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Dr. No | [Ian Fleming]

Dr. No

M calls this case a "soft option". He sends Bond to Jamaica to investigate the disappearance of the head of the Kingston station. Jamaica is luxurious, and the seductive Honey Rider is beautiful and willing, but they are both part of the empire of Dr. No.
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Publisher's Summary

M calls this case a "soft option". He sends Bond to Jamaica to investigate the disappearance of the head of the Kingston station. Jamaica is luxurious, and the seductive Honey Rider is beautiful and willing, but they are both part of the empire of Dr. No.

Bond discovers that Dr. No is working with the Russians, and that they have supplied him with several million dollars worth of equipment to sabotage nearby American missile tests. The doctor is a worthy adversary, with a mind as hard and cold as his solid steel hands and an obsession for power. His only gifts are strictly pain-shaped.

Shaken? Stirred? Check out 007's other assignments.

©1958 Glidrose Production, Ltd.; (P)2001 Blackstone Audio Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Masterful...beautifully written." (Sunday London Times)
"[Simon Vance's] polished voice is an enchanting accompaniment to Fleming's exotic settings and stories. His English accent is as smooth as a dry martini, shaken not stirred....Listening to these unabridged novels is more subtle than watching the films, but ultimately more rewarding." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (1056 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Paul Colorado Springs, CO, United States 12-22-11
    Paul Colorado Springs, CO, United States 12-22-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Classic James Bond"
    If you could sum up Dr. No in three words, what would they be?

    Honey Rider


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Honey Rider. Why ask


    Which character – as performed by Simon Vance – was your favorite?

    Bond.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No, nothing extreme, only pleasant.


    Any additional comments?

    A very linear story - no subplots or subtexts to complicate the story. For me, this mede it a bit tedious.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aaron 10-27-11
    Aaron 10-27-11
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    "Enjoyable"

    Ian Fleming's novels lend themselves particularly well to the format of audiobooks. The only criticism I have of this audiobook is that the narrator's Jamaican and Chinese accents weren't particularly accurate and occasionally veered into the realm of caricature. Other than that his reading was excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Georgia Rollinsville, Colorado, United States 10-02-11
    Georgia Rollinsville, Colorado, United States 10-02-11 Member Since 2010
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    "A Class Act"

    Whatever one may think of Ian Fleming and the 007 series, they are definitely part of the culture, and we must be grateful to Simon Vance for lifting the story out of the weeds. He makes us take these improbable characters seriously. An entertaining read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 09-29-11
    David 09-29-11 Member Since 2012

    Indiscriminate Reader

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    "Not the best Bond"

    Was this when Fleming started to phone it in? I have enjoyed several of the earlier Bond novels, but this one was full of purple prose and even more cringe-inducing racism and sexism than usual. I mean, this is James Bond we're talking about, who was a misogynistic dick even when cleaned up for Hollywood, but Dr. No is pretty much wall-to-wall racial caricatures, along with a vapid sex kitten of a Bond girl. I know, you're saying "What makes her any different from all the other Bond girls?" Well, usually the Bond girls are double-agents or something, or at least they carry a gun, but Honeychile Rider is just a feral blonde who hangs out naked on beaches. But okay, expecting Ian Fleming to write strong female characters is like expecting Jane Austen to write swordfights.

    James Bond is sent to Jamaica to investigate the disappearance of the Kingston station operatives. After wandering around meeting the colorful locals (there will be something here to offend everyone, from the description of Jamaicans as "lazy children" to every single Chinese person being part of the Yellow Horde), Bond makes his way to Crab Key, an island owned by the mysterious Dr. Julius No. Dr. No turns out to be a half-Chinese megalomaniac with prosthetic hands who brags about how totally evil and powerful he is. He rants about how he's King of the World (actually, he's the king of a tiny guano-covered island), then he taunts Bond and his new squeeze for a while before putting them both into ridiculous deathtraps. When this evil "genius" wants to kill someone, he prefers using poisonous centipedes and giant squid as opposed to, say, a bullet. You just know the ceiling lasers and submarine cars can't be far behind.

    Dr. No was still fun in all its racist, sexist, cheesy pulpiness, but it lacked the details and thin veneer of plausibility that earlier novels had, and boy has Fleming's writing gone downhill in this one. Go ahead and read it if you are a Bond fan, but it's definitely not Fleming's best work.

    Simon Vance is one of my favorite narrators, and he does his usual good job with what he's given to work with, which in this case is some of Fleming's most purple prose.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James 09-26-11
    James 09-26-11
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    "A fine performance of a good book."

    I've never once read (or listened to) one of Ian Flemming's James Bond novels, yet I've always thought about doing so. The book is vastly different from what I expected, much to my delight. It is still a bit far-fetched, but it paints a much more interesting picture of the Bond character. I definitely enjoyed my listen of this book and I would recommend it to anyone else who's ever felt a passing interest in the books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan El Paso, TX, United States 04-10-11
    Dan El Paso, TX, United States 04-10-11 Member Since 2009
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    "Black and White and Yellow"

    Not a bad story at all, but it does show how important race was back in the late 50's. Everyone's lineage is clarified when each character is introduced, as well as their "Preordained" shortcomings.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Parker, CO, United States 02-19-11
    John Parker, CO, United States 02-19-11 Member Since 2015
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    "Puerile Fantasy"

    I had never read an Ian Fleming work before, so I decided to try one, thinking the books might possibly be better than the movies, as is often the case. I selected this as being one of the best, according to his fans. It was pretty much what I expected from the movies--inane, superhuman feats by a cartoon character. I gave it 2 stars only because any Simon Vance narration deserves no less, no matter how bad the underlying work. It is the male counterpart of soft porn female romantic fantasies.

    0 of 9 people found this review helpful
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