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For Your Eyes Only | Short Story Collection | Ian Fleming Book Reviews

Quantum of Solace

Since it was the last movie in the Bond series released so far, we are much familiar with the phrase “Quantum of Solace”. It is not the story where James Bond is the protagonist, or even a character of the tale. This is the tale told to him by Governor at the end of the dinner party. Bond have completed a mission at Bahamas, and he is at the party at the government house in Nassau when the story was told. He is scheduled to his journey to Miami the next day.

During the conversation Bond said something like “If I will marry, I would like to marry an air-hostess”. And in response to the same the governor tell him the tale of his former civil-servant Philip Masters and air hostess Rhoda Llewellyn. Phillip was a man with the golden heart. He was kind of a workaholic person with human values implanted in him fully. His dedication towards the duty and hardworking nature made him very popular to his immediate boss and from very low-level post he was promoted due to good remarks. He was fond of working of the human purpose and that’s what make him even more generous fellow. He worked for Governor (who has a modern vision and will to solve the native problems) of Nigeria as an assistance. Who by knowing the qualities of Philip let him explore the stuff which in-trun resulted into the boon for the poor people and society there.

He was very shy and was not thinking about the females in the manner the young people mostly interested in. However on one trip, he got near to the air hostess Rhoda Llewellyn and he was introduced to the feelings of love. It was his first time in a company of woman which made him very different fellow. Though Rhoda was rather thinking to have a comfortable life with attending party and being be-friend of the prominent figures of the high and powerful society, which made her to take interest in Philip. Philip and she got married and it was all well for a remarkable period. Philip got a new meaning of life and he cared for Rhoda even more than she deserved. Rhoda though after a while got bored with the monotonous life and tried to find happiness in material stuff rather than his really gold-at-heart husband.

How she started cheating and ignoring Philip and how she changed her path was a really emotionally disturbing stuff. When the saturation point came Philip got crashed from within. As he was in the good book of officials (despite the scandals of his wife was proving political fatal damages to the governor and ruling parties), he was sent abroad for a remarkable period. So he can concentrate on his work and get out of the mental disturbance. Here his wife was also came to know that what is correct and what is not when was dropped by son of a political high figure. She have nothing else to go at so she decided to play again his charm on Philip when he return. Philip returned from the trip but he was a totally different man then. There is only coldness in his eyes and not a single ray of warm feelings. All the tricks and emotional breakd-downs of Rhoda went into vein and they ultimately got separated!

Though after separation also as part of distributing things in between Phillip played master-strockes, leaving her thinking that after they are separated then also how much he hate her. It is very interesting to read humand minds in various situations. There must be a “quantum of solace” or “amount of comfort” in any relation, when you hate anyone from the deepest heart it became zero. The most shocking thing for anyone is someone is considering him or her as nothing and behaving like there is no existance of him or her. This is what which make one to break down emotionally. It felt at an extent by Philip once, and later by Rhoda at the even greater extent. When asked for, Bond got to know that Rhoda is currently…

Well let us stop here. This tale is having no James Bond adventure and hence is part of none of the Bond films as the main story. It is rather a story which teaches James a psychological stuff. This is the story about human minds and it can interest to those only who like to explore the stuff. But the ultimate lesson is a human needs emotional acceptence and dependability from loved ones and if one is betrayed there, it is the most disasterous stuff for him/her. So alway be genuine and faithful in the relations with loved ones and keep the Quantum of Solace at huge amount there…:) If you do not respect each other, its better to give up and get separated.

“Quantum of Solace” was based on a story told to Fleming by his neighbor and lover Blanche Blackwell about a real-life police inspector, who Fleming turned into the civil servant, Philip Masters.

Well don’t forget to visit previous/next pages to read the other short stories of the book.

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