Nobody Lives For Ever (published in American editions as Nobody Lives Forever), first published in 1986, was the fifth novel by John Gardner featuring Ian Fleming's secret agent, James Bond. Carrying the Glidrose Publications copyright, it was first published in the United Kingdom by Jonathan Cape and in the United States by Putnam.

Nobody Lives For Ever was the last novel to have its first edition cover designed in the style of Richard Chopping. Chopping had previously drawn nine Ian Fleming novels from 1956 to 1966 as well as Gardener's Licence Renewed in 1981.

Plot summaryEdit

En route to retrieve his faithful housekeeper, May, from a European health clinic where she is recovering from an illness, Bond is warned by the British Secret Service that Tamil Rahini, the current leader of S.P.E.C.T.R.E., now dying from wounds suffered due to his last encounter with Bond (as described in Role of Honour), has put a price on Bond's head. "Trust no one," Bond is warned. Soon after, May and Miss Moneypenny, who had been visiting his housekeeper are reported missing, and Bond finds himself dodging would-be assassins while searching for his friends, assisted by a young debutante and her capable, yet mysterious, female bodyguard.

The price on Bond's head is a competition orchestrated by Rahani and S.P.E.C.T.R.E. known as 'The Head Hunt', and is an open contest to anyone willing to capture, kill, or present Bond to Rahani, where he would be subsequently decapitated by guillotine. Along Bond's journey of attempting to rescue Moneypenny and May, Bond is betrayed and chased by a number of people and organizations, including his own British Secret Service ally, Steve Quinn who has defected to the KGB, corrupted police officers, and agents of S.P.E.C.T.R.E. in disguise.

Characters Edit


  • John Gardner's original title was "You Only Die Once."
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