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The Spy Who Loved Me (with Interview)

Narrated by: Rosamund Pike
Series: James Bond: The Collection, Book 10
Length: 4 hrs and 51 mins
4 out of 5 stars (159 ratings)

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Summary

When 007 turns up at a sleepy American backwoods motel, it doesn’t take him long to realise that Vivienne Michel is in a tight spot, and that Sol Horror and Sluggsy Morant are hardened killers bent on destruction. Escaping from a past she doesn’t want to relive, Viv turns to James Bond to save her.

Includes an exclusive bonus interview with Rosamund Pike.

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.

Rosamund Pike is a contemporary and multifaceted actress who has earned international acclaim for both her stage and film roles. She is soon to take the lead as Amy Dunne in the highly anticipated big screen adaptation of Gone Girl, and will also star in the upcoming BBC comedy What We Did On Our Holiday. She recently starred in Hector and The Search For Happiness and Edgar Wright’s The World’s End. Past film credits include Jack Reacher, Wrath Of The Titans, Die Another Day, An Education and Made In Dagenham, among others. On television, Pike has been working on the upcoming re-invention of classic children’s series Thunderbirds Are Go! in which she will voice International Rescue agent Lady Penelope.

©1962 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 keeps you riveted. His narrative pulls with the smooth power of Bond's Thunderbird." ( Sunday Telegraph)
"Ruthlessly, fashionably efficient in both love and war." ( The Times)
"Muscularly brilliant...not for prudes." ( Evening Standard)
"If there’s a better writer of pure thrillers than Fleming, the name escapes me" ( The Boston Globe)
"Mr. Fleming is splendid; he stops at nothing." ( New Statesman)

What members say

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

Not a 'typical' Bond book...

So let's set out a few things about the book:
# Bond doesn't appear until part 3 (90 odd pages in)
# When Bond does appear, he's not there in any official capacity (it's pure luck he turns up and saves the day)
# The whole book is written in the first person perspective of Vivienne Michel
# Part 1 is about Viv's previous life and lovers, Part 2 is about 2 low life crooks who show up at a Motel she's looking after
# There is no "villain", no plot to foil, and very little Bond action. Bond saving the day is basically rescuing Viv from being sexually assaulted and preventing an insurance scam. That's it. Nothing else.

And as much a I like Rosamund Pike, her narration as Canadian Viv is OK but once she's gets to Bond, the crooks or the police, the accents and narration are just terrible (verging on sounding like she has cotton wool in her mouth at times). Her Bond particularly is bland, boring and flat.

Overall the story is interesting, but it is in no way a James Bond novel, or even a spy novel. Fleming himself admitted to copying the style of an author he liked, and tried to stop the book being re-published (even denying he wrote it). When he sold the film rights, he stipulated that no part of the book could be used apart from the title.

I knew most of the above before downloading, and I listened to the book as part of wanting to complete all of Fleming's work.

If you're wanting a James Bond action adventure novel, stay clear.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

My least favourite of the Fleming books. Well read

I have been loving the "James bond collection" but this one was hard to get through. It was worth it for the last 3 chapters, but if I had my time again I'd skip this book

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female psychie from a Male

Firstly, I have to say Rosamund is brilliant reading this book and does a fantastic job of creating a character with her voice throughout the book. without her talent I believe my review wouldnt have been as positive.

the book is fascinating as its Flemings attempt to write a James bond story from the view of the "bond girl" and I'm sad theres never been a script writer, director or film company brave enough to make this book into a movie other than using its name. It would be particularly effective today considering the me2 movement in LA.

having said that it is definitely a man's perception of the female mind and Flemming often makes Vivian sound obsessed with sex and love as many males are. Although a male myself I felt at certain points throughout the story that the narrative strayed from what I would imagine the female psychie actually is and instead projects male values.

This fact actually makes the book all the more interesting to read and I would recommend it to anyone interested in bond novels but its wholly important to know that the entire book is not a classic bond story as the others are.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The Spy Who Loved Me - Fleming but not as you have known him

The Spy Who Loved Me is as far away from film as I think it is as possible to be, if your expecting Russians and Tankers forget it. This is the story of a young women's misfortune in love, life and choice of motel. If your looking for something a little slower paced than Fleming's normal action packed thriller, this is the book for you. Great for a long train ride, or something to listen to by the pool to relax too and emerse yourself in.

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Different but very good

Rosamund Pike as very good at bring the world of The Spy Who Loved Me alive.

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versatile Ian Fleming does it again

Bond is a complex professional this is his lighter side for a recreational man of war from the point of view of a damsel in distress.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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where is james bond?

no bond here, 2 hours of some ladies, non spy related stories and no bond. i had to check the title twice. avoid this is no bond.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Disappointing all round

It's widely accepted that this is the worst of the Bond novels. In fact, it can hardly be called a Bond novel at all, as he doesn't appear until the final third of the story. The first third is spent introducing us to Vivienne Michelle, the protagonist, giving us her backstory. The middle third finds her arriving at the motel where the action (for want of a better word) happens. And then Bond drops in to save the day.

Rosamund Pike makes a decent stab at reading the story. As the main character is a Canadian, Pike puts on a decent American accent, with the occasional Canadian vowel here and there to remind us that Viv is from across the border. That, for the most part, isn't a problem. It's when she tries to do the other voices that things fall apart. Her Bond is awful. She uses such a flat voice. It's almost as if she was an American doing a plummy English accent having had weeks of coaching, but not quite getting it. But remember, Bond doesn't appear until near the end, so it's not a huge problem for the most part. However, there are other accents/voices she tries to pull off --- with varying degrees of success. The worst is surely when she sounds like she's speaking with cotton wool balls in her mouth. Really. That's all I could think of (I don't want to say who she is speaking as, in case I spoil the plot for someone). The hoodlums who occupy the middle third of the book are written in a slightly cartoonish way, so I suppose it's not entirely her fault that she brings them to life as such.

The book DID keep me entertained, I suppose. I did want to find out what happened. On the other hand, as a Bond novel, it's an absolute dud. It could have been any sort of spy, detective or policeman who knocks at the door. It just so happened that it was James Bond. Reading as Vivienne Michell, Rosamund Pike is quite decent, but as the other (male) characters she loses her way. Still, she's in a completely different league to Rula Lenska who has also done a reading of the book. Yikes!!

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Worst Bond by far

I don’t know what possessed Ian Fleming to write a book from a Bond girl’s perspective - but he shouldn’t have bothered.

I’m currently working my way through all the Bond stories and this, by far, is the worst. A wobbly plot, boring Bond girl and JB only appears at Page 90. It is also full of sexist male thoughts described as female ones.

‘All women enjoy being half-raped’ . Really? I think not!

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great performance but not a Fleming classic

very dull story with no real bond. quite disappointed. reading was great from r pike