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 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. Includes an exclusive bonus interview with Rory Kinnear.
©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
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
Ian Flemming's books are not much like the movies, this I knew and accepted.
However, choice of a good narrator can make a heck of a difference to te excitement levels of a book.
Flemming's writing has the potential to be a gripping thriller to listen to, but this felt like it was being read by 'Derek from Accounts' trying to be interesting.
I'll try the others in this new set of releases, but this was a fail.
"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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