For Your Eyes Only (book)
For Your Eyes Only
Author: Ian Fleming
Cover artist: Richard Chopping
Published by: Jonathan Cape
Pages: 256
Release date: 11 April, 1959
Alternate title: The Rough with the Smooth
Publication order
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Goldfinger Thunderball

For Your Eyes Only is a collection of short stories by the British author Ian Fleming, featuring the fictional British Secret Service agent Commander James Bond. It was first published by Jonathan Cape on 11 April 1960.

The title of the collection is derived from a piece of jargon often used in government circles with regards to classified information. An "Eyes Only" notification indicates either a) the information contained is for the knowledge of authorized readers only, b) information contained is not to be discussed with anyone, or c) all of the above.

It marked a change of format for Fleming, who had previously written James Bond stories only as full-length novels. Continuation Bond author Raymond Benson noted that two of the stories ("Quantum of Solace" and "The Hildebrand Rarity") were experimental works by Fleming, whilst the remaining three are regular Bond stories of espionage.

Plot summariesEdit

"From a View to a Kill"Edit

Main article: From a View to a Kill

"From a View to a Kill" sees Bond investigating the murder of a dispatch-rider en route from SHAPE (central command of NATO in Europe located in Versailles) to his base, Station F, in Saint-Germain, France. Since Bond was already in Paris, M sends Bond to assist in the investigation in any way he can. To unravel the mystery Bond disguises himself as a dispatch-rider and follows the same journey as the previous rider to Station F. As expected, the assassin attempts to kill Bond, however, Bond is ready and ends up killing the assassin.

Bond tracks down the site of the base and observes it. He takes note of the location and gives it to agent Mary Ann Russell. He the proceeds, alone, to blow it up in the early evening. He is attacked by several surviving villains and is rescued by Russell and her fellow staffers from Section F.

The title is taken from a version of the words to a traditional hunting song, "D'ye ken John Peel?": "From a find to a check, from a check to a view, from a view to a kill in the morning". The title, "From A View to a Kill" was later used for the 1985 Bond film, A View to a Kill starring Roger Moore. Originally, the film was to be titled the same as the short story, but was changed just prior to release. The title, plus the fact part of the film takes place in France, is where any similarity between short story and the film end.

"For Your Eyes Only"Edit

Main article: For Your Eyes Only

"For Your Eyes Only" begins with the murder of a Jamaican couple that had refused to sell their land to Major Hector Gonzales, a Cuban killer hired by Herr von Hammerstein. This couple, the Havelocks, would turn out to be close friends of M, who served as the groom's best man during their wedding in 1925. M subsequently gives Bond a voluntary assignment, "off-book" from sanctioned MI6 duties, to sneak into the United States via Canada, track down Herr von Hammerstein, and prevent further harm to the Havelocks's only daughter by any means necessary.

When Bond arrives on the scene, however, he finds the Havelocks' daughter, Judy, has arrived there first and intends to carry out her own mission of revenge. The girl completes her vendetta while Bond shoots von Hammerstein’s henchmen, and the pair escape.

"Quantum of Solace"Edit

Main article: Quantum of Solace

Bond is attending a boring dinner party with a group of rich, snobbish people he cannot stand. He listens as the Governor of Nassau tells him a harrowing tale about a relationship between a former employee of the Governor's, Phillip Masters, and an air hostess named Rhoda Llewellyn. After meeting aboard a flight to London they eventually marry, however, after a time Rhoda becomes unhappy and begins a long open affair with a young golf pro named Tattershall.

After a vacation to London during which Rhoda's affair ended, Masters returns and decides to end their marriage, although they would continue to appear as a happy couple in public for the sake of his job. While the story may not be full of adventure as previous Fleming tales, the point of the story was to show that Bond's adventures pales in reality to real-life drama. As the story closes, Bond reflects on the story the Governor told and comes to the conclusion that his current mission is dull and unexciting in comparison. The story is also an eye-opener for Bond who, before hearing the tale, had passed judgment on Rhoda who was one of the guests at the party.


Main article: Risico

James Bond is sent by M to investigate a drug smuggling operation based out of Italy that is pumping narcotics into England. M instructs Bond to get in touch with a CIA informant, Kristatos, who in turn tells Bond that a man named Enrico Colombo is behind the racket. Bond gets close to Columbo’s mistress, Lisl Baum by posing as a researching author. When Bond sets out to find more information on Colombo from her, he is captured by him and brought aboard Colombo's ship, the Colombina.

While in captivity Colombo informs Bond that Kristatos is actually the one in charge of the drug smuggling operation and that he is being backed by the Russians. On the next day, the Colombina arrives at Santa Maria, where men are loading another shipment. Bond, Colombo, and the crew of the Colombina attack the warehouse and discover Kristatos inside. While trying to escape, Kristatos is shot by Bond. Colombo then thanks Bond and gives him the key to a hotel room where he says Lisl will be waiting for him.

"The Hildebrand Rarity"Edit

Main article: The Hildebrand Rarity

Bond is on holiday in the Seychelles Islands with his friend, Fidele Barbey. Through Barbey, Bond meets an uncouth millionaire named Milton Krest who has offered the two the job of aiding him in the search for a rare fish named "The Hildebrand Rarity". After agreeing to help, the three as well as Mrs. Elizabeth Krest set off aboard the Wavekrest in search of the fish. During the journey Bond learns that Mr. Krest verbally and physically abuses everyone around him, specifically his wife whom he punishes with the use of a sting ray tail he dubs "The Corrector". After finding the Hildrebrand Rarity, the party returns to the Wavekrest and returns to port. Along the way Krest gets drunk and insults Bond and Barbey and also schedules an appointment for his wife with the "The Corrector".

During the same night Bond hears Mr. Krest choking, after which Bond discovers Krest has been murdered and the rare fish was stuffed into his mouth. So as not to be entangled in an investigation for the murder of Krest, Bond throws him overboard and cleans up scene of the crime. The following day after the Wavekrest has reached port no one knows what had happened to Mr. Krest and all presume he fell overboard. Bond investigates both Barbey and Mrs. Krest and finally comes to the conclusion that Mrs. Krest had murdered him in an act of revenge for the way in which Milton Krest had treated her, although she never admits to committing the crime and Bond never asks.


James Bond Short Stories
Fleming Quantum of Solace (1959) · The Hildebrand Rarity (1960) · From a View to a Kill (1960) · For Your Eyes Only (1960) · Risico (1960) · The Living Daylights (1962) · 007 in New York (1963) · The Property of a Lady (1963) · Octopussy (1966)
Benson Blast From the Past (1997) · Midsummer Night's Doom (1999) · Live at Five (1999) · The Heart of Erzulie (2001, unpublished)
Collections For Your Eyes Only (1960) · Octopussy and The Living Daylights (1966)