Monday, May 20, 2013

You Only Live Twice by Ian Fleming (A James Bond Novel)

In his last adventure James Bond met with the greatest tragedy of his life. He was able to destroy the base of his enemy Blofeld, but his foe escaped. Then within only a few hours of getting married, Blofeld struck back and Bond’s new bride was killed. Back in London Bond has let himself go. He is drinking too much and his mind is not on the game. He was nearly killed when he botched a mission. M believes that he may have to let James go. He is advised to give Bond a task that is impossible, but not dangerous. M decides to promote Bond to the diplomatic mission and send his to Japan. His job is to meet with M’s counterpart in Tokyo and try to get access to the Russian signals that the Japanese are decoding. The Japanese have a special relationship with the Americans and they are reluctant to share with others. Bond now has to learn the ins and outs of the Japanese culture in order to win over this reluctant ally. That turns out to be the least of his problems. The Japanese have their own trouble in the form of a foreigner who has created a bizarre landscape full of creatures and plants that kill. The suicide culture of Japan has embraced this new place and it is causing embarrassment to the government. There is nothing legal that can be done, but someone with Bond’s particular skills may be able to deal with this in his own way. Bond accepts the trade and is soon involved with an enemy that he knows all too well. He has to pull himself together if he is to survive this mission. The ending is quite a surprise. More great Cold War spy pulp from the great Ian Fleming.

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