By the time Fleming came to write the sequel to Thunderball in 1961, his life had become more complicated than he would have wished.  His health was failing, James Bond was not providing the light-hearted diversion he once had and his marriage had withered due to his and Ann’s extra-marital affairs.  It was under these circumstances that Fleming broke away from his usual writing formula and produced a very different Bond book.  The Spy Who Loved Me was written from the point of view of Vivienne Michel, a heart-broken young woman who gets tangled-up in an ill-fated insurance scam at an isolated motel in New York State before being rescued by 007.  When it was published in 1962, critics did not welcome Fleming’s literary experiment and his confidence was knocked by the book’s poor reception.

‘You take a wrong step, play the wrong card in Fate’s game, and you’re lost in a world you had never imagined, against which you have no weapons.  No compass.’

The Spy Who Loved Me

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