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Summary

Diamonds are being smuggled on a formidable scale from Africa to America via Britain. 007’s assignment is to break the smuggling ring. It’s a dangerous mission that takes him to the racecourse and mud-baths of Saratoga Springs, the gaming tables of Las Vegas, the ghost town of Spectreville and beyond. The Spangled Mob threatens to be too much even for Bond, but help is at hand in the shape of co-conspirator Tiffany Case.

Includes an exclusive bonus interview with Damian Lewis.

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.

Damian Lewis has twice been nominated for a Golden Globe, for his role as Sergeant Brody in Homeland and also for his role as WWII hero Richard Winter in Band of Brothers. Other TV credits include The Forsyte Saga, Life, Warriors and Jeffrey Archer: The Truth. His film appearances include The Escapist and Your Highness.

©1956 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.

Critic reviews

"Ian Fleming writes with a kind of pushing, bloodcurdling elegance. His thrillers are models of fastidious murder." ( New York Times)
"The remarkable thing about this book is that it is written by an Englishman. The scene is almost entirely American and it rings true to an American. I am unaware of any other writer who has accomplished this." (Raymond Chandler)
"Mr. Fleming has unusual virtues: a fine eye for places—in this book there are admirable accounts of Saratoga and Las Vegas—an ability to convey his own interest in the mechanics of gambling, and an air of knowledgeableness that many writers in this genre lack." ( Times Literary Supplement)
"His hero, James Bond, fulfils every male fantasy known to me." ( The Spectator)
"James Bond is one of the most cunningly synthesized heroes in crime-fiction." ( Observer)

What listeners say about Diamonds are Forever (with Interview)

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Superbly read

Damien Lewis's vocal dexterity in portraying so many character voices is very impressive. I loved his portrayal of Felix Leiter and of the many different American accents. The story itself, despite feeling dated in places, still has some excellent set pieces. I've always enjoyed the chase between the steam engine and the rail handcar, and the showdown at the end between Bond and two of the bad guys on board a ship. Tiffany Case is a very appealing Bond girl, and a far more interesting character than the way she is portrayed in the rather silly film: which by the way bears no relation at all to this tough thriller.

4 people found this helpful

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  • JG
  • 08-06-20

Boring book, worse narration, can skip

I have been working my way through the Bond books and this is by far the worst. The plot is flat and boring. It is a very simple, boring smuggling plot. The book even admits that Bond spends only a few moments in the presence of the main villain. The narration is monotone and overly breathy.
I would recommend skipping this as there was nothing in this book which I can see adding to the greater canon of the Bond world. Don’t waste your time or your credit on this dull story.

3 people found this helpful

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A marvellous book, brilliantly narrated.

What made the experience of listening to Diamonds are Forever the most enjoyable?

Diamonds are forever competes for the title of the most interesting of the Bond books, from the point of view of scene setting and the by-ways of American gangsterdom. The story and narrative momentum are Ian Fleming at his best, and Tiffany Case is my favourite Bond heroine.

Damien Lewis takes the prize, I think, against some tremendous competition, as the best narrator in the audible Bond series. He brings the book alive in such a thrilling and gripping way. A Tour de Force by any yardstick.

Any additional comments?

Strongly recommended, once again!

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Love the Fleming Bond books but...

Damien Lewis is so dull. All of the other readers in this series are superb, they've created THE definitive Bond readings, but Damien Lewis is really, really boring to listen to. I lose track half way though sentences and I've lost count of the number of times I've had to skip back when I realise that I've been watching paint dry rather than listen. BORING.

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Worst in the series to date

The worst book in the series so far, possibly a combination of the story and the performance. Still definitely worth a listen though if your a fan of Bond, but if not this book will not change your mind.

1 person found this helpful

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Superbly read

Damian Lewis was remarkable! Really enjoyed this book! I really hope he narrates some more books!

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Excellently read

Damian Lewis does an excellent job of bringing a wide range of characters and voices to life. The plot is a little meandering at times but Tiffany Case is one of Fleming's best creations yet.

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Nothing like the film. it's better!

loved it! this is a great action packed thrilled. Bond takes an the Italian mob. It's not the goofy film, this story is more based in reality, but it's far from boring!
Damien Lewis does a great job in making the words come to life though some of his accents are ... questionable. Especially his Pinkerton driver in Las Vegas

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Not the best bond book but a bond book

you could probably skip this one.

nice to see felix leiter return though.

I know the next book is much better

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Very entertaining

I've always tried to watch and understand James Bond films but so much of the plot wasn't clear to me. Hearing the book read made it much more understandable to me, therefore more entertaining and enjoyable. Damien Lewis has such a great, distinctive voice. I really enjoyed listening to his reading of the book, too.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 20-10-20

Not a favourite, but enjoyable

I think my expectations after the three previous novels, especially Moonraker, were a bit high and perhaps that’s why I’m disappointed in this book. But I think despite that, it has some good parts. I really like Tiffany Case, and very much wish the film version of her had stuck closer to the book version, because she’s tough, clever and very likeable. I very much enjoyed the Saratoga section of the book, and I think that Fleming’s descriptive powers are really keen in this novel. Entertaining if rather slow in parts, and in need of better characterisation in terms of the villains.

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  • Michael
  • 09-12-13

Not the best

Damian Lewis is an excellent actor however his voice isn't James Bond. He does the accents brilliantly especially the American but he sounds like an old uncle reading 'Toad of Toad Hall'. Ian Fleming has done better books, the first three in this series had more story structure and believability. The term 'and one thing lead to another' seems to fit this book. The book was written in 1956 and the cliché characters match the subject, but everything seems too easy for 007 and nothing, even a good beating can't slow him down. Not the best of Ian Fleming books.