"A beautiful girl with a sensual past, Vivienne Michell is different from all the women Bond has known before. When she is confronted with two evil killers there is only one man who can save her - Bond himself"
-From the 2002 Penguin Edition
The Spy Who Loved Me could be considered the most descriptive novel in the series. Not so much for Bond, but for the Bond Girl-Vivienne Michel. I guess Fleming at this point in his writing, after developing Bond quite elaborately, wanted to venture futher and develop a story involving a girl, who unlike others in his previous novels, had a story worth spending time on. And if you keep that in mind while reading this novel, you will find that it is much more entertaining, and not as slow and boring as you might have expected at first glance.
The book is split into three parts, each narrated by Vivienne Michel herself. The first section, dealing with her life and relationships prior to her position at The Dreamy Pines Motor Court where the bulk of the story is situated entitled "ME", takes up approximately seventy pages or so, devoted primarily to the development of her character alone, while allowing the reader to enter her world of heart-break and soul-searching.
The second part of the novel, entitled "THEM", deals with the main conflict facing her at the present time involving two scummy looking guys with a scummy plan, Sluggsy Morant and Sol Horror. The two men plot to burn down the Motor Court in return for the insurance money that they and their employer, Mr.Sanguinetti will be rewarded with. They also plan to dispose of Vivienne after they have had their fair share of what she has to "offer".
"Tomorrow's Tomorrow. What you got to worry about's tonight."
The third and final section of the book entitled "HIM" involves the intervention of this plot with the apperance of James Bond and how quickly their plan is changed into something that was just not expected in the deal. As one could expect, this final section move very quickly and is filled with passion and excitement. The last sixty pages or so are very enjoyable because then and only then do the readers get what they really wanted when they picked up the book to begin with-James Bond.
I think that a tale like this was bound to come along sooner or later in Flemings' stories as he never really developed a girl to the extent that he may have liked to in his previous books. The first section is quite descripive, containing information of Viviennes' past, the second is filled with suspenseful moments and chapter ending cliffhangers with the introduction of the villians, and the third is basically just good, fun reading where James Bond saves the day. Although it lacks much of the action as previous Fleming novels it makes up for it with excellent drama of situation and I for one had no problem waiting a hundred pages for Bond to come through the door. I would reccomend this novel to any Bond fan looking for a little differnet road to travel, but with highway signs containing the same Fleming magic.
Review submitted by Scott Powell
The Spy Who Loved Me
Published: April, 1962
Author: Ian Fleming
Villain: Horror; Sluggsy
Employer: Mr. Sanguinetti
Bond Girl: Vivienne Michel
Live and Let Die
Diamonds Are Forever
From Russia With Love
For Your Eyes Only
The Spy Who Loved Me
On Her Majesty's Secret
You Only Live Twice
The Man With The Golden
Ian Fleming Biography