The life of secret agent James Bond has begun to fall into a pattern that threatens complacency...until the sunny afternoon when M is kidnapped. The action ricochets across the globe to a volcanic Greek island, where Colonel Sun Liang-tan of the People's Liberation Army of China collaborates with an ex-Nazi atrocity expert in a world-menacing conspiracy.
Stripped of all professional aids, Bond faces, unarmed, the monstrous devices of Colonel Sun in a test that brings him to the verge of his physical endurance.
©1968 Ian Flemming Publications (P)2000 Blackstone Audioooks Ltd
Throughout the reading there are areas of repeated lines where they have done different takes. It really jars and disrupts the flow of the story.
Interesting and unique storyline
Im not a fan of Simon Vance, his accents are questionable at best - for example one of the characters seems to fluctuate between Russian, Greek and American!? Martin Jarvis is the best Bond Narrator in my opinion.
All the repeated sections!
Having read the outstanding Trigger Mortis by Anthony Horowitz, Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver and Solo by William Boyd - all superb Bonds, this was a poor relation in terms of plot, Bond "slickness" and narration. The narrator seemed to struggle with the range of accents as well as the female characters and made Bond sound akin to a Leslie Phillips type character. As they used to say on Mastermind, I started it so had to finish it.....but wished I hadn't bothered.
Multiple times there are mistakes where a section is repeated. Apparently no one quality checked the final product.
The story and performance itself is fine.
You can't go wrong with Kingsley Amis and Simon Vance's reading was flawless. However, entire passages were repeated as if (mind you I say "as if") it were a record skipping a groove. Jarring. Takes one out of the story. At least four instances that I noticed. Amateurish flaw by the audio team
"Both story and narration were great"
Of all of the reviews of all the non-Ian Flemming books, this one was rated the highest.
This one closely resembled James bonds creators vision.
"Very good but not Ian Fleming good."
Simon Vance rocks. I won't listen to an audio book by anyone else. The story was not as compelling as other James Bond books. I had problems following the plot at times. But I enjoyed it and would recommend to anyone has had listened to all of the others.
"In Ian Fleming's footsteps"
Well, the title and my rating should tell you all you really need to know about this book. Kingsley Amis does such a good job channeling Fleming that it's often hard to tell the difference between this and the many other, previous Bond books. It picks up where The Man with the Golden Gun left off and does so immensely well. Like Fleming, it gets bogged down in its pace a few times but otherwise it's great. If you liked some of the great Fleming Bond novels like Dr. No or Live and Let Die, then chances are you'll like this one as well. Thankfully Simon Vance returns to continue his excellent narration of Bond, so if you've listened to any of the previous titles you'll be getting what you expect. As usual, he does a superb job. 'Nuff said.
"An excellent James Bond continuation novel"
I would recommend this audiobook to anyone who's already read all the Ian Fleming James Bond novels and is looking for more. Amis really manages to capture Fleming's style and pace and attention to detail without copying him, and the result is one of the best post-Fleming continuation novels about the character. He clearly loves Fleming and Bond (one need only read his James Bond Dossier or The Book of Bond to realize that), but also can't quite help indulging in just a bit of parody. But the parody is very subtle (so subtle that in sending up Fleming's xenophobia, Amis actually comes off as even more xenophobic), and in keeping with the sense of humor Fleming had about his own material anyway.
Basically, there is Fleming, and then there are the continuations. None of the continuations are as good as the real thing, but for what they are, there are some excellent ones to be found. Colonel Sun has always been one of my favorites, and revisiting it after many years as an audiobook I find it still holds up as such.
The pace is great. Amis's Bond story moves very quickly. Bond feels like the same character Fleming wrote about, and the Bond Girl, Villain, and Ally are all great characters true to some of Fleming's best as well.
Vance is a totally competent narrator, and I like the sense of continuity of having the same person who reads the Fleming novels take on the continuation novels.
The audiobook is unfortunately a bit poorly edited. On several occasions the same exact passage is repeated twice. It's annoying, but definitely not detrimental to the listening experience.
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