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©1963 Glidrose Productions, Ltd.; (P)2002 Blackstone Audio Inc.
"A Bond bombshell." (Time)
"Ever suave, ever cool in the face of danger, Agent 007 ages well in this vintage 1964 spy-tale, delivered with sophistication by [Simon Vance]....This is evil with style....Bond is in his element all the way, as is [Vance]...a great read." (AudioFile)
Book blogger at Bookwi.se
When I was a kid I loved James Bond movies. And I still mostly like new James Bond movies. But as I re-watch old ones the cartoonish villains bug me. Lasers to shoot down rockets, stealing all the gold in Fort Knox, etc. are just a bit silly.
I stumbled on the movie of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service sometime last year and made it through 20 or 30 minutes. The set up is a bit ridiculous. The bad guy has a lair in the Alps where beautiful girls go to get rid of their allergies. James Bond sneaks in find out what is going on.
The movie was a bit silly, but the book was actually the best of the Bond books I have read. And from a story perspective, it seems to be one of the more realistic. It involves bioterrorism, but I won’t reveal the actual story.
This is also the book that is famous for Bond getting married.
As much as I enjoyed it, this is the last of the Bond books I have purchased and I think it is the last I will purchase.
A refreshing diversion from modern protagonists, who are terrible at everything and you have to feel sorry for all their deep, meaningful, internal issues. Dude's a spy. He's good at spying. Let's spy.
Touching Lives One Martini at a Time
This is the final novel Fleming wrote before his death in 1964. Fleming has stopped using the Russians as villains now and is sticking to SPECTRE.
I'd argue that From Russia, with Love is Fleming's best novel; however, this is a close second. Again, it is a clever story with the villain, for once, really only wanting to be left alone. This plot lives in the real world, for once. It is not a fantastic, Grand Guignol tale that borders on science fiction. Blofeld decides that bioterrorism is the way to go this time. Bond is sent in to stop him.
I don't want to say too much for fear of giving away the plot. People who haven't read the book or seen the movie by now are probably rare. But there is always hope. Good stories aren't ruined by spoilers. We all know Romeo & Juliet die, but we still enjoy the story.
Fleming mixes all the elements well in this novel. A great plot, a great love story, and a great travelogue.
Simon Vance, as usual, does a marvelous job of narrating the story. I have become a real fan of his as I have listened to all the Bond novels now. He nails accents. He knows how to hit the beats of a sentence. And, he understands how to communicate the dry tone of Fleming's humor.
If you are going to listen to all of them, that is one thing. If you want to pick out one or two, do this book and From Russia, with Love.
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.
James Bond is restrained when he realizes he has fallen in love with Traci, daughter of a wealthy gangster. The love story is only part of the overall plot. The other part is James Bond undercover to catch evil SPECTRE boss Blowfield. The mind control on the mountain is not the strongest evil machination but it suffices. Bond's escape down the mountain is gripping.
The narrators English accent and tone was perfect for the iconic James Bond character.
The story was less eventful and suspenseful than I expected, but maybe it's because my only other experience with James Bond is from video games and movies. The voice actor did a good job of characterizing the various dialects that the characters were supposed to have. Translations would have been nice for the foreign phrases, but I still followed the story without understanding any of the French or German. I wouldn't strongly recommend it. but I wouldn't dissuade someone from reading it, either.
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