- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 7 hours and 39 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Random House Audiobooks
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 26 Sept. 2013
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00EOVY408
Solo Audio Download – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
To start with the positive, he's got Bond pretty darn close. Beyond the welcome knitted tie, eggs, fags, etc, there's an appreciation for the dry, humane, pernickety but coldly professional hero. His voice especially shines through: be it grumbles at the service industry, or an impressively unfusty appreciation of young people's fashion and freedom. The mischief in Richmond didn't worry me from a character point of view: silly, reckless, ungallant, man without milk tray but very human.
Moreover the period setting is consummate, effortlessly weaving in the old world trappings that were a powerful counterpoint to 007's extravagant adventures: Dimple Haig, the old pound note, Jensen FF. By extension, the undoubted high light of the book is the fictional African failed state. Boyd's background obviously informs the wildlife, geography, politics of Zanzarim; the late colonial setting is perfect for Bond who operates best on a thin veneer of civilisation, the private club never more than a few steps from the urban guerrilla. Remoteness and exoticism are at the heart of the best Bond outings, and Zanzarim must be a contender for the most alien: vivid, horrific and haunting.Read more ›
While all of this may indeed 'A James Bond Novel' make, it doesn't in itself add up to an effective thriller. Solo is exciting in places, but drags in others, which I suppose is not unusual, but one has come to expect more from James Bond, perhaps unreasonably, especially as I think I remember the same being true of at least some of Fleming's efforts, though they at least had the benefit of originality, a luxury not enjoyed by Boyd.
Boyd has famously chosen to set the novel in 1969, so here we have a historical novel, too: while period detail is dutifully included and anachronism doesn't exactly abound, neither is it wholly absent, and it grates. I don't for a moment believe that she had a 'day from hell', and I'm suspicious of a hospital that was 'state of the art', or that Bond appreciates 'effective PR'.
A generally enjoyable literary exercise: well done. Now, put your money away, Mr Boyd, and write something much better.
It has to be said that "Solo" is probably amongst the very best of the Bond novels. Boyd has done his homework and the references to the food he eats, the clothes he wears and even his fear of flying demonstrate familiarity with the Bond novels. Fleming's last full novel, "The man with the golden gun" seemed to suggest a changing point with Fleming realising society was changing as the second half of the 1960's started. In my opinion "Solo" is strongly suggestive of the direction he would have gone in. Bond is now 45 and employed on an ill-defined missions to terminate a rebel leader who has staged a coup in the African country of Zanzarim. This is territory Boyd knows well but one totally unfamiliar to James Bond. The mission seems half-baked and Bond is out of his depth. Even when it looks like he is about to succeed, events take a sinister turn.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great read, set in the past timeline rather than current day. This book sees Bond go solo (hence the name) on a revenge mission. Entertaining from start to finish.Published 1 month ago by RichardH
As a book iit's ok. Maybe 6.5/10.
Nothing really happens until half way through and even then the rest is distinctly lacking in action or interest. Read more
started it but did not bother to finish it. Poorly written dull story and characters. James Bond should be all about action and fast story line.Published 3 months ago by devonian