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Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent reading, 22 Dec. 2012
This review is from: Dr No (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
If your only experience of James Bond has come via the big screen, then Ian Fleming's original creation may come as something of a revelation. Gone are all traces of the debonair, suave and entirely self-assured silver screen version of 007; Fleming's version of the character is altogether more fallible, often haunted by self-doubt and is generally much more of a misfit in the world. Fleming's version is more nuanced than you'll find portrayed in the films: whilst never comfortable when it comes to killing anyone, Fleming's Bond is nevertheless far more brutal and violent than his screen incarnation should the need arise. There is also no snobbery about him, either; rather the exact opposite, as he often finds himself with greater of admiration for and with more in common with the men he is sent after than for those whom he serves. And while driven by a deep sense of honour and of chivalry, he is, if anything, even more sexist, misogynistic and homophobic than his silver screen alter ego.

Although "Dr. No" was the first Bond story to appear in the cinema (1962), it is in fact the sixth of the Bond novels, dating from 1958. Its action follows hard on the heels of "From Russia, with Love", in which Bond only narrowly escaped death by poisoning. At the beginning of this story he is still recuperating somewhat from that earlier ordeal and he is assigned the job which eventually leads him to tangle with the eponymous villain of this piece -- another encounter from which he emerges badly scathed -- almost as a holiday assignment in the sun. Fleming's original storylines are far more involved and much better structured than the bastardised versions adopted by the film franchise and that is certainly true here, with the true nature of Dr No's guano (not bauxite) mining operations on Crab Key not being fully revealed either to Bond or the reader until almost the final chapter.

For those who would rather have books read to them than read them for themselves, AudioGo's series of complete and unexpurgated "007 Reloaded" CD audio books offer an excellent alternative to printed copy. This volume is exceptionally well read by Hugh Quarshie across 8 CDs, with a total running time of approx 7hr 45mins. His characterisations of all of the various people in the story feel absolutely spot-on, with accents, patois and vocal timbres all done to perfection -- even doing an incredible portrayal of Honeychile Rider -- making the listening time feel only half of what it really is.

Excellent stuff!
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Review Details

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Reviewer

Steve Benner
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

Location: Lancaster, UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 840