You Only Live Twice

James Bond, Book 12
Narrated by: Martin Jarvis
Length: 7 hrs and 33 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (308 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

James Bond seems unable to function after the death of his wife. Determined to restore 007 to the effective agent he used to be, M sends him on a mission to Japan, to the mysterious "Castle of Death", and into the lair of an old and terrifying enemy. For Bond and Blofeld, this will be their final encounter. Only one of them can survive.

This audiobook includes a bonus interview with Martin Jarvis.

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

©1964 Ian Fleming Publications Ltd. (P)2014 Blackstone Audio

What listeners say about You Only Live Twice

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

Speak of next year and the devil laughs

I’ve found that one must try and teach people that there’s no top limit to disaster – that, so long as breath remains in your body, you’ve got to accept the miseries of life. They will often seem infinite, insupportable. They are part of the human condition."
- Ian Fleming, You Only Live Twice

Ian Fleming took James Bond off the interstate of his more traditional espionage novels with the last couple books. 'You Only Live Twice' is Fleming putting James back into the "game". The settting for most of this novel is Japan. Bond is hunting (for the Japanese) Dr. Guntram Shatterhand, who turns out to be Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the head of SPECTRE. It is interesting enough, but seems a bit dated with the NINJA scenes and Yellow Face.

6 people found this helpful

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great read

I have read this book befor years ago but reader doese an excellent job bringing it to life

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An innocuous mission becomes a pursuit of revenge

M sends Bomd on a diplomatic, non-007 mission, without his Walther PPK, to Japan. The purpose, ostensibly, is to shake Bond out of his shock after the murder of his wife by the SPECTRE criminal Bloefeld, nine months earlier. Bond jumps at the mission, grateful to M, the mission M plays up as impossible. Bond travels to Japan and meets with one of the best Fleming characters, Tiger Tanaka, head of the Japanese Secret Service. Bond is inculcated in Japanese culture and given a Japanese identity. What began as a diplomatic mission to stake out a castle that has been the site that has appealed to suicides becomes a revenge pursuit for Bond. There is quite a bit of expository narrative here, perhaps more than other Fleming Bond novels; about interesting Japanese folkways. Yet Fleming wrenches up the tension throughout. This is an intelligent, engaging thriller that is written with drive and suspense. It is very enjoyable, and engrossing. The Audible was performed very well. I listened while reading which was very gratifying, as it added a good deal of texture to the appreciation to the novel. I put it at 1.2x speed which was a nice pace.

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Another Bond Delight

I have been working my way through the James Bond series and having just recently finished You Only Live Twice I can honestly say that this novel and the performance of it were spot on ! I enjoyed the actor’s varied voices and really thought that Tiger’s voice was amazing! And then when the narrator slid from character to character he effectively stayed in character! It was a true delight! I highly recommend this novel!

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  • SS
  • 08-31-19

Superb

This novel demonstrates that Flemming was a superb talent ! The narration and production is excellent. I shall listen to this fine audio rendition at least, well, "twice" --- get it ? : )

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The Way it Used to Be

I was in my teens the first time I read this. The world and what we knew of it was so much more exciting then. And much different. Listening to this book 50+ years later was nostalgic.

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Not this narrator...

Love the Bond books, and this one is good, but the narrator killed it for me.

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lively reading of Fleming's adventures

Fans of the movie will enjoy Martin Jarvis' amusing and at times moving read of You Only Live Twice. The story is very different from the outlandish 1967 film.,and quite an endearing in many ways. A very human Bond.

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Amazing Storytelling and Performance

You Only Live Twice is a great James Bond film but the story of the novel is even better. There are similarities but the variance of Shatterhand makes the book far better. It would be nice if this version comes to the screen in Bond 25 or somehow soon. The reader Martin Jarvis really inhabits the characters. His Bond is cool and relaxed and he really soars with his Tiger Tanaka and even Kissy Suzuki. A wonderful time. Thank you for this presentation.

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Another high point in the series

This entry in the Bond series takes last volumes excellent Story and doubles down with this direct sequel. Nine months have passed since the end of the last book and Bond is a mess. He is on the verge of chucking his career and walk away from everything. M offers him an option in a mission to Japan. He is very much a fish out of water as he tries to acclimate to the strange new culture. And acclimate he must because he is soon tasked with a mission by the head of the Japanese secret service. The mission is to assassinate a mysterious man who is encouraging suicidal behavior. When Bond discovers who that man is, Bond suddenly has purpose again. Vengeance. From there, things get pretty hectic. This story started to look like Fleming's attempt to put the character of James Bond to rest. Then he seems to have thought better of it. I recommend this book highly. I consider it only second to On Her Majesties Secret Service as far as a high point of the series. Buy it.