Actually in the book I got In addition to all 5 stories which were there in the first edition of “For your eyes only”, all the stories from “Octopussy and The Living Daylights are also included”. So here we keep reviewing those stories as well.
“You know what?” said Major Dexter Smythe to the octopus. “You are going to get a real treat today if I can manage it.” is the starting point of the story. The story is about Major Smythe and his long and proud career in the forces. It is also the story of a German named Hannes Oberhauser. And the story relates to James Bond too but not a James Bond adventure at all; at least physically. He of course tried and successfully connected dots between two separate and un-related points called Major Smythe and Mr. Oberhauser. He might needed to do a lot of mind-exercise in doing so. But rather that is also not explained much in the story.
Ian Fleming chose the timezone which include World war in the story. Major Dexter was having a routine day when he got a visitor named James Bond. He was from the ministry of defense and was straight forward in his questions. Rather than replying warm welcome, or getting impressed or even neglected by him, Bond was behaving as he decided. After the straight forward conversation he asked Major to decide what he wants to do in the matter. The major actually needed to speak the truth. Then Bond went in the garden allowing major leaving alone so he can be himself and decide his own fate (more or less, coz the fate was decide already, he have to chose the way to accept that).
Then entire story runs in front of the Major’s eyes like a flash back. It explores when appointed at a specific position which was like second in command. He used his power and influence to earn a large amount of wealth in the form of gold bars. He used emotions as one of the weapons. Then there was a series of events that how he actually moved the gold bars from the top of the hill to the place he can come back and collect. Then how he smuggled them and got married with a beautiful lady. How his job in the ministry paid him up. And the way he reached to place today where he was living a king size life.
Ian Fleming used his observation power a lot when explaining the places in Germany. Especially the war oriented stuff. The tracking incident is explored fabulously. The stroke comes at the end, which lets you know why the story is named as Octopussy! Also why Bond was interested in solving the case is a delight to know. The story is good at thrill and explanations. How major drags the heavy bag of Gold from the hill top and the thought he was having during the journey shows the knowledge of Fleming about the human psychology. As mentioned earlier this is also the story where Bond plays his role (a small one) to make the justice happen, that’s it.
- Fleming wrote this story in early 1986 at Goldeneye estate in Jamaica and published later that year.
- The story telling method will remind a many people, the style of Quantum of Solace
- Octopussy was made as a movie also, but it has very loose adaptations from this short story and The property of a lady (another short story from the same book – we will review it later)
- The story was adapted as a comic strip also. It was published from 14 November 1966 to 27 May 1967. The adaptation of the strip was done by Jim Lawrence and it was illustrated by Yaroslav Horak;