This story of a night of horrifying fear at the Dreamy Pines Motor Court in the Adirondacks bears the customary Fleming hallmark, what Max Lerner in the New York Post called "his enormous resourcefulness...his sure sense of what will fascinate and terrify the reader, his contriving of hairbreadth escapes."
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©1962 Glidrose Productions, Ltd.; (P)2001 Blackstone Audio Inc.
"The Spy Who Loved Me stands alone as an enigma in the Bond series. It is a truly strange, experimental book for Ian Fleming....The objective view of Bond here is very different and revealing." (Raymond Benson, author of High Time to Kill)
Bookaholic. Favorite authors- Agatha Christie, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert A Heinlein.
Not the best one in the Bond series, but if you want to listen to the entire series you may as well include this one too. Story is from point of view of a woman who is helped /loved by James Bond. It does drag on a bit before bond ever comes into the story.
Don't make the mistake (as I did) that this was another James Bond 007 book. It is not.
If you're listening your way thru the James Bond series, don't think you need to listen to this book so that you don't miss any history for the next book in the series. You never need to listen to this book. Do yourself a favor and skip over it.
James Bond only appears in the story somewhere near the last third, and he's not the same sort of secret agent whose exploits you're used to hearing. He rather muddles thru making uncharacteristic mistakes from which shear luck saves him.
There's no real plot....no spy thriller. It's a meandering story line about the pathetic life experiences of the female narrator. And the French Canadian accent is annoying.
The audio narrated by Nadia May is spectacular, everything and more than i imagined from my oft-read print version.
This being my favourite Bond book, i of course have read it many times. Still, the narrative drew me in. The first two sections -- the set-up -- are so well-written that i still hold my breath at the danger and excitement of the plot. Of course, Ian Fleming is a consummate writer, but in giving us the tale from the woman's point-of-view he outdoes himself. The first section -- "Me" -- and the second -- "Them" -- were captivating, to the extent that i found myself sitting on the edge of my seat, despite knowing the book practically by heart. Finally, the third section -- "Him" -- comes. We don't have to wait too long, because all the Bond books are relatively short, for James to make his entrance, but through Viv's eyes his appearance is at first ominous to her; her reaction is "oh no, another one of them!" and rightly so, for those of us who know our Bond. Through Viv's eyes, he appears out of the mist as a dangerous man, and yes, he IS a dangerous man. We know that, but Viv's first impression is rightly formed, and we feel her despair. Then, Bond smiles, and both she and we are bathed in the humanity of his smile, the reassuring glimpse of a good soul behind the deadly aura of Bond's presence. It's so wonderful to have this view of Bond from the woman's reactions and perceptions, that makes me love this story more than all the others. Viv is a good storyteller, and she keeps us on edge throughout the telling.
i loved EVERYTHING about Nadia May's performance. Her enchanting French-Canadian accent was perfect for Viv's volubility. May's men's voices were quite believable; both Horror and Slugsy were voiced convincingly and imparted an ominous sensation of doom to come. Bond's voice, clipped and cool, came through exceptionally well (for a woman narrator). He exuded self-deprecation in the midst of his supreme confidence, and his slips and misses were not taken lightly by Viv, in her anxiety and fear. It was as though James Bond was a real person and not the caricature of urbane wit and efficiency depicted in the Bond novels narrated by Fleming, not by his Vivienne Michel. Ms. May's Viv was as real as real can be, and she brought James down to an earthly status seldom revealed by the male narrator of his other adventures. Ms. May's Viv is definitely NOT a Bond girl; she is a Bond WOMAN even though only 23. It's refreshing to see the female lead as confident in her abilities as is Bond, and not the helpless beauty just waiting to be saved.
i not only wanted to listen to the book in one sitting, i have listened to it several times, always enjoying every second of the story. As a matter of fact, once i finish writing this review, i intend to listen to it again and am eagerly anticipating the experience.
So here i go again, to visit the Dreamy Pines Motor Lodge for one eventful evening that starts with the bang of a thunderstorm and ends with the bang so expected of 007.
While the writing is of normal Bond quality, the story is not much of a James Bond adventure. Bond is directly involved, and not at his best, for a very short time.
The action-oriented espionage classics by Ian Fleming are always an enjoyable read, or in this case, listen. The narrator is not as good as Simon Vance, but any shortcomings in the smoothness of her voice and accent are overcome by the novel.
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