Includes an exclusive bonus interview with Rosamund Pike.
Ian Fleming was born in London in 1908. He was educated at Eton and worked as a journalist in Moscow and a banker and stockbroker in London before becoming personal assistant to the Director of Naval Intelligence during the Second World War. He wrote his first Bond novel, Casino Royale, in 1952 at Goldeneye, his home in Jamaica. Since then James Bond has gone on to become a global phenomenon.
Rosamund Pike is a contemporary and multifaceted actress who has earned international acclaim for both her stage and film roles. She is soon to take the lead as Amy Dunne in the highly anticipated big screen adaptation of Gone Girl, and will also star in the upcoming BBC comedy What We Did On Our Holiday. She recently starred in Hector and The Search For Happiness and Edgar Wright’s The World’s End. Past film credits include Jack Reacher, Wrath Of The Titans, Die Another Day, An Education and Made In Dagenham, among others. On television, Pike has been working on the upcoming re-invention of classic children’s series Thunderbirds Are Go! in which she will voice International Rescue agent Lady Penelope.
"Ruthlessly, fashionably efficient in both love and war." ( The Times)
"Muscularly brilliant...not for prudes." ( Evening Standard)
"If there’s a better writer of pure thrillers than Fleming, the name escapes me" ( The Boston Globe)
"Mr. Fleming is splendid; he stops at nothing." ( New Statesman)
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Filmically Challenged on 18-05-18
Disappointing all round
It's widely accepted that this is the worst of the Bond novels. In fact, it can hardly be called a Bond novel at all, as he doesn't appear until the final third of the story. The first third is spent introducing us to Vivienne Michelle, the protagonist, giving us her backstory. The middle third finds her arriving at the motel where the action (for want of a better word) happens. And then Bond drops in to save the day.
Rosamund Pike makes a decent stab at reading the story. As the main character is a Canadian, Pike puts on a decent American accent, with the occasional Canadian vowel here and there to remind us that Viv is from across the border. That, for the most part, isn't a problem. It's when she tries to do the other voices that things fall apart. Her Bond is awful. She uses such a flat voice. It's almost as if she was an American doing a plummy English accent having had weeks of coaching, but not quite getting it. But remember, Bond doesn't appear until near the end, so it's not a huge problem for the most part. However, there are other accents/voices she tries to pull off --- with varying degrees of success. The worst is surely when she sounds like she's speaking with cotton wool balls in her mouth. Really. That's all I could think of (I don't want to say who she is speaking as, in case I spoil the plot for someone). The hoodlums who occupy the middle third of the book are written in a slightly cartoonish way, so I suppose it's not entirely her fault that she brings them to life as such.
The book DID keep me entertained, I suppose. I did want to find out what happened. On the other hand, as a Bond novel, it's an absolute dud. It could have been any sort of spy, detective or policeman who knocks at the door. It just so happened that it was James Bond. Reading as Vivienne Michell, Rosamund Pike is quite decent, but as the other (male) characters she loses her way. Still, she's in a completely different league to Rula Lenska who has also done a reading of the book. Yikes!!
By JKRowling on 29-03-18
Worst Bond by far
I don’t know what possessed Ian Fleming to write a book from a Bond girl’s perspective - but he shouldn’t have bothered.
I’m currently working my way through all the Bond stories and this, by far, is the worst. A wobbly plot, boring Bond girl and JB only appears at Page 90. It is also full of sexist male thoughts described as female ones.
‘All women enjoy being half-raped’ . Really? I think not!