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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back to Ian Fleming's original book., 19 Sep 2012
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This review is from: From Russia with Love (Audio CD)
A very well read Bond, back to the Cold War and the beastly Russians! I enjoyed it, especially with Toby Stephens reading as I recently heard him playing James Bond in a radio broadcast of "From Russia with Love" There is a good build up of tension in this book, especially as we know a lot about the assassin who will clash with James Bond sooner or later. There is a cliff hanger ending and the very evil Rosa Klebb. Good stuff!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Russia With Love: Ian Fleming, unabridged reading by Toby Stephens - One of Fleming's best, 26 Nov 2013
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Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: From Russia with Love (Audio CD)
From Russia With Love, first published in 1957, is the fifth of Ian Fleming's books to feature the superspy James Bond. And it is one of his best, right up there with Moonraker in the thrilling read stakes.

The book opens with a long detailed description of the history of Red Grant, a psychopath used by SMERSH as their top assassin. There then follows a long and tense section in which the inner workings of SMERSH and the Russian intelligence apparatus are explored as a committee meeting is held, the ultimate conclusion of which is a death warrant for a certain James Bond and the start of detailed plan to kill him and bring the British intelligence service into disrepute. It is only a quarter of the way through that we meet our hero, as he is sent out to Istanbul to deal with an offer from a Russian agent that looks very inviting form many respects. In Istanbul Bond meets one of Fleming's best characters, Darko Kerim. A larger than life Turk working for British Intelligence, he fills the role usually taken by Felix Leiter in earlier books, and provides Bond with staunch support and firm friendship. After a series of adventures in Turkey, Bond decides to take the Russian bait and a flight across Europe on the Orient Express is soon in motion, and builds to a final crashing conclusion as Bond finally meets with Red Grant, and the full depth of the Russian trap is revealed to him. There then follows an interesting post script to the adventure which ends on a thrilling cliffhanger that readers in 1957 had to wait until the publication of Dr No to see resolved.

It's a thrilling read from start to finish. Populated by well drawn characters of varying degrees of charm or monstrosity. I especially enjoyed the Bond-less opening quarter of the book in which the opposition is studied and the seeds of the plot sown. Fleming, as usual draws a series of grotesque figures to pit against Bond, but balances these with characters such as Kerim who are complex, morally dubious and firmly on Bond's side. Fleming also writes superb action scenes and sets scene with a prose style that drips with imagination and atmosphere. No other author I have ever read can describe a scene with the clarity and intensity of Fleming, and he uses that skill to his usual good effect here. The plot is one of his best, and the book well constructed so that even though the reader knows that there is a plot, the exact extent and nature of it is kept hidden up until it is revealed to Bond as well. It's a classic, thrilling read, 5 stars.

The unabridged audio reading from Toby Stephens is pretty good. Stephens really has a feel for the pace of the book, and his reading reaches fever pitch in the climactic scenes. He really helped the story flow along, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The book comes on 8 discs in a pevex spindle case, and clocks in at 8 hours 55 minutes. I assure you that those nearly 9 hours will fly by. There is a short and totally disposable interview with Stephens at the end of the eighth disc. All in all 5 stars for an excellent reading of an excellent book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect, 31 Dec 2013
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Ms. A. Heywood "ally64000" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: From Russia with Love (Audio CD)
My husband travels regularly to London and beyond - audio books are perfect for him during the journey - and he is a Bond fan which makes this series of titles perfect :)
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From Russia with Love
From Russia with Love by Ian Fleming (Audio CD - 6 Sep 2012)
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