When sudden emergencies arise, James Bond is there to meet them. Whether dealing with the assassination of a Cuban thug in America, the destruction of an international heroin ring or a mysterious death in the Seychelles, 007 gets the job done in his own unmistakable style.
Contains the short stories: From a View to a Kill; For Your Eyes Only; Quantum of Solace; Risico and The Hildebrand Rarity.
Includes an exclusive bonus interview with Samuel West.
Ian Fleming was born in London in 1908. He was educated at Eton and worked as a journalist in Moscow and a banker and stockbroker in London before becoming personal assistant to the Director of Naval Intelligence during the Second World War. He wrote his first Bond novel, Casino Royale, in 1952 at Goldeneye, his home in Jamaica. Since then James Bond has gone on to become a global phenomenon.
Samuel West’s theatre work includes ENRON, Hamlet for the RSC and starring opposite his father Timothy, in A Number. TV credits include Cambridge Spies, Any Human Heart, Eternal Law and Mr Selfridge, and he has narrated many TV documentaries. Among his films are Hyde Park on Hudson, Van Helsing, Iris, Persuasion and Howards End. He has also directed ten plays and two operas.
For film buffs, the only similarities are the titles. These stories, usually an hour long are nice short reads. As you already know Bond and the support characters there is no need to go back and give us their stories and so the narrative moves along nicely. I found the way Ian Fleming told the story of 'Quantum of Solace' was beautifully done. Samuel West is excellent narrating these stories and didn't skip a beat with any of the characters even the womens voices. I found 'A View to a Kill' a little tripe but the other stories enthralling. Now I am ready to move onto 'Thunderball'.
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Yes, Read on and you will know why I love this book.
What did you like best about this story?
Having listened to the previous James Bond stories, I have come to look at Bond in a very different way than the persona portrayed on film. He is not the brash arrogant larger than life character the films put over, even the more recent films try and play this down but not completely. Bond is a man with, as West puts it, a job I would not want to do. The stories in this series though exciting as you would expect, not Quantum this is another level altogether, give a much deeper view of Bond and who he is. As for Quantum this brings James Bond down to earth leaving you in no doubt of who he is.
Which scene did you most enjoy?
It is hard to pick one scene from the stories to highlight, apart from the display of humanity in the last story in the way he relates to the rarity and one of the characters.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
Quantum was the most moving story, very different as I have stated not a "normal" Bond story at all, but any fan must listen to this.
Any additional comments?
With out doubt listening to the books as Ian Fleming first published them has been amazing. I have always been a fan of Bond on screen, But so much more now a fan of the real Bond as he was meant to be.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
An intriguing collection of stories. We are shown a Bond at times unfamiliar to us - a character whose complexity - sometimes overshadowed in Fleming's novels by the thrills of the adventure - is allowed to play itself out against the background of some more low-key scenarios which nevertheless retain Fleming's unique power of spinning a good yarn, and his fine eye for character. Samuel West is superb - he creates suspense, excitement, and distinct characters without once raising his voice or slipping from his coolly measured pace. To me, he perfectly mirrored the action of Bond's mind in his reading - the almost slow-motion poise, the dangerous undercurrent, and above all the inherent strangeness of the man. A fine performance.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Samuel did a stellar job, it was like Bond himself was on this adventure with me, this is why actors make great narrators. I highly recommend this one.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
An excellent set of short stories. The reader, Samuel West, is an experienced actor who dramatised each character very well even with a few minor sound effects. But these stories are nothing like the films so don't assume anything. I particularly liked Quantum of Solice - a storey within a storey - and an interesting ending I didn't see coming. I have read all the other Bond stories in order, so it was nice to have a few short stories rather than a long one. They were fast paced and entertaining and only made me want to listen to the next one when I finished the previous.
I enjoy the Bond novels and like the way Fleming writes. The films are rarely close to the original and that couldn't be more true about the short story Quantum of Solace. The actual story isn't that special but the premise is astute. It reads like a Somerset Maugham story rather than an action movie, in fact there is no action, but it's all the better for it. It's interesting that the film really didn't understand the concept of a Quantum of Solace and I won't give it here because it would spoil your reading.
Overall, this is a different Bond, but a far richer and, I would say, better Bond. Here we get more insights into the character. Hats off to Simon West who does an excellent job with th narration. Definitely one of my top three Bond experiences.
Great performance - but didn’t enjoy the short story concept. I did love Quantum of Solace, but a couple of the stories were so unremarkable that I have already forgotten them!
These stories bring a new aspect to the character and the movies that take their titles from the stories wow
Yes, I am a huge bond fan and so there is a certain element if bias in my review, but I really like the change of pace and insights into Bond's character that these short stories bring. Samuel West's reading style is a little slower which suits the stories well and it is also a bonus that these are not used in the plots for any of the films as you don't feel saturated with a particular storyline like you would with Goldfinger or Dr No, for example. Perfect for my commute to work.
Any additional comments?
The stories in this audio book are so different from the films of similar titles, it is amazing. They are well worth listening to, particularly if you are a Bond fan ... but be prepared for surprises! They are unexpected in many ways, and will leave you wanting more!