The Spy Who Loved Me

James Bond, Book 10
Narrated by: Rosamund Pike
Length: 4 hrs and 52 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (320 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

When 007 turns up at a sleepy American backwoods motel, it doesn't take him long to realize that Vivienne Michel is in a tight spot, and that Sol Horror and Sluggsy Morant are hardened killers bent on destruction. Escaping from a past she doesn't want to relive, Viv turns to James Bond to save her.

This audiobook includes a bonus interview with Rosamund Pike.

Blackstone Audio, Inc. James Bond and 007 are registered trademarks of Danjaq LLC, used under license by Ian Fleming Publications Ltd

©1962 Ian Fleming Publications Ltd. (P)2014 Blackstone Audio
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Mixed opinions about Pike and the plot

I had originally selected 3 stars for performance but upon further review decided four was sufficient. I didn't like Pike's Bond voice but if you think about a woman telling this story from her point of view rather than Bond's I think it might help. The plot is terrible though. Oddly, I think it is the most sensual Bond book too.

6 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

007 from the prospective of a"Bond Girl" .

This is a very different James Bond story. The novel has more depth and empathy for this three dimensional character. She appears to have a life before and after "Bonding" that give the reader a unique character arc to savor. For a 1962 story, this was WAY ahead of its time. Bravo for Vivian!

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not a favorite

I've listened to a few James Bond now and this one was not a favorite. It took me a while to figure out what was going on, and probably sixty percent of the story was just the girl's history and James Bond wasn't even in it. I actually fell asleep at the end and don't even know how it finished. It didn't connect real well with the other ones I'd read and just felt like a one-off.

Rosamund Pike wasn't difficult to listen to, though. She was probably the one redeeming quality of this book.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The Black Wings of Danger

"Love of life is born of the awareness of death, of the dread of it. Nothing makes one really grateful for life except the black wings of danger."
― Ian Fleming, The Spy Who Loved Me

Reads more like a John D. MacDonald thriller than a typical James Bond novel. I liked it. It was like James Bond was tired of catching crap about not being able to write or develop female characters, so he wrote a novel entirely from the perspective of the woman. Unfortunately, at the end, it was STILL a woman in peril cliche. But a good read, still.

7 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Fairly good story but barely a Bond book

this is unlike any Bond book. it's told from the first person perspective of a woman who isn't involved in any other Bond novels. Her story is intriguing, well written, and superbly read by Pike. You get a real sense of pain for her and truly care for her. I just found it odd and a little frustrating that James Bond didn't show up until the 3rd act. The book isn't even 5 hours long and Bond doesn't show up until hour 3. The book really takes off once he arrives and the final act is very thrilling. it is a very good book but please be aware how little Bond is actually in it.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Superb performance of the first person perspective

Rosamund Pike dramatizes Vivian Michel the narrator and central character of Ian Fleming’s The Spy Who Loved Me. She also performs male characters such as James Bond, two mafia thugs, and others. Pike’s performance is superb and brings the Audible dramatization to life.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

James who?

More James bond, less damsel. Too much about the past love history of the woman who the story is primarily about.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fleming's understanding of people on full display

What did you love best about The Spy Who Loved Me?

I consider Fleming's books about relationships to be enthralling. Spy Who Loved Me and Quantum Of Solace are among my favorite Bond stories precisely because they don't feature flashy spy gadgets and espionage, but rather deep and insightful presentations of characters that seem to jump off the page as real people. They include gripping interpersonal drama, plausible scenarios, and themes that most people can relate to. Put away preconceptions from the movies and get ready for a rare - if brief - portrait of Bond the man. The story is told through the eyes of a woman he saves, whom the first two-thirds of the book spends developing as a real person before Bond even shows up to save the day.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

The plot kept me interested and reflecting the entire time. Loved the presentation of period (early 60's) details, and the prosaic descriptions of people and places.

What about Rosamund Pike’s performance did you like?

Loved Rosamund's delivery, it reminded me of Kathleen Turner reminiscing in the movie Romancing The Stone.

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

She thought she'd known men, but she'd never met a man like this

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Only one issue

If you could sum up The Spy Who Loved Me in three words, what would they be?

The woman's perspective

If you’ve listened to books by Ian Fleming before, how does this one compare?

It's totally different in that it's entirely from the woman's POV and Bond doesn't appear until at least a third of the way through. Once he does appear, though, it's fascinating to see him through someone else's eyes rather than his own. This is also one of the only Bond books where he's not on a mission at any point during the narration.

What does Rosamund Pike bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

She makes it feel as if it's the story of a real woman, not a fictional character.

Any additional comments?

Somewhere around the time Bond shows up, a small section of the recording is misplaced. It's not obvious that it's been omitted, just a sense of "wait, I missed something." Then you know you were right when it shows up in the middle of the next scene, out of nowhere. So the whole recording is there, but a piece was cut and pasted into the wrong spot.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Unexpected perspective

I did not initially understand Fleming's writing as the woman but as the story unfolded I could see the challenge he put before himself. Very well done and eye opening for those who do not customarily read romance novels.

2 people found this helpful