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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Break in Proceedings
If you have been working your way steadily through the BBC's rather excellent new Bond readings then the new releases are no doubt a welcome sight.
However how about pausing before diving headlong into another gritty and gripping 6 hour odyssey and slowing the pace a somewhat to enjoy something a little different?

The stories here see not only a more...
Published 11 months ago by Amazon Customer

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars The collection keeps ticking along...
This part of the on-going audio book collection brings together five short stories originally first published in 1960,two years before the film series began with Dr No.

Three of the titles, From A View to a Kill, For Your Eyes Only and Quantum of Solace, will be familiar to fans of the film series but turn out to be very different beasts than their movie...
Published 10 months ago by IWFIcon


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Break in Proceedings, 24 Sep 2013
By 
Amazon Customer "Boo62" (Ilkeston Derbyshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: For Your Eyes Only and Other Stories (Audio CD)
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If you have been working your way steadily through the BBC's rather excellent new Bond readings then the new releases are no doubt a welcome sight.
However how about pausing before diving headlong into another gritty and gripping 6 hour odyssey and slowing the pace a somewhat to enjoy something a little different?

The stories here see not only a more sombre and slowly paced 007 but the stories themselves are quite unlike any of their novel siblings.
For me the only one that does not work is 'From a view to A kill' which started out fine but rapidly descends into the sort of potty spy fairytale usually reserved for the films. It's also the weakest tale and the rising chauvinism becomes a bit of a chore to ignore. The ending was a disappointing damp squib too.
However things pick up nicely with the briskly paced 'For your eyes only' and 'Risico' & 'The Hildebrand rarity' may not be without their faults but are entertaining nonetheless.
For me however it's 'Quantum of solace' that stands out the most. Forget the film, it shares only it's title with the short story.
It is a bit cheeky really as it has little to do with Bond as he is listening to a story being told by the governor of a West Indian island. The whole story takes place in the governor's drawing room and 007 has very little to do but listen to his host relate his tale and give the odd question.
The story being told is very simple, love, loss and revenge, but boy does it resonate! Beautifully written and it even rattles Mr.cool himself come the end. If you've ever wondered how they came up with such a daft title for a film then the explanation of it here gives pause for thought.
The story collection as a whole is probably a 3.5 star affair but that would be mean given the fact that Samuel West reads so well.
At first I felt him to be a little slow, quiet and restrained but as the stories unravel it turns out he has pitched his reading perfectly for the tales being told. He also keeps his regional accents low key and unobtrusive.

This collection and West's reading make for the perfect break from Bond at full throttle. Still 007 but different and absorbing.
Not perhaps the full 5 star blast of the novels but well worth listening to.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent release, 21 Nov 2013
By 
S. Lindgren - See all my reviews
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This review is from: For Your Eyes Only and Other Stories (Audio CD)
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This series of unabridged readings of Ian Fleming's seminal Bond stories has been uniformly excellent, and this collection is no exception. Little needs to be said about the stories themselves: if you like Fleming's work, you will be very happy with this reading. If you don't, it probably won't change your mind. If you haven't read them, or heard them, this series of readings is a good place to start (excellent for long car journeys), and you could do a lot worse than beginning here. The five short stories are all very different, interesting pieces that are a better display of Fleming's ability as a wordsmith than the novels: there is no padding to be seen, but detail is intense and the atmosphere palpable. Samuel West is in great form, judging mood and pace perfectly, while never getting in the way of the text. All in all, highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming, unabridged reading by Samuel West - Bond shows a quantum of solace in this rarity, 25 Sep 2013
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: For Your Eyes Only and Other Stories (Audio CD)
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Published in 1960, this collection of short stories was the eighth print outing for Ian Fleming's superspy James Bond. By using a short story format Fleming was forced to write pithier, faster tales than a full length novel, but was also free to experiment a little with his story telling and tell stories that would just not sit comfortably within the usual Bond milieu. For my money it is one of Fleming's best pieces of writing. Story by story:

From a view to a kill - This is a `straight' Bond adventure, a fast paced thrilling ride from start to finish, with a lot of incident packed into it. The tale opens dramatically with the murder of a dispatch rider in France. Bond is sent in to try and find the killer, and soon is onto a hitherto unseen trail due to an old maxim of M's. There is an interesting investigation and the tales ends with a thrilling action set piece.

For your eyes only - The tale opens with the brutal murder of an elderly couple in Jamaica. Bond is dispatched by M to avenge the murder, as it turns out the couple were old friends of M. The meeting between M and Bond is superb, and starts a running theme throughout the story of the morality of Bond's actions, and the weight that is sometimes on M's shoulders. There is a vividly drawn section with Bond closing in on his prey, and a tensely written and thrilling final shootout. It's the best of the `straight' adventures here.

Quantum of solace - Don't worry, this bears no resemblance to the film, it is much much better. This is the first of the tales here in which Fleming tries to do something different. Bond is attending a dull dinner party, after it ahs finished hi host starts to tell him a story about one of the hosts old friends, his emotional shortcomings and the break-up of his marriage. It's a clever piece of writing, managing to bring this every day tale into the Bond Milieu, and showing Bond's more human side as he reacts to the tale. Fleming in previous books had a really vivid prose style that he used to great effect to describe physical situations, here he uses it to similarly good effect to describe the emotional situation as he dissects the marriage. It's a superb piece of writing.

Risico - Another straight Bond adventure in which he is sent off to Italy to deal with a smuggling ring. After his initial contact with an informant he sets off to kill Enrico Columbo, who he has been told is the head of the racket. But after a dramatic scene, Columbo captures Bond and in a well written meeting the two men become friends. Columco tells Bond that he has been set up by the informer, adn they set off together to deal with the real villain in another excellently portrayed shootout.

The Hildebrand rarity - The second experimental tale here. Bond is travelling on a yacht with a tycoon and his wife. The tycoon is a bully, and regularly beats his wife. He is also searching for a rare fish, the Hildebrand rarity of the title. After finding and killing the fish, he is later found dead himself. After an internal debate, Bond sets the scene to make it look like an accident rather than murder, so as to save himself from being embroiled in a murder investigation, and because he feels sorry for the wife. This is another tale that focuses on Bond's human side, and looks at his attitude to death and morality.

The book is worth 5 stars.

This unabridged audio reading from Samuel West really does the book justice. He really does very little with his voice, yet manages to distinguish a host of characters. He also has a real pace for the rhythm of the stories, building up the tension in the thrilling sequences, and giving a very sympathetic reading in the softer tales. It comes on 6 discs in a spindle case, and clock in at 6 hours 20 minutes. It's superb, 5 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Alternative to 007 Films, 31 Dec 2013
By 
Lova - See all my reviews
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This review is from: For Your Eyes Only and Other Stories (Audio CD)
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This audio cd comprises of 5 James Bond stories;From a View to a Kill, For Your Eyes Only, Quantum of Solace, Risico and The Hildebrand Rarity plus an interview with the narrator,Samuel West.Each story is complete and unabridged.
The stories are spread over 6 cds with a total running time of 6 hours and 20 minutes.I've really enjoyed listening to these stories and it really is a totally different experience than watching the films.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bond of the Books not the films, 19 Dec 2013
By 
artemisrhi "artemisrhi" (Forest of Dean) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: For Your Eyes Only and Other Stories (Audio CD)
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As long as you know that this is the James Bond of the books not the films you won't be disappointed. Well read. Great for the car. Interersting for its insight into the society of the Cold War era, a very different mind set from today, surprising how different really. The role of womens is particularily interesting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of, if not the best, of Audiogo's 007 Reloaded audiobooks, 26 Nov 2013
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: For Your Eyes Only and Other Stories (Audio CD)
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For your Eyes Only, one of Ian Fleming’s two collections of James Bond short stories, is in many ways the most satisfying of AudioGo’s 007 Reloaded unabridged audio books thanks to the combination of a superb reading by Samuel West and a selection of tales that reveal much about their hero. From a View to a Kill is perhaps the most of its time of the five, with Bond assigned to find a security leak in an army base, but it’s the opening section that lingers in the memory the most, finding Bond drinking the least offensive of the ‘musical comedy drinks in a French café while reflecting on his past and the empty evening an inevitably doomed attempt to recreate his youth will bring. Fleming gets under Bond’s skin here, but doesn’t overlook telling details for the other characters, like the embassy secretary who deliberately drives a battered car to deter other ruthless drivers by making them think she doesn’t mind smashing her car – and theirs – to get her own way on the road.

For Your Eyes Only sees Bond despatched by M on a revenge killing on the Cubans who murdered old family friends only to find the victims’ daughter has similar ideas: along with Risico it formed the basis for the first half of For Your Eyes Only, the latter story being surprisingly faithfully recreated onscreen (so faithfully that West can’t resist impersonating Topol as the smuggler Colombo). It also offers some semi-autobiographical touches as Bond poses as an author of potboiling thrillers looking for spicy background to get a movie sale rather than just an option (at the time Fleming was still struggling to get a Bond movie off the ground).

A Quantum of Solace is the least Bond of all the Bond stories – Bond is simply the audience for a story told by an ambassador at the end of a boring party that teaches him to take more interest in people and shows him the power of emotional violence compared to his own adventure strip outings. The inspiration of W. Somerset Maugham is very apparent (Fleming also paid homage to the author by using Somerset as Bond’s false name in From Russia With love), but it’s a surprisingly engrossing tale that shows Bond how easily he can misjudge people. The Hildebrand Rarity finds Bond accompanying spectacularly obnoxious millionaire Milton Krest, who enjoys humiliating his guests and ‘correcting’ his wife with a stingray’s tail, on a tax deductible trip in his luxury yacht to find a rare fish to satisfy his luxury yacht’s charitable status. There’s no mission or spy jinks, but there is a murder to be covered up – but the problem is that Bond can’t make up his mind which of his two travelling companions did the deed…

It’s a fine and engrossing collection of stories, and in West it has such a perfect narrator it’s a shame they didn’t secure his services for the whole series. Well worth picking up and revisiting again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strictly for fans, 15 Oct 2013
By 
hfffoman (Kent) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: For Your Eyes Only and Other Stories (Audio CD)
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I found these stories mildly entertaining. They are very dated and very different from the films and largely interesting for the sake of the comparison. For example, when Bond is about to go on Milton Crest's luxury yacht the Wavecrest, he is told that it is a wonder to behold, with wall to wall carpets and air conditioning. Roman Abramovich will be smiling to himself if he reads it. The stories are small cameos of Bond's life, with much less action and excitement than in the films. We are accustomed to villains who are truly awful megalomaniacs. In the book, however, the owner of the Wavecrest is guilty of nothing more than rudeness and wife-beating.

Bond himself is a very different person from the one we know in the films. In one story - I forget which it is - he is given a mission he does not relish for, he reflects, it sounds "dangerous".

Samuel West reads well and does a particularly brilliant job in Quantum of Solace. I found this the most interesting of them all - a little foray into psychology which has nothing to do with spies or criminals.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beguiling..., 13 Dec 2013
By 
Boot-Boy (Gloucestershire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: For Your Eyes Only and Other Stories (Audio CD)
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This is my fourth audio Bond in the 007 Reloaded Collection and it's another winner. Five delightfully beguiling short stories this time, read with smooth and persuasive authority by Samuel West. It's hard to choose a favourite but The Hildebrand Rarity stands out; baddie Milton Crest, beautifully rendered by West, really is a loathsome piece of work and deserves all he gets. Six CDs, complete and unabridged. Running time: a little over 6 hours .
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5.0 out of 5 stars An engaging, varied collection of stories, 7 Dec 2013
By 
Peter (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: For Your Eyes Only and Other Stories (Audio CD)
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I prefer this collection to the Octopussy collection (although I enjoyed that too). There's a pleasing variety in style and pace, with each story having its own distinct character. The book dates from the time of the Cuban revolution (we discover, incidentally, that Bond is sympathetic to Castro and his rebels). The stories (note that they have little or nothing to do with the films of the same name) are:

From a View to a Kill (Disk 1). This is a proper spy story, about motorcycle dispatch riders being intercepted and secret papers taken. There's technology and a secret hideout, and it's a proper adventure story.

For Your Eyes Only (Disks 2 - 3). The reason the mission is "for your eyes only" is that Bond is helping M out on some unofficial business, on foreign territory. This is a slow-burning adventure that builds slowly to its exciting climax. There's a girl too, and we get to see Bond's misogynistic side. The story begins with a description of some Carribean birds - Fleming loved his wildlife!

Quantum of Solace (Disk 3). The Governor of the Bahamas tells Bond a Story; Bond merely listens; but we get to learn quite a bit about Bond through his reaction. As West says in the interview at the end of Disk 6, it seems like Fleming is writing a story in the style of Somerset Maugham. In some ways it's the most accomplished of the stories in the collection, although it is also the most subdued.

Risico (Disks 4 - 5). This is a story of drug-smuggling in the Adriatic. It's not clear through much of the story who the enemy really is; there's an evocative description of one of the islands near Venice, and there are a couple of exciting action sequences, leading up to something quite cinematic at the end.

The Hildebrand Rarity (Disk 6). This is another oddity, with Bond accompanying an obnoxious American on his yacht in the Bahamas as he searches for a rare variety of squirrelfish. There's a lovely description of the community of reef fish living like little people in an underwater city (and yes, it's Bond doing the anthropomorphising). The second part of the story turns into something a bit like the opposite of a Whodunnit; there is a death, but it's nothing like a typical Bond story.

Finally, on Disk 6 we have an interview with the reader, Samuel West about his reaction to the stories. There's even an ornithological joke about Hedge Sparrow's Teacakes. It's nice to hear the thought-processes that went into West's readings, which are well-paced (not hurried), with good characterisation that makes it easy to follow without going over the top.

This collection makes an engaging listen; short stories work better on audio than full-length novels because you can dip into them but still experience a complete story in an hour or so.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dont be confused by the title, 5 Dec 2013
By 
E. E. Hughes (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: For Your Eyes Only and Other Stories (Audio CD)
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Don't be confused by the title. This collection of short stories by Ian Fleming, published in 1960, has nothing to do with the James Bond film of the same name. After the first few films, Cubby Boccoli and Harry Saltzman had James Bond stories written that had little, if anything, to do with the novels that Fleming had written but continued to use the names of his novels and short stories as the titles for the films.

The short stories here, From a View to a Kill, For Your Eyes Only, Quantum of Solace, Risico and The Hildebrand Rarity, all contain the character James Bond but you will not be able to relate them to any specific films. The stories are on six CDs and are read by Samuel West. The stories are well read, with good voice characterisation and make an interesting addition to the novels and films. I thoroughly enjoyed the stories and found them a real treat. You will not be disappointed. Well worth five stars.
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For Your Eyes Only and Other Stories
For Your Eyes Only and Other Stories by Ian Fleming (Audio CD - 26 Sep 2013)
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