While not Flemings best work, the dark and moody world of the original Bond still surpasses the Hollywood fare. There are none of the quirky one liners here, and the descriptions of pain and death are stark.
As with many works of this era, it can be chauvinistic, however the female role is still that of a strong character who carries her own.
A simple story harkening back to the Cold War era, this is still an enjoyable story I recommend. As always, Simon Vance does a remarkable job and greatly enhances the listening experience.
I haven't read the book
Yes it did, the quality of the story and the very high quality narration by Simon Vance made it a compelling listen
The description of the dinner between Dr. No and James Bond was fantastic
They've already done this
Yes. It is James Bond and Ian Flemming-you cannot go wrong.
Just writing this to submit the review.
The performance was excellent, and really brought the story to life.
I loved Bond's superspy workout: Run a mile, swim half a mile, sunbathe for an hour, and drink four drinks. I also loved that he had three or four drinks when he was on his missions. Maybe it helped him stay sharp.
Yes, Dr. No is sexist and racist, and the action is ridiculous. However, if you can look past the dated attitudes, it's a fun period piece.
James Bond has recovered from the near fatal wound that he received in his last adventure against SMERSH. M has decided to give him a soft job to get him back in the swing of things. The head of the Jamaica station and his secretary have been murdered, although no one knows it. They have simply disappeared. M wants to know what has happened so he sends James. When Bond arrives he is met with a strange mystery. It seems that all of the trouble is coming from a place called Crab Island which is owned by the reclusive Dr. No. Now Bond has to get himself back in shape to hunt down the truth behind this elusive and potentially deadly new foe.
There is everything we expect from a Bond novel, a beautiful, sexy woman, an evil villain, dangerous traps, and determined heroics from 007. As always the Bond books are a lot of fun.
A couple of years ago I listened to a book of short stories by Ian Fleming and I was surprised at how different they were than the movies. Although they were dated, they really have stood the test of time well. The reader does a good job for the most part with the exception of his “American accent”. There may be things in the book that in hindsight are less appealing, (racial and class descriptions), none the less they are a reflection of the times, and in many cases much of the book was well ahead of its time. The principal character is both flawed and human. He is not the indestructible bond of the movies, he has much more depth. I found this book much more plausible than many of the popular spy authors writing today, and similar in style to Daniel Silva’s Gabriel Allon.
Yes. I have read the book and seen the movie many times but it was worth listening too, as well. Easy to follow and nicely told story.
It provides more insights to character than the movie.
Good job of providing different voices and nice job of building excitement in key places.
Yes - Amazing mix of atmospheric narrative with real, well developed characters. Bond is a man with feelings and weaknesses, the girl has a broken nose - the electricity is palpable.
Honeyrider - tough and feminine.
Simon Vance is the MAN - 007 of his class.
Surprising and redeeming.
Here is a Bond who feels pain, drinks vodka, gin & tonic, and bourbon as well as the famous shaken-not-stirred. This Bond can apologize for having to kill, wonders about the destination of a dead friend and of the dead villain, and a Bond who even cries.
Still, all the cool, controlled rationality is there; and, of course, he gets the girl, but at her insistence. I've enjoyed the films over the years through the change in actors, preferring Connery, Brosnan and Craig. But Dr. No was my first Ian Fleming book, and I enjoyed meeting his slightly more human Bond and will listen to others. Yes, the plot is as oulandish and the villains as extreme as any Bond film, but that is part of the fun.
Simon Vance's reading gives a perfect tone of British cool and humor, making it a nice break from longer, more literary listening. I'm thankful for Audible.com sales that encourage me to try books I might not risk precious credits on!
En Dieu Ma Foy
When most people hear of James Bond they think of the actors from Sean Connery to Daniel Craig. When I hear the name James Bond I think of Ian Fleming. A man widely known for his writing and journalism it is easily forgotten that before both he was a spy. Fleming's work during WWII as the personal assistant to the head of the Naval Intelligence Service is widely forgotten by most or simply unknown. He also was the head of the 30 Assault Unit and sat on the committee that headed T-Force, two very successful units charged with commando military action and protecting valuable secret documents. Fleming also oversaw Operation Mincemeat and Operation Golden Eye, two very successful operations that were key to winning WWII. This knowledge of the spy world he brings to his books, and so his books take on a sort of realism. Even though Fleming received numerous bad reviews for Dr. No, it was later determined by literary historians to have been a fad amoung critics rather than a true reality of the book's content. Today Dr. No is considered one of Fleming's greatest novels and is held in high regard by many literary critics as the example that many mystery spy novels are held to. Having all of Ian Fleming's works in print, I was interested in hearing an audio version. This was a very good reading and presentation of Ian Fleming's work.
Simon Vance does a fantastic job with the reading of Dr. No. I was impressed with his depiction of Fleming's work, and the ability of Vance to "color the theatre of the mind" with his inflection and imagery.