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You Only Live Twice | [Ian Fleming]

You Only Live Twice

When Ernst Stavro Blofeld blasts into eternity the girl James Bond has married only hours before, the heart and zest for life goes out of Bond. 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".
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Publisher's Summary

When Ernst Stavro Blofeld blasts into eternity the girl James Bond has married only hours before, the heart and zest for life goes out of Bond. Incredibly, from being a top agent of the Secret Service, he goes to pieces and is even on the verge of becoming a security risk.

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.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (265 )
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  •  
    W Cameron, WI, United States 02-21-12
    W Cameron, WI, United States 02-21-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Vance excels as Bond and Tanaka"
    What made the experience of listening to You Only Live Twice the most enjoyable?

    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.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Well, Bond of course.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I like Bond's interactions with his chief, M. In all of the Bond stories, these are the start of the adventure.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Anderson, TX, USA 10-14-09
    Michael Anderson, TX, USA 10-14-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Book vs Movie"

    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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Miles GE 04-19-08
    Miles GE 04-19-08 Listener Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Impeccable"

    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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pork C. Fish Syracuse, NY 10-06-12
    Pork C. Fish Syracuse, NY 10-06-12 Listener Since 2010

    Touching Lives One Martini at a Time

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The End of the End"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer New Bern, NC, United States 08-30-12
    Kindle Customer New Bern, NC, United States 08-30-12 Member Since 2011
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    "A well read engaging (if dated) story"

    A well read engaging (if dated) story.
    A bit of light entertainment. Classic James Bond the way it was originally written.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    michael schiller chicago, IL 04-17-12
    michael schiller chicago, IL 04-17-12
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    "Ian at his best"
    Would you listen to You Only Live Twice again? Why?

    A combination of the Author and the narrator. A very informed writer, and a perfect British dialect.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Bond of course, although you can't help but love Kissey.


    What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

    I love Simon's ability to become different characters without distraction to the listener. He has an incredible ability to add the perfect inflection to his speech. A rare ability in my opinion.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Bond at his best. Hold on to your gardening trowel.


    Any additional comments?

    I have listened to most of Ian's Bond books, and this is one of the best.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PAUL mendon, MA, United States 02-20-12
    PAUL mendon, MA, United States 02-20-12 Member Since 2009
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    "True Bond"
    If you could sum up You Only Live Twice in three words, what would they be?

    A Definite Must


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Bond. duh.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The garden scenes at the Castle of Death.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Welcome to Japan, Mr. Bond


    Any additional comments?

    none

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim Irmo, SC, United States 01-30-09
    Kim Irmo, SC, United States 01-30-09
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    "Wonderful!"

    SO good, SO touching. MUCH better than the terrible movie.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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