Read The Spy Who Loved Me by Ian Fleming Free Online
Book Title: The Spy Who Loved Me|
The author of the book: Ian Fleming
ISBN 13: 9780141028224
Format files: PDF, Epub, DOCx, TXT
The size of the: 479 KB
Edition: Penguin Books
Date of issue: October 31st 2006
Reader ratings: 8.9
Loaded: 381 times
Read full description of the books The Spy Who Loved Me:
This book was a disgusting piece of shit. Avoid at all costs.
What? You want details? Okay. For one thing, I have no idea what possessed Fleming to write a book from a female first-person perspective. He is a misogynist. Trying to write from a female perspective when you barely acknowledge that women are human is problematic at best.
It seems as if his main aim was to use first-person female perspective in order to write lurid and titillating (to an asshole male reader) scenes of sex from a woman's point of view.
So much sex is in this book, and very, very little of it is even resembling consensual. The whole first third of the book is called "Me" and gives us all the history on our heroine, Viv Michel (Vivienne). Fleming, instead of describing her likes, dislikes, hobbies, personality, friends etc. - decides to give us an in detail rundown of her entire sexual history.
It's very disturbing. I won't go into detail here, but let's just say that from the age of 17, pretty Viv is constantly, daily fighting off men's groping hands and sexual overtures. She has two real lovers, both of who are extreme assholes - one guy who sees her on the side, never ever telling her he's engaged to another woman, and taking her on dates every Saturday while slowly going further and further with her until he talks her into "giving her virginity" to him - which he doesn't even bother to do on a bed, instead he takes her on the floor of a movie theater, and of course they are caught, and she is shamed and humiliated and called "whore" by the people in the theater. Then he leaves her and never sees her again, instead writing her a letter saying "Oh, by the way, I'm engaged. Nice knowing you."
Her second boyfriend isn't any better - a German Hitler sympathizer who is really fucked up about sex. He's engaged to another woman, and tells Viv - his employee and next door neighbor - about every single sexual thing he does with his fiancee in graphic detail. No mention of why Viv doesn't just tell him to shut up and keep it to himself. He puts sex on a schedule - twice a week, and has all these rules about sex that I won't get into, but it's weird. And very creepy.
When his fiancee dumps him (jeez, I wonder why?) he insists Viv must "give him comfort." After two weeks they are regularly having sex. He's just as weird and messed-up with her. At no point does she try to tackle his sexual issues, but instead just goes along with it. Also, he makes her stop drinking and smoking, and she's no longer allowed to listen to jazz.
Finally, she accidentally gets pregnant by him. He immediately breaks up with her and sends her to Switzerland to get an all-expenses paid abortion. She is heartbroken, but of course obeys and doesn't question him, or say 'no,' or make any decisions of her own.
After the abortion, she goes on a fun road trip from Quebec to New York on her little motor scooter. She is, of course, still fighting off men with a stick (almost literally) the whole way. And this is not "fun, oh he's flirting with me," I'm talking about this woman - since she was 17 - being seen as a sexual plaything by every man, boss, coworker, neighbor, hotel employee - whatever. It's so disgusting and disturbing.
SO. She stops at this motel and the husband-wife team say she can stay for free if she works as a receptionist. She accepts the job, even though the husband has fondled her breasts about three times in the 14 hours she's been there. She works there, ducking his groping hands every day and barring her door with a chair every night because he tries to rape her by breaking into her room every night.
THIS IS ALL TREATED AS IF IT IS JUST NORMAL. As if this is exactly the life of a pretty girl and basically all she can expect. I was practically projectile vomiting during this whole novel. Don't even get me started on how Fleming describes the abortion. RAGE RAGE RAGE
Anyway. The hideous couple leaves during the off season and Viv is left alone to tend for the motel. There is a huge storm. Two armed thugs break in. Now we have to suffer through about 20 pages of them groping her, threatening to rape her with very graphic language, stripping her, beating her into unconsciousness, etc. etc. etc. She valiantly fights against them and tries to escape numerous times, but is always caught and brutally punished for it. This makes it sound as if this is going on for days, in fact, this section represents only about five hours or so.
Then, finally, in the last third of the book James Bond shows up. Just as the two were going to start raping her. Nick of time, right? He comes in, looking for help (he got a flat down the road) and immediately gets the gist of the situation. Long story short, thugs die, Viv goes to bed with James.
And that, too, is really problematic. For one thing, both Bond and Viv seem to just completely accept that she's his "prize" and basically his reward for saving her life is getting to have sex with her. After her frankly horrible sexual past, and her EXTREMELY recent sexual assault life-and-death situation, you may think that she might not be feeling so romantic and sexy towards James. Did I mention that she was earlier beaten into unconsciousness and is very bruised and sore?
NONE OF THAT MATTERS. Of course, she has sex with James. Of course, she is instantly in love with him and attracted to him. No need to recover from her ordeal, no need to perhaps deal with the fact that her sexual history is traumatic, and definitely no need to be gentle with her in bed, seeing as she is PHYSICALLY HURT and in pain. Fucking piece of shit!
And then we have this gem:
All women love semi-rape. They love to be taken. It was his sweet brutality against my bruised body that had made his act of love so piercingly wonderful.
Ah, yes, the finally nail on the coffin from Fleming. Bond is rough with her and forceful with her and doesn't really care about her pleasure - in a way that strongly resembles rape if she weren't saying yes and proclaiming herself in love with him - BUT THAT'S OKAY, BECAUSE WOMEN LIKE RAPE, Fleming informs us. All women secretly want to be raped and owned. That fighting and scratching and biting and trying to escape, saying no and crying and stuff is just you know, FOR SHOW. Ignore all that, it only makes sex more exciting for the man (and the woman, who is secretly loving it!) Fleming has put this in a lot of his other novels too (most notably the hideous FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE).
I can't deal with this horrible book. I JUST CAN'T DEAL WITH IT. It's disgusting on so many levels.
This is extra sad, because there are occasions when I enjoy Bond novels, and Fleming CAN make James a halfway decent guy sometimes (only halfway, though). However, just when I was starting to enjoy the series and get into the swing of things, he has to publish this shit. I don't care whether you are a male or female reading this book, it's not appealing at all. Actually, if I were a man I would be fucking insulted reading this book. It's fucking insulting towards men, too.
Alright I've got to end this. I could rant for hours but I won't. DO NOT RECOMMEND. STRONGEST ANTI-RECOMMENDATION.
ETA: And he leaves her! James Bond leaves her to wake up alone, in bed. I hate when people do this. Also, there's a dead body outside her window, the thug James killed last night. Just leaves her there to wake up in a cold bed with a dead body right outside after what was one of the worst nights she'd had in her short life. Real classy, James, you jerk.
ETA 2: I do believe men can write good books from a female perspective. It's definitely possible - I've seen it. However, Fleming is not one of them. I just want to make that clear. The problem isn't that Fleming is a man, it's that he's Fleming.
MOVIE UPDATE: Well, I must admit that I find all pre-Craig movies boring. I am just so bored. The movie has nothing in common with the book except for the title. The 'Bond girl' Anya was completely boring without personality or even many facial expressions. Her tone was flat and listless. Not that Moore's Bond is exactly a font of personality! The best thing I can say about it, and the only thing I enjoyed, is that Moore acts the gentleman. Even the villain was boring and forgettable in this movie. And they give Moore the cheesiest lines. I can't understand why any woman is sleeping with him, to be honest. I have no idea why she let Bond live in the end. It made no sense.
I am not in the spirit of things, I know.
You watched this movie growing up and because of that you are fond of it, I know.
Jaws, I know.
Perhaps I should stop watching the films to accompany the books. I'm not doing myself any favors, that's for sure.
Read information about the authorLibrarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.
Ian Lancaster Fleming was a British author, journalist and Second World War Navy Commander. He was a grandson of the Scottish financier Robert Fleming, who founded the Scottish American Investment Trust and the merchant bank Robert Fleming & Co.
Fleming is best remembered for creating the character of James Bond and chronicling his adventures in twelve novels and nine short stories. Additionally, Fleming wrote the children's story Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and two non-fiction books.
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