When 007 goes to Harlem it's not just for the jazz. This is the kingdom of Mr Big, master of crime, voodoo baron and partner in SMERSH's grim company of death. Those who 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.
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.
Rory Kinnear, a renowned theatre actor, won the Evening Standard Award for Best Actor for his performances as Angelo in Measure for Measure and the title role in Hamlet, and gained an Olivier Award for his portrayal of Sir Fopling Flutter in The Man of Mode. His TV credits include Count Arthur Strong, Lucan, Women in Love and Black Mirror, and he played Bill Tanner in the Bond films Quantum of Solace and Skyfall.
©1954 Ian Fleming Publications Ltd (P)2013 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
"Speed... tremendous zest... communicated excitement. Brrh! How wincingly well Mr Fleming writes." (Sunday Times)
"Tense; ice-cold, sophisticated." (The Evening Standard)
"Don't blame me if you get a stroke." (The Observer)
"This is an ingenious affair, full of recondite knowledge and horrific spills and thrills." (The Times)
"The second adventure of his Secret Service agent fully maintains the promise of his first book...containing passages which for sheer excitement have not been surpassed by any modern writer of this kind." (Times Literary Supplement)
This is a fantastic bond story. From America to Jamaica its a page turning adventure. Roy kinnear does a great job reading it coping well with a variety of US accents
I'm a bit late to the party, but having grown up with the Bond films I decided to try one of the books. After finding the first one (Casino Royale) hugely enjoyable, I downloaded five in quick succession. Fleming is a great scene setter, and the action is a little slower (and more realistic) than in the films. Each book is read by a different narrator, but so far I haven't had a duff one. The books are far better st showing you the character of Bond - in the books he is far more human (he gets tired, and feels pain) whist (in the cinematic equivalents) he was often reduced to a 2D wisecracking lothario. Great reading a voice acting by Rory Kinnear. Would definitely recommend.
Decent enough story, there's just not much depth to it so it all happens very quickly and is wrapped up before you know it. Everyone knows who James Bond is, but there's no insight into characters so you're just going along with the story not necessarily buying into the danger and intrigue because you don't feel connected to the characters at all. Most of Fleming's Bonds are the same though so you just have to take him as he comes!
I'm working my way through the releases from the 'James Bond original' series, with varying results (I'd recommend 'Dr No' read by Hugh Quarshie as being outstandingly good). Unfortunately this one is pretty dire. Rory Kinnear's narration of the descriptive passages is tedious in the extreme - rather like being stuck in a lecture room with a professor who knows his dry subject inside out and is happy to beat you round the head with it. Kinnear also bizarrely ignores the fact that Felix Leiter is a CIA agent - according to this reading he sounds more English than Bond! I'm only on Chapter 5 but probably won't have the patience to finish it. Altogether a massive fail.
17th Century Heretic
Another excellent Bond. Note that the film deviates from the original book considerably. Excellent reading too from Rory Kinnear, except when he is speaking Bond's part, when he sounds rather like Hugh Grant. Oh dear! Strange as other characters' accents are all spot on and when he is reading the narrative he sounds rather like what you would expect from Bond himself.
Enjoyable. A typical Bond story well read and well produced. Little else to say really it is what it is, I listened to the story in one session and time flew. It's a Bond story........
While I enjoyed the narrative, This story does not compare in excitement to the previous Casino Royale. This has put me off proceeding with the third story for now.
"A product of its time"
Nicely performed and written. Rory Kinnear sounds a little condescending but JB is not a boy scout. He is a cold blooded killer who is very professional and lucky. He gets hurt, he feels pain and he has ambition. He is human, something the movies seem to only touch on as they need Bond to have sex. A little hard if you don't feel. Yes this book is dated in language and attitude, but it was written back in 1954. I am so glad they didn't update the language as it would be all wrong. Would be nice to see Ian Fleming's James Bond novels made into a TV series set in the 1950s without all the stupid gadgets and over the top explosions.
"A decent read to pass the time"
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.
"Cast in the prejudice of the 20th Century"
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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