When 007 goes to Harlem, it's not just for the jazz. This is the kingdom of Mr Big, master of crime, voodoo baron, partner in SMERSH's grim company of death. Those Mr Big cannot possess he crushes - like his beautiful prisoner, Solitaire, and her would-be saviours James Bond and Agency man Felix Leiter. All three are marked out as victims in a trail of terror, treachery, and torture that leads from New York's underworld to the shark-infested island in the sun that Mr Big calls his own.
©1954 Ian Fleming Publications Ltd (P)2012 Ian Fleming Publications Ltd. © AudioGO Ltd, 2012. James Bond and 007 are registered trademarks of Danjaq LLC, used under licence by Ian Fleming Publications Ltd
Ian Fleming's second 007 novel is probably not the most intense or action-packed of his repetoire, but it is a fairly enjoyable read. Bond's investigation into illegal currency trafficking leads him into a culture entrenched in voodoo superstition.
Rory Kinnear does a great job of narrating the story. His crisp British tones are perfect for the story and he brings Bond to life superbly. His voicework for Mr Bigg's goons is a joy to listen to, however his attempts at American accents are terrible and thankfully infrequent.
One thing this audiobook has done is instill in me an incentive to get the next in the series. I've always been a huge fan of the Bond films, but never read the books. While it is hard to listen to the story without thinking of the films that were based on them, they are worth the time.
When I drive, I read... uhm listen. I like SciFi, Fantasy, some Detective and Espionage novels and Religion. Now and then I will also listen to something else.
The second James Bond novel surprised me a bit. It felt like walking into a word attic with a lot of old idea cobwebs. This novel is squarely a child of its time. M and even Bond's racial prejudice shines through as Ian Flemming sets the scene in the beginning of the book.
You do get the idea that Black people are playing a catch-up game with White people. Also on the criminal front, a certain Mister Big, has become prominent through illegal gold coins (stolen by the pirate Captain Morgan) he smuggled to the USA from Jamaica. Using Voodoo to mask his activities, he sounds like a true arch-enemy.
Solitaire is the name of the Bond girl in the book. Like always he saves the damsel in distress and everybody lives happily ever after... or at least until the next assignment.
In a way this is typically James Bond, but the racial undertones alienated me from the story.
Rory Kinnear offers a fair reading of the book.
I would recommend it to staunch Bond supporters.
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