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©1954 Glidrose Productions, Ltd.; (P)2000 Blackstone Audio Inc.
"[Simon Vance] delivers an entertaining performance of one of Fleming's best 007 novels. Using a rich palette of international voices and accents, [Vance] takes an engaging story and infuses it with the additional drama that only a fine actor can provide." (AudioFile)
"From Russia with Love is perhaps the most successful of the Bond series: Fleming has managed to blend excellent characterizations with a highly suspenseful and clever story. The detail is rich and colorful, and the novel contains purely romantic elements that are missing from most of the other books." (Raymond Benson, author of High Time to Kill)
Touching Lives One Martini at a Time
This is a great second-novel after the terse and violent Casino Royale. It is the least politically-correct novel of the series. If you can't deal with the "understood" racism in the US and UK in the 1950s, then don't read this. It will only anger you. Fleming's view of African-Americans is not enlightened except to the extend that Bond is willing to deal to achieve his ends.
The story is about a gold smuggling operation which takes Bond to Jamaica, Florida, and Harlem. There are many violent passages in the novel, again in keeping with the tone begun in the last novel.
It is interesting how Fleming's knowledge of the Cold War comes to light through his use of the Soviets using the nascent Black Power movements to further its cause. (Especially since KGB papers later released revealed how there was Communist infiltration into union and civil rights organizations.)
This novel also begins the travelogue feel that Fleming gave to his novels from his experiences as a journalist and an intelligence officer. We get a look at Idlewild Airport in the 1950s, which is interesting. Fleming's penchant for scuba also comes through.
This is another taut thriller in the tradition of the 1950s potboilers. It moves fast and is unforgiving to its characters. It is a good listen and Vance does a marvelous job narrating. I keep saying it, but I love these novels more because of the way he reads them.
The action-oriented espionage classics by Ian Fleming are always an enjoyable read, or in this case, listen. The audio is great, and the narrator's voice and accent create an enthralling, believable production of the literature.
Another reviewer stated that this novel is "politically incorrect." No. It is patently racist. While it may be an artifact of the time in which it was written, I found it completely off-putting and probably should have stopped listening in the first half hour. Otherwise, it is a very engaging narrative and would have been an outstanding novel (and performance) otherwise.
Fleming can weave a yarn but even granting that the book was written in 1954 the stereotypes are horrific. A lot less racial epithets would have made this a much better book.
James falls into all kinds of trouble and gets lucky. Not much real spy work by James, but a whole lot of action. Warning, it is dated and racist, but gives good insight into the thinking of the late 50s and the change to the 60s.
Tons of action
James in the warehouse using his detective skills
Sharks, Voodoo and a pretty girl....I can read your mind.
I loved Live and Let Die. I really enjoy Simon Vance reading the stories to me and I will continue to listen to the Ian Fleming James Bond series.
I do not wish to give anything away but it is a great story. I would recommend this volume and all of the others by Ian Fleming read by Simon Vance.
I like to hear the James Bond stories from a smooth British voice because I feel that is how the book was intended to be read. It would be seem wrong for someone else to be the voice of Bond.
I listen to this Audio book over two days only because I did not have the back to back hours to sit down and listen to it straight through.
Outstanding work by Simon Vance. While I am a fan of every Bond novel, except for The Spy Who Loved Me, Live and Let Die might be a bit much for those unaccustomed to reading about racial stereotypes from the 1950's. That aside, Fleming's story is far better than the film version.
I am a 30 year old over-the-road truck driver. I listen to A LOT of audiobooks!
This is the 2nd Ian Fleming 007 book I have listened to (I am listening to them in the order they were published) and I enjoyed it more than the 1st. The plot was very well developed and easier to follow than Casino Royale. The "Bond Girl" in this book was more likable too. A very well written novel and a great performance.
Being a Bond Movie fan - I am familiar with Live and Let Die, the movie. The book however comes as a surprise, set approximately 20 years earlier in a pre-Civil rights movement United States (and other locations) the differences between the movie and book are glaring and obvious. That having been said, both are good but I daresay that the book was better and more likely. Bond Fans - read on - its worth it!
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