Quantum of Solace (2008) by Ian Fleming – Book Review

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Note: This is a review of the edition published by Penguin Classics.

To read my review of Ian Fleming’s final James Bond novel, You Only Live Twice (1964), click here.

I’ve been a fan of Ian Fleming ever since reading his Bond novel The Spy Who Loved Me (1962). I found it brilliantly written, and before landing upon Quantum of Solace, I had the privilege of reading You Only Live Twice, though I found it to be one of the most mediocre spy-thrillers that have ever been penned.

I was hesitant of starting Quantum of Solace due to the boredom that I had to endure while reading You Only Live Twice. But my excitement rekindled when I finished reading the second tale in this short-story collection titled For Your Eyes Only—as it flourished with Fleming’s signature wit combined with the adventurism that our chauvinistic protagonist is famously known for.

However, not all of the nine tales came across as worthy reads. These were my favorites (in order): The Hildebrand Rarity, Octopussy, and The Living Daylights. My least favorite was the opening yarn titled From a View to a Kill.

I recommend this short-story compilation to any reader who is a long-time admirer of espionage-fiction or even a novice to the genre. Some critics have stated that Fleming’s short-fiction is superior to his longer works. I did enjoy this collection more than the two novels of his that I’ve read, but until I’ve gone through more of his bibliography, will I be able to come to a decision on which class of prose fiction the author is ultimately better at executing.

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