Literature / The Spy Who Loved Me
The tenth James Bond
book by Ian Fleming
, published in 1962. He personally felt this was his worst work.
While travelling through America to "escape" her past life, one Vivienne Michel takes a job of being receptionist for a motel named The Dreamy Pines, which soon becomes a stage for crime and romance. The book consists of three parts; "Me" gives Vivienne's backstory to the reader, "They" is about her work in the motel and the arrival of the main antagonists, and in "Him", James Bond himself becomes a player in the story.
The tenth James Bond film
shares the name of the novel and nothing else
, as Fleming refused to allow them to use anything else. Its main villains Sluggsy and Horror became the henchmen Sandor and Jaws, because Fleming had been dead for a decade at this point and couldn't really object.
This novel has the examples of:
- Armed Altruism: Bond gives Vivienne a pistol with which to defend herself. She later puts six rounds into Sluggsy and Sol's car.
- Bald of Evil: Sluggsy suffers from alopecia. He doesn't even have nostril hair, which annoys him considerable when he's forced to chase Vivienne in the rain and catches a cold.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: Sol "Horror" Horowitz and Sluggsy Morant.
- Broken Bird: Vivienne's love-life really roughed her up; she was just a summer fling to her first boyfriend and the second coldly dumped her when she got pregnant. The chapter about the latter guy is even named "Bird With a Wing Down".
- Chairman of the Brawl: Vivienne tries to slash Sluggsy with a knife, but he and Horror grab a chair each and overpower her.
- Chekhov's Gun: The vacancy-sign that Vivienne forgot on brings Bond into the motel after he got a flat tire.
- Continuity Nod: Bond tells Vivienne that he has just finished a job involving SPECTRE. Vivienne finds the name familiar, and Bond tells her that they were involved in the Operation Thunderball.
- "Dear John" Letter: After Derek, Vivienne's first boyfriend, went to study in Oxford, he sent a letter to her to explain that things are over between them since he was "sort of semi-engaged" to a daughter of his parents neighbours.
- Description in the Mirror: Once Vivienne wakes up after getting an electric shock, she wonders if all of her hair has turned white. She then checks herself with a mirror, giving the reader a description of her face.
- Dirty Old Man: Mr. Phancey, one of the two managers of the motel, is this, since he is constantly making moves at Vivienne, and she has to hook a chair under a door handle to keep him out of her room at night.
- Face of a Thug: When Bond arrives, Vivienne automatically assumes he is a partner to the thugs menacing her because of his looks.
- Fear of Thunder: Vivienne evidently is. When a thunderstorm breaks outside, she freaks out, and is unable to think clearly. She then tries to turn on the motel's vacancy-light, and gets an electric shock from it.
- Greater Scope Villain: While the thugs "Horror" and Sluggsy are the heavies of the story, they are just working on the orders from their boss, Mr. Sanguinetti.
- The Gunslinger: Sluggsy is an expert Quick Draw with a pistol, hence why he's called Sluggsy.
- The Immodest Orgasm: After having sex, Bond tells Vivienne that she was screaming. She doesn't remember it.
- Insurance Fraud: Sluggsy and Horror have come to the motel to burn it down, so that its owner Mr. Sanguinetti can claim the insurance money out of it.
- The Name Is Bond, James Bond: Bond introduces himself this way to Sluggsy. Sluggsy then says that it's "a pretty chump name".
- The Noun Who Verbed: Used as novel's title.
- Pillow Pistol: Before everyone goes to sleep, Bond advises Vivienne to not sleep on her bed and gives a revolver to her, which she is supposed to keep under her pillow. Later she finds out that he sleeps with a gun under a pillow.
- Powerful Pick: Vivienne arms herself with an icepick after the two thugs enter the motel. She later tries to stab Horror with it, but only manages to graze him.
- Quiet Cry for Help: When Bond is at the door asking for help with a flat tire, Vivienne tells him they're closed and to go away — while making the hand gesture for "come here."
- Red Right Hand: Horror has steel-capped teeth, and Sluggsy has no hair on his head due to a condition called alopecia totalis.
- Revolvers Are For Amateurs: Bond gives Vivienne a Police Positive to defend herself with. She's not very good with it and only succeeds in shooting the antagonists' car.
- Second-Hand Storytelling: One of the chapters relates to Bond's (failed, at this point) mission of tracking down Blofeld, from which he was coming back.
- Shower of Love: After seemingly getting rid of the two thugs, Vivienne and Bond go to one of the cabins that survived the fire, and share romantic time in the shower.
- Sleeping Dummy: Before going to sleep in his cabin, Bond arranges a dummy under his sheets since he (rightfully) suspects that the thugs will try to kill him first.
- Vice City: The two thugs frequently refer to Mr. Sanguinetti as a big shot in Troy. Once Bond hears it, he tells Vivienne that Troy is a "bad town - sort of a gangster suburb to Albany".