M, unwilling to lose his best man, is persuaded to give him one last chance: an impossible mission far removed from his usual duties. Bond heads to Japan and a mysterious residence known as the "Castle of Death", where he encounters an old enemy and, perhaps, his own end at last.
Shaken? Stirred? Check out 007's other assignments.
©1964 Glidrose Productions, Ltd.; (P)2001 Blackstone Audio Inc.
"A sensational imagination, informed by style and zest." (Sunday Times)
"[Simon Vance] carries the exact measure of British inflection while delivering the famous Bond 'off-the-cuff' humor....[Vance] IS James Bond." (AudioFile)
Simon Vance is a master with his voices. He gives each character their own unique personality through his intonations. Fleming's character come to life with his reading.
Well, Bond of course.
I like Bond's interactions with his chief, M. In all of the Bond stories, these are the start of the adventure.
Avid Reader and Audible Fan!
I downloaded this book because I am huge James Bond fan but I had never read the original books. Its really interesting to me how you can see how the writers used certian things from the book in not only this particular movie but other James Bond movies as well. It was a good listen. The reader is the same guy who reads the two Stieg Larsson books. I got this listen on sale and its worth the sale price for sure.
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.
Vance expertly delivers one of Fleming's less excellent but enjoyable Bond stories, tinged with philosophy.
Touching Lives One Martini at a Time
You Only Live Twice was published posthumously and I believe it is the final novel the author finished. There is one more, The Man with the Golden Gun, but if memory serves, that was a draft and not ready for submission.
James Bond goes to Japan. Bond, a complete wreck from years of torture, self-abuse (not the Catholic kind), stress, and his bride-of-one-day getting a bullet to the skull, is sent to Japan to retrieve some secrets from their government, what is considered an impossible task. But M does it to give Bond a sense of purpose. No one expects him to succeed and they figured it would be therapeutic.
The head of the Japanese secret service, Tiger Tanaka, takes a shine to Bond and decides upon a quid pro quo: you take care of this strange gai-jin who lives in a fortress surrounded by poisonous plants, sulfur springs, and deadly insects and reptiles, and we'll give you the information you want.
It seems that Japanese by the hundreds are going to Dr. Shatterhand's to have an easier seppuku. It is getting out of hand. Since he isn't breaking laws, the Japanese cannot do anything about it. But they don't like it. So why not have an English (Bond is technically British, being from Scotland, how is that for revealing how pretentious I am) agent do the dirty work.
The book is fun in the sense of travelogue (Fleming is pretty good at his exposition by now) with his upper-crust derision for both the decline of Britain's importance in the world and any culture but his own.
The story itself is odd and not terribly surprising. Fleming was on his second heart attack by now and probably rushed it to leave more money in his estate
What makes this books a joy on audio is Simon Vance. This guy sells the goods. He is capable of doing accents, handling foreign languages, making each character different vocally. And he does it without panegyrics.
The novels may be too violent for a family to listen to on a car trip, but if you had to choose something besides Harry Potter for everyone to listen to, these books may be the call. Most are no longer than seven hours. They have a little of everything.
This novel is definitely for a fan though. Simon Vance makes a mediocre book a lot better.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.