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IAN FLEMING – JAMES BOND – THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS.  

 

A short story in the James 007 Bond books series, in which Bond is trapped into taking part in a ruthless assassination, that even his own MI5 people regard as little short of murder. M, Bond’s boss, is very reluctant to have Bond tale part in the task, but he has no choice. He tries to be very stoic about talking to Bond about the job, but Bond senses that M is uncomfortable about it, morally and due to how dangerous it could prove to be. Bond is given an option to either take the job personally or have the unenviable job of training someone else to pull the trigger for him The weapons needed are smuggled to Cold War West Germany on Bond’s behalf. He is given a hotel room with a double bed with extra mattresses, which is pressed against a window overlooking East Berlin. Bond has practiced the shot required to achieve the job on a firing range. Now he must do it for real. The details and atmosphere of the task are described meticulously. The tension of the story is nerve wracking. Bond’s target is himself a deadly sniper assassin, who will be trying to take down a defector heading through the to wall. The story is a grim realistic look at how a spy might actually work – it has none of the gadgetry, glamorous girls or massive explosive action set pieces of the Bond Movies, not even the Timothy Dalton film of The Living Daylights, which has almost nothing to do with the story. When Bond realizes the killer is a woman, who plays Cello in an orchestra, he aims to wound instead of killing her, showing some humanity in him after all, and causing considerable tension between Bond and his own side. This is the most straightforward and accessible of all the Bond stories. This is not the wise cracking smug arrogance of Roger Moore, but Bond as a man just doing a dirty job, even when it involves killing for Queen & country. http://www.klast.net/bond/fleming.html

 

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