffrey Jenkins’ unpublished Per Fine Ounce, Cyril Connolly’s Bond Strikes Camp, and Harvard Lampoon’s Alligator and Toadstool.

CARTE BLANCHE – 007 encounters a man who thinks of everything, a man who’s aroused at the sight of decay, and a woman who is willing to do whatever it takes to get what she wants–it’s Bond rebooted 21st Century-style.

SOLO – Bond finds himself smack in the middle of a West African civil war over ownership of huge oil reserves–talk about a modern day black gold rush.

SHOOT TO KILL – Lights, camera, action! Bond pulls the plug on a Hollywood movie mogul who dabbles in snuff films.

TRIGGER MORTIS – Bond gets into Jeopardy, finds himself on the wrong end of an all-out motel assault, and rises from the grave to save the American space program and New York City.

HEADS YOU DIE – A man with a concrete fist, a veiled lady, and a crazed biologist concoct a plot to topple the British government by spreading death via cold, hard cash laced with poison–giving new meaning to the phrase “dead money.”

STRIKE LIGHTNING – A Nazi plan to win wars with new and advanced weaponry gets short-circuited in its tracks courtesy of a resourceful kid named Bond–so much for German efficiency.

RED NEMESIS – A gift from the grave leads Bond to Moscow and back to England to stop a Communist plot to cause a tsunami to drown London leading to a Russian invasion–talk about a red menace.

FOREVER AND A DAY – In his debut mission as 007, Bond investigates his predecessor’s death and stops a giant drug smuggling operation during which he encounters the repulsive Scipio and the sweet Sixtine.


Challenge accepted! Although of those listed I’ve only read 003 1/2: The Adventures of James Bond Jr. As a result, I had to look up the synopsis of Bond Strikes Camp and Alligator, but I couldn’t find anything about Toadstool. Anyway, here we go:

PER FINE OUNCE – South African gold smuggling, baobab tree coffins, and Lake Fundudzi crocodiles highlight the Holy Grail of Bond novels.

THE HEART OF ERZULIE – A voodoo cult terrorizes a Haitian community under the threat of the love goddess–that’s some bad mojo.

SOME ARE BORN GREAT – Bond plays a winning hand to get the best of his nanny before bedtime.

003 1/2: THE ADVENTURES OF JAMES BOND JR. – Bond’s nephew investigates the mysterious goings on at nearby Hazeley Hall and learns that he isn’t half bad at the family business.

THE KILLING ZONE – When his best friend is murdered, Bond disobeys orders and seeks revenge on the man responsible–a drug kingpin named Doberman–while finding the treasure of the Sierra Madre in the guise of Lotta Head.

ALLIGATOR – Bond sets his sights on a card cheating, building-stealing, purple-obsessed villain named Lacertus–see you later, Alligator.

BOND STRIKES CAMP – M orders Bond to cross-dress and attempts to seduce him–or in other words STOP GETTING BOND WRONG!

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