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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read excellently!
Tom Hiddleston adds his great voice to this unabridged reading of four short James Bond stories.

Octopussy, The Living Daylights and The Property of a Lady are read with the same cool and deep voice that makes this 4 CD set worth more than simply the words it conveys. There is also an interview with Hiddleston, which is not because of his excellent character...
Published 11 months ago by Mr. Stephen Redman

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars If you like 50's spy/dective novels
If you like Paul Temple or le Carre you will love this. It is James Bond, but not the Bond of the films: if you are wanting this you will be disappointed. On the other hand if you are expecting a spy novel of the 1950s that you will be delighted. These stories are beautifully produced and showcase Bond as the cool hard Cold War spy he is. Brilliant.
it is also an...
Published 9 months ago by artemisrhi


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5.0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag of James Bond short stories, 6 Oct 2013
By 
Peter (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Octopussy & The Living Daylights and Other Stories (Audio CD)
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This is a short 4 CD collection of three short stories plus a couple of extras. "Octopussy" occupies the first one-and-a-half disks, "Property of a Lady" spans disks 2 and 3 and "The Living Daylights" spans disks 3 and 4. Disk 4 also has an interview with the reader, Tom Hiddlestone, and filling up disk 4 Lucy Fleming reads the very short "007 in New York". The first three stories were published as a short collection after Fleming's death, and two of them lent their names to Bond films, which are almost entirely nothing to do with the stories (the Fabergé egg from Property of a Lady turns up in the film Octopussy, and an escape from a Soviet bloc country and a featured cello case from The Living Daylights feature in the film of the same name is pretty much the extent of the similarities between the short stories and the film).

It's striking that in Octopussy the story is almost entirely about the villain. Bond stops by to question him; that's about the extent of his involvement, but the story - told entirely in flashback - is good adventure material, the story of a good man gone bad. In Property of a Lady, Bond attends an auction in the line of duty, at no risk to himself, and the last few seconds are notably bathetic. It's only in The Living Daylights that Bond is in any danger. It's a gripping account of the way a sniper works, patiently, carefully, the work simultaneously tedious and nerve-wracking. Tom Hiddlestone, like many of the narrators in this set of "007 Reloaded" audiobook releases of Fleming novels and stories, does a very good job of voice characterisation. His Bond is English rather than Scottish.

007 in New York, read and introduced by Lucy Fleming, who is clearly not a professional actor but nonetheless reads competently, is a slight and slightly odd little pen-picture of New York from Bond's heavily Anglo-centric viewpoint. It's not a particularly favourable account; it appears that Bond (for whom read Fleming) didn't much like the city. Bizarrely, it ends with a recipe for scrabmbled eggs.

Bond is sexist by today's standards, and there's a certain amount of the casual racism you can find in the works of John Buchan - watered down, but still present. The stories were written in the 1960s, in a different world, but if you accept them for what they are, they make a jolly good listen.

As an alternative to buying the whole collection, the stories, apart from The Living Daylights, are available separately for download from Audible:
Octopussy and the Living Daylights: Octopussy (Unabridged);
Octopussy and the Living Daylights: The Property of a Lady (Unabridged); and
Octopussy and the Living Daylights: 007 in New York (Unabridged)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Four more short stories, 3 Oct 2013
By 
Suzanne Moore "Suzanne" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Octopussy & The Living Daylights and Other Stories (Audio CD)
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There are four short stories in this collections, Octopussy where a man's past catches up to him in the shape of James Bond, Property of a Lady is about an elaborate pay off for a double agent within MI6, Living Daylights is the story of Bond being sent out to kill and James Bond visits New York a strange tale of Bond in NY.
Read by Tom Hiddleston who does a delicious voice for the bad guy in Octopussy including an interview with him at the end of the audio book and a brief introduction to the New York story by Lucy Fleming, who reads this story as well.

A great set of stories which has now made me eager to read all the books. Great stories and a wonderful reintroduction to a great series of books.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Worth ever penny, 3 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Octopussy & The Living Daylights and Other Stories (Audio CD)
Beautifully read, as one would expect from this particular actor. Interesting interview on his thoughts on Fleming and why Hiddleston read it the way he did. Extra bits from Fleming's daughter too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing and exciting stories, 1 Oct 2013
By 
J. W. Platt "Author of the Book" (The Netherlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Octopussy & The Living Daylights and Other Stories (Audio CD)
This collection of Ian Fleming's "long" short stories involving James Bond, make excellent listening, brought alive by Tom Hiddlestone's first class reading. James Bond tends to feature for so many people much more in the cinema than in their original literary form, and it is only by reading Fleming's work, or in this case listening to someone else read it, that you realise how good the writing is.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Good Value for Money, 6 Oct 2013
By 
Amazon Customer "Boo62" (Ilkeston Derbyshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Octopussy & The Living Daylights and Other Stories (Audio CD)
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'Octopussy' see's a Major Smythe retired to Jamaica and spending his widower days drinking heavily at parties and swimming amongst the fish.
Into his seemingly quiet life enters Bond with wartime secrets to root out and justice to meet.
Hiddleston at first seems like he may be a bit lightweight but it soon becomes apparent that he's enjoying himself, particularly Smythe whom he throws his characterisation into at full pelt and creates a lively, larger than life person.
'Property of a Lady' is really a fluff piece that see's Bond trying to trap a Russian spy in LOndon and centres most of it's story around an auction with exhaustive descriptions of the auction world and Faberge eggs.
It's very slow paced but is still an interesting listen.
'Living Daylights' yet again shows just how little the films ever have to do with the stories whose title they share as this see's Bond packed off to Germany as a marksman waiting at the window of a house for the escape of a British spy who needs Bond to shoot the Russian marksman who is also waiting for the spy.
Claustrophobic and at a plodding pace this is still a good listen with a nice twist in the tail.
The stories are all fine and the reading is also good.
My problem with this release is that it is very short in comparison to others so far and offers far less VFM yet is still being marketed at the same price as those with twice as many discs and story!
The stories here are really not classics in Bond terms and will appeal mostly to completists who want everything available.
Tom Hiddleston does his best with what he's given but with perhaps the exception of 'Octopussy' doesn't really get given much to sink his acting teeth into.
The interview at the end of disc four is pure filler with the actor clearly being asked a series of questions, (which for some silly reason are edited out) and having to fill dead air with personal opinion. Do we really need to know which character he enjoyed reading the most? What his knowledge of Fleming's work is? Not really but without the interview this already sparse set becomes pretty bare bones.
If you have the rest then you may as well get this too. The BBC have presented an excellent line up who all seem to give their very best to bring these tales to life so kudos there but this is easily the weakest release so far and if you don't have any of the others then this is definitely not the place to start.
You might try Dr No or On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
A good reading but weaker Bond stories and poor VFM mark this down in comparison to just about all the BBC's previous Bond releases.
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Octopussy & The Living Daylights and Other Stories
Octopussy & The Living Daylights and Other Stories by Ian Fleming (Audio CD - 26 Sep 2013)
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