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)


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


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.


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.)




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: