I have read all of the Ian Fleming novels multiple times. I have three copies of each novel, because I read them so often that they wear out.
But the one novel that I’ve only read twice is On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
It is so very, very sad, incredibly sad. I hate reading it knowing that eventually I will come to the ending and the awful thing will happen. None of us like to think of the day that our loved ones died. That’s what it’s like to read this novel.
I find it very frightening while James Bond is playing the part of Sir Hillary Bray. Fleming handled this masterfully in the novel. James Bond keeps making little errors and getting out of them, but we all know (and he knows) that he isn’t really getting out of them. We KNOW and he knows that Blofeld knows that he is a fake. It’s so scary.
Have you ever been in that situation, perhaps as a child, or even as an adult, when you are in deep, deep trouble, and you keep trying to cover up your errors and pretending that everything is just fine, but you KNOW that you are going to get it really, really bad really soon and you hope that you will survive!
I remember a situation like this at work; we all knew that the lady was going to be fired, and we all kept pretending it wasn’t going to happen and everything was fine, but then the supervisor came into the room and asked to see her in the office, and we all KNEW that she was a goner and it was SOOOOO AWFUL!!! I went home and cried for her.
That’s what reading On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is like.
Also, the ski trip down the mountain is described so graphically. One thing I appreciate so much about the novels is that James Bond really feels pain and exhaustion, whereas in the movies, he seems to be Superman. It’s almost comical, but the novels are not like this at all. You find yourself feeling the cold, the fear, the muscle pain, and seeing (or not seeing) the darkness, the aloneness, as Bond skis down the mountain to get away from Blofeld.
He was so heroic in this novel.
And frank after reading the novel, I don’t think that Diana Rigg was right for the part of Tracy. I think we all knew her too well as Emma Peel, and that’s what Tracy came off as. I think they should have found someone different. I love Diana Rigg, but not as a Bond girl and certainly not as Bond’s wife.
I agree that Lazenby did OK in the role. My only complaint is the heresy of a brown-eyed James Bond! I’ll take blond hair, but not brown eyes!
If you have not read any of the James Bond novels, get them (the Ian Fleming novels). This one is probably the best, but it is so tough to get through. I love all of the novels, though. My favorite has to be Live and Let Die, except for the awful thing that happens to Felix.
Gosh, don’t ever become friends with James Bond! You don’t last long or keep all your body parts!