A few things stand out in this modern version of 007 by Jeffrey Deaver: While the author updates the Operative from HM Secret Service to MI6 with all the technology that the present provides, there is no sacrificing the depth and strength of the original Ian Fleming character. Furthermore, the author gives each character depth with a richness of strengths and flaws. Hard to put down or turn off, the story travels a road filled with rich descriptions and explanations without getting lost along the way. Every twist and turn excites and stimulates the senses. What is even better is that the narration is one of best I've ever listened to.
About 10 times in the book, Bond apparently walks straight into a trap. Each time, a few paragraphs later it is explained why he was able to carefully avoid the mistake. This technique gets very old very quickly. I have read all the Fleming novels and rarely remember him using this literary device. Perhaps with the bank note in Casino Royale, but even that was more of a puzzle. Also, I was dismayed by the "surprise" betrayal at the end. Another trick not used by Fleming too often.
The plot was typical nonsense. You couldn't analyze Fleming's plots too carefully either. Bad guy was interesting. Henchman was good, very clever. I hate when characters act stupid just to move the plot along.
Some of the other "re-boot" features were actually quite good. Q, Tanner, the iqPhone, etc. I liked the lessons in "tradecraft" that were sprinkled throughout the book. That was Fleming-ish (or should I say Flemish?).
I thought narration was OK.
Carte Blanche: The New James Bond Novel is clever and exciting, and the plot's twists and turns and will keep the listener hanging on every word. This is the James Bond we know from the novels, and not the cartoon hero of the films who performs superhuman feets. The narration by Toby Stephens is perfect. By the way, is there an accent he cannot master? The happy result of hearing this novel is a desire to purchase more of author Jeffery Deaver's other works, and to keep an eye (and ear) out for more of Toby Stephens' narrated books.
Very nice action-oriented novel. Mr. Deaver was successful in making James Bond three-dimensional. I really enjoyed his take on this classic character. Toby Stephens, as well, has done a remarkable job in reading this -- an excellent job. Great job!
James Bond, as written by Ian Fleming, helped me get through my teenage years. I was bored by school, and often new in town, as my family moved a great deal. James Bond was a constant, thrilling presence in every library I went to. When I saw this new James Bond by Jeffrey Deaver, I was hesitant to give it a try because Ian Fleming's James was a bit sacred to me. However, I like Jeffrey Deaver's books, so I purchased it. It is fabulous! He has taken James Bond and put him in the modern world with James' essence intact. It is a far more complex world for James and that's actually one of the charms of the book. James Bond, still suave and smart, dealing with modern evils and governmental mess-ups. Jeffrey Deaver has given us more fully realized female characters than Ian Fleming ever did and that's also a plus. I would recommend this to any James Bonds fans, or readers new to 007.
This audiobook has brought the espionage genre into real world, being spiced with all the important events which have impacted our existence as people of globalisation.
The most powerful impact on me it's given by the unique voice of Toby Stephens, such versatile and subtle, with so many inflexions and glow.
A new Bond book. Who could resist? I wish I resisted.
It is clear from the get-go that Jeffery Deaver must have become bored with the characters and story early on. Though, from the length, he must have been charging per word.
This 'Modern Interpretation' of Bond is hollow, shallow and uninteresting. Nothing daring, clever or even thought provoking.
The most interesting and dynamic character is 'Q' Sanu Hirani and Bheka Jordaan's grandmother. Everyone else is is just filler including Bond.
This story is sadly lacking in intrigue, excitement, fun, wit, believability and pleasure for the reader. Instead the reader/listener is dragged, by a leash, from one plot point to the next. Mr. Deaver could have benefited by actually reading a Fleming novel to see why they were actually so compelling and interesting.
The Benson novels and even Faulks' 'Devil May Care' are light-years ahead of this yawn. Even 'Man With A Golden Gun' is infinitely more interesting. You actually get to know Scaramanga and even find out what makes him tick. Dunne is rejected lover desperate to regain the affections of his desire. How brilliant?
None of the plot points even make any sense when put together as a whole. It simply leaves one feeling like they just watched Star Wars Episode One. Strike That.... The Phantom Menace was actually more desirable.
While the story suffers (a Lot) the Narration is quite good. It's the one redeeming factor that allowed me to finish this yarn to the end.
Don't waste your, considerable, time with this bore. Re-listen to a Fleming or Benson novel and enjoy an engaging and fun story.
I've been listening to audio books for well over twenty years (even before audible was available). Secretly, I wish I could be a narrator.
Enjoyed the book for start to finish. It's one of the best Bond novels ever.
Deaver has a style that works well for describing characters. He tries hard to conjure some of the savoire faire of Ian Fleming. Bond and other of the familiar stable of characters are likably portrayed. The role of women has been appropriately updated. But the story line had no tension in it at all. When the denouement sloooowly unfolded, I really didn't care that much. I might not bother to read a second novel in the series.
I love Jeffery Deaver's books but this one is a stinker. It's more of an ad for 5.11 clothing.
Slow start and predictable.