Octopussy and the Living Daylights and Other Stories (with Interview)

Length: 3 hrs and 39 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (36 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The last book written by Ian Fleming, but by no means the least. In Octopussy, a talented but wayward British major pays a high price when his wartime past catches up with him, while in The Property of a Lady, a Fabergé egg leads Bond to a KGB spy. In The Living Daylights, Bond has a perilous rendezvous in sniper’s alley between East and West Berlin, and 007 in New York (read by Lucy Fleming) see him sent to America to warn an ex-MI6 operative about a dangerous liaison. All part of the job for 007…

Includes an exclusive bonus interview with Tom Hiddleston.

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.

Tom Hiddleston is well known for his role as Loki in the films Thor and Avengers Assemble. Among his other film credits are Muppets: Most Wanted, Only Lovers Left Alive, War Horse, Midnight in Paris and Archipelago. He played Prince Hal/Henry V in the acclaimed TV drama series The Hollow Crown, The BBC’s adaptation of four of Shakespeare’s history plays. Theatre credits include the title role in Coriolanus, Cassio in Othello and Lvov in Ivanov.

Lucy Fleming is the niece if James Bond author Ian Fleming. She has been acting for over 40 years both on television and the West End stage.

©2013 Ian Fleming Publications Ltd (P)2013 AudioGO Ltd

Critic Reviews

"A must for all Bond buffs." ( Newsweek)
"I admired all the Bond books and I’m sorry there’ll be no more. A sad farewell to Fleming." ( Listener)
"Ian Fleming traces the intricacies of counter-espionage with all the efficient authority of 007's own secret reports." ( Sunday Times)
"Octopussy is a brilliant gem." ( Publisher’s Weekly)

What listeners say about Octopussy and the Living Daylights and Other Stories (with Interview)

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Wonderfully performed

This is the first ever James Bond book I read|listened to. I expected something quite different (well, I guess it's all because of the movies ;) ). However, the unexpected is really good. And I liked it. Looking forward to other stories in the series.

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  • SoMrHarris
  • 05-02-19

Double-O Loki

A great collection of short James Bond stories, covering Octopussy, The Living Daylights, Property of a Lady and 007 in New York. Octopussy and Property of a Lady would both form part of the film adaptation of Octopussy (with the short story of the same name being the back story to the title character's father). The Living Daylights was also adapted into the opening scene of the film of the same name. 007 in New York is something entirely different, written by Fleming whilst writing Thrilling Cities for the Sunday Times, and is Bond's inner monologue (including a recipe for scrambled eggs). All in all a good listen, and well narrated by both Tom Hiddleston and Lucy Fleming.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Karl K
  • 11-30-18

Bonds human side

Tom Huddleston's vocal characterizations are very evocative of the period , the stories are interesting and show a different side of Bonds character.

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  • C. Woodward
  • 03-26-16

Ian Fleming short stories

A good interesting collection of short stories, well observed characters, not a lot of relationship to the films, beautifully read by Tom Hiddleston

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  • Theresa Green
  • 04-26-15

Bond Stories

These stories first read in my youth have Been exquisitely read by Ton Hiddleston most enjoyable especially the last one read by Lucy Fleming

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  • Dr Caterpillar
  • 12-06-14

For the sake of completeness

What did you like best about Octopussy and the Living Daylights and Other Stories (with Interview)? What did you like least?

The presence of Ian Fleming's daughter was very welcome.
The stories themselves were pretty dull - Fleming himself described Property of a Lady as "lacklustre" and refused to accept payment for it. The interviews are now very samey: "Yeah, I read the books after I'd seen the films, and I had a lot of fun doing the voices."

Would you recommend Octopussy and the Living Daylights and Other Stories (with Interview) to your friends? Why or why not?

There would be no point. Either you're working through all the Bond books, in which case you'll read this one anyway, or you're not especially interested, in which case this is not the one to start on. It would make more sense to try Casino Royale.

Which character – as performed by Tom Hiddleston and Lucy Fleming – was your favourite?

Apart from Bond himself, none stood out.

Did Octopussy and the Living Daylights and Other Stories (with Interview) inspire you to do anything?

It inspired me to get on with the Alan Turing biography I was listening to - the real life side of intelligence.

Any additional comments?

I don't mean to be down on the book, but the Bond stories did go downhill somewhat after You Only Live Twice. I got them all for completeness because I wanted to be familiar with the source material, having enjoyed Skyfall so much. I also want to try some of the spinoff novels, notably the Jeffrey Deaver.

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  • T. Glittenberg
  • 02-28-14

Great performance. Poor Quality.

What did you like best about Octopussy and the Living Daylights and Other Stories? What did you like least?

I really like the way Tom portraits all the different characters in the story. His voices are distinct and a great joy to listen to.

What I found very disappointing was the overall quality of this audiobook. It is full of noises (movement, clicks, mouth noises etc.) that I personally find more then just distracting. If someone would have done a better job in editing this book, I would have given it 5 stars.

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  • Marion
  • 02-20-14

Glorious!

What made the experience of listening to Octopussy and the Living Daylights and Other Stories the most enjoyable?

Beautifully read.

What other book might you compare Octopussy and the Living Daylights and Other Stories to, and why?

I had listened to The Woodcutter just before, and the skill of the narrator to present the story, without any jarring mispronunciation or wrong emphases makes these two of my favourites of 2014 so far. ( Robert Glenister is also a favourite.)

Have you listened to any of Tom Hiddleston’s other performances? How does this one compare?

His other audio work is just as good. tom is blessed with a wonderful voice, but sometimes overdoes the accents.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

So different to the James Bond we have come to expect from films. I particularly liked 'The Living daylights and having Bond portrayed as a lonely, but romantic, man.

Any additional comments?

I liked the 'interview at the end, it would be good to hear that on other titles. i would love to hear more Hiddleston narration.

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  • Pinkshivinder
  • 04-23-20

Enjoyed

I am a huge James Bond fan but I had never read or listened to the books before. I really did enjoy this though. My favourite was the Living day lights.Tom Hiddleston should narrate more James Bond books.

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  • SjC
  • 01-25-20

The Best Stories, Not the best collection

The second collection of Bond short stories has less stories then 'For Your Eyes Only' (only four in fact) but two of them are really good. Specifically "Octopussy" is a great villain's origin story with a proper connection and payoff to the wider Bond law (such as it is) and "The Living Daylights" is a really fun dive into Bond's psyche."The Property of a Lady" is fine but feels like a small part of a bigger better story and "007 in New York" is not very good. Tom Hiddleston is great but really should have been given one of the actual novels to read rather than the lesser of the two collections of short stories.

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  • Stephen Gott
  • 12-15-19

A Good Place To Begin Your 007 Mission

Although these were among the final James Bond stories ,Ian Fleming wrote.They are a good taster of what to expect in the other stories and novels.Just four stories of various lengths make up this interesting collection , well read by Tom Hiddleston and Lucy Fleming.

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  • Kialynne
  • 05-17-15

Excellent Delivery

I'm not a big fan of the Bond stories, but Tom Hiddleston's delivery is excellent and can even make the listener feel empathy for a strange man with a white whale-style obsession with an octopus.