The Ian Fleming Classic Bond Collection - Part One packages the complete and unabridged audiobooks of the first seven James Bond novels in a sturdy cardboard slipcase. Details are as follows.
Casino Royale read by Dan Stevens, running time 5 hours.
Live And Let Die read by Rory Kinnear, running time 6 hours 50 mins.
Moonraker read by Bill Nighy, running time 7 hours 25 mins.
Diamonds Are Forever read by Damian Lewis, running time 6 hours 45 mins.
From Russia With Love read by Toby Stephens, running time 8 hours 50 mins.
Dr No read by Hugh Quarshie, running time 7 hours 55 mins.
Goldfinger read by Hugh Bonneville, running time 8 hours 45 mins.
In addition, each audiobook contains an interview with the reader.
This collection contains many of the strongest James Bond novels, with only Diamonds are Forever being somewhat of a disappointment. Diamonds never really engages, as Bond's enemies - a group of American gangsters - are less than impressive, and Bond spends too much of the story on the periphery.
Diamonds apart, it's quality all the way. Casino Royale introduced 007 to the world, and it's a taut tale of gambling and torture. Moonraker is unique in the Fleming canon as Bond remains on British soil for the whole story, tangling with the mad Hugo Drax and his rocket, the Moonraker. From Russia With Love finds Bond targeted by the Russians, and despite Bond not appearing until the story is well underway, it's one of the strongest in the series.
Live And Let Die, Dr No and Goldfinger are all strong stories as well, so there's plenty to enjoy here.
007 Reloaded boasts quality actors reading each book. As there's no music or sound effects, these readings will succeed or fail on the quality of the stories and reader. Thankfully, the choice of readers is pretty much perfect in each case, and their skillful readings mean that you soon get drawn into the story.
There's no booklet in the boxset, which is a little bit of a shame. It would have been nice to have some background information on the stories.
That apart, this a wonderful collection of the early James Bond novels, at a very decent price.
This excellent box set collects together unabridged audio readings of the first 7 Bond books by Ian Fleming, in order of publication. Seven separate readers take on these iconic stories and do them full justice.
Casino Royale, 1953, read by Dan Stevens, 4 discs.
Live and Let Die, 1954, read by Rory Kinnear, 6 discs.
Moonraker, 1955, read by Bill Nighy, 6 discs.
Diamonds are Forever, 1956, read by Damien Lewis, 6 discs.
From Russia With Love, 1957, Read By Toby Stevens, 8 discs.
Dr No, 1958, read by Hugh Quarshie, 8 discs.
Goldfinger, 1959, Read by Hugh Bonneville, 8 discs.
Each reader brings a different emphasis to the character of Bond, and all do a superb job. Fleming did a grand job in the writing of using a prose full of vivid imagery, and each reader seems to really relish getting into the meaty passages and does an equally great job of getting teh character and tension across. Especially Hugh Quarshie, he gives a most memorable account of Dr No's assault course. Any faults here are on the part of the writer, not the reader - some of Fleming's attitudes towards ethnic minorities and gay people were very definitely of their time and might shock a modern reader/listener. And very occasionally there is a character who does not work or a plot that seems a little weak, but in general these are extremely well polished books of cracking adventures.
The set has been produced by Fleming's Niece, Lucy Fleming, and I have to say that I think she has done her Uncle proud. It's a brilliant box set, and I hope volume 2 follows shortly.
Each individual story is available separately, as are the stories not included here (Thunderball, The Spy Who Loved Me, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, You Only Live Twice and The Man With The Golden Gun), all read by equally distinguished names. The cost of the box set, at the time of writing, is significantly less than that of collecting them individually, making this a good buy if you want all the stories. Hopefully Volume 2 will be a similarly good value. 5 stars.
on 11 January 2013
These are the best audio books I have 'read' since the Stephen Fry Harry Potter books, making every long car journey a joy. Some of the language is very much 'of the time' but this does not particularly detract from a very enjoyable 50+ hours of entertainment. Highly recommended.
on 19 April 2013
I'm only part way through listening to this collection but very impressed so far. i'll not list the individual novels as other reviewers have done this much better than I will.
Great names reading the classic Bond novels in full, and exceptionally good value compared to buying the individual CDs.
The packaging is high quality and stylish, the readings are great and the novels are way different to how I remember them from when I read them as a Bond-mad teenager in the 90's. Be warned some are a little dated, a bit racist and a lot sexist so take them in their own context as "of their time".
Top product overall, great value and I'm hoping for a matching Part Two to be out soon.
on 19 June 2014
These audio books reveal Ian Flemings iconic hero as the author created him rather than the version portrayed in film. This original Bond is a civil servant, reading memos in his office and eating in the firm's canteen. But when he is given an assignment, Bond's powerful individuality emerges and the action begins. We follow the action in familiar set pieces, where the readings reveal Bond's thinking, his planning, hopes, fears and mistakes.
Although each audio book has a different reader, it is easy to adjust to another voice. The quality is high, with familiar voices including Bill Nighy, Rory Kinnear, Hugh Bonneville and Damien Lewis.
This audio series will be enjoyed by both fans and listeners who would like to enjoy the original James Bond.
on 6 June 2013
I spend about a lot of time in the car every day, as I result I listen to many audiobooks.
This set of Bond books is now going to have to go into the selected set of audiobooks that I have to ration myself on so I don't listen to them too often. That includes hobbit/lord of the rings and the hitch hikers guide to the galaxy radio series. Other good value series include the CS Lewis books, the Stephen Fry Harry Potters and the Illiad and Odyssey, but they don't have the same drug like quality as my faves, which this set now has to go into.
I want to get all the other bond books, but the title of this set teasingly calls itself Part One, so I'm hoping that they release Part Two soon, they have many of the other books available to buy individually, but alas no Part Two as yet.
There are many good audiobooks out there, such as Three Men in a Boat and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, but they only last me a day each. These Bond books are a substantial chunk of top quality entertainment at a price you can't beat, so it's a no brainer.
While some of my faves are there for content rather than presentation, these Bond readings are all absolutely top notch, well dramatised and acted by well known actors.
on 17 July 2014
Books and films present stories in different ways, and it is excellent to rediscover how Ian Fleming originally introduced and developed James Bond. Here you find a hero with more flaws than the film version (which I also love), and who thinks more and says more about his feelings, put in the context of the times when the books were written. I listen to audiobooks on the way to and from work and this collection will keep me happy for quite a while!
on 18 January 2014
Firstly have to say these James Bond books on cd are a real treat for any Bond fan and with some quality readings by some top actors.Also on the plus side was the cost by buying the box set it worked out very good value for money.Id like to say delivery time was top class just a few days.My only negative was item was posted in a jiffy bag not a strong cardboard box and because of this the outer box as seen in photo was very badly damaged.For me it wasnt a major problem as i always intended to display the cd books out of the box but this may have been a problem for others.On the whole very happy with this purchase as i have since been told these books on cd are very hard to get hold of.
on 29 January 2014
Bought this for my elderly, blind mother (who loves James Bond) as an Xmas present. She absolutely loved it and hasn't stopped talking about it. She found the stories to be well read and the simple packaging made it easy for her to find the next disc.
Side note - some audio books are packaged without any thought or consideration at all for blind 'readers' making it near impossible to for them to find the disc order without playing the discs to work it out. Well done for keeping it simple.
Mum also particularly enjoyed the section at the end of each book where the reader introduced themselves. Nice touch.
Please release the second collection soon!
on 23 January 2013
These spoken word recordings of the first seven James Bond novels, produced by Ian Fleming's niece Lucy Fleming, are sure to delight long-time fans of the original books. Read by a variety of English actors, they bring Fleming's descriptive writing to vivid life, and allow you to enjoy his works in a whole new way.
Recordings of all 12 Bond novels are now available separately, and the two short story collections are in the planning stages (at least). I assume that once they're complete, the final five novels and the collections will be packaged together in a second Collection. I can't wait.