The last book written by Ian Fleming, but by no means the least. In Octopussy, a talented but wayward British major pays a high price when his wartime past catches up with him, while in The Property of a Lady, a Fabergé egg leads Bond to a KGB spy. In The Living Daylights, Bond has a perilous rendezvous in sniper’s alley between East and West Berlin, and 007 in New York (read by Lucy Fleming) see him sent to America to warn an ex-MI6 operative about a dangerous liaison. All part of the job for 007…
Includes an exclusive bonus interview with Tom Hiddleston.
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.
Tom Hiddleston is well known for his role as Loki in the films Thor and Avengers Assemble. Among his other film credits are Muppets: Most Wanted, Only Lovers Left Alive, War Horse, Midnight in Paris and Archipelago. He played Prince Hal/Henry V in the acclaimed TV drama series The Hollow Crown, The BBC’s adaptation of four of Shakespeare’s history plays. Theatre credits include the title role in Coriolanus, Cassio in Othello and Lvov in Ivanov.
Lucy Fleming is the niece if James Bond author Ian Fleming. She has been acting for over 40 years both on television and the West End stage.
"A must for all Bond buffs." (
"I admired all the Bond books and I’m sorry there’ll be no more. A sad farewell to Fleming." ( Listener)
"Ian Fleming traces the intricacies of counter-espionage with all the efficient authority of 007's own secret reports." ( Sunday Times)
"Octopussy is a brilliant gem." ( Publisher’s Weekly)
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For the sake of completeness
The presence of Ian Fleming's daughter was very welcome.
The stories themselves were pretty dull - Fleming himself described Property of a Lady as "lacklustre" and refused to accept payment for it. The interviews are now very samey: "Yeah, I read the books after I'd seen the films, and I had a lot of fun doing the voices."
There would be no point. Either you're working through all the Bond books, in which case you'll read this one anyway, or you're not especially interested, in which case this is not the one to start on. It would make more sense to try Casino Royale.
Apart from Bond himself, none stood out.
It inspired me to get on with the Alan Turing biography I was listening to - the real life side of intelligence.
I don't mean to be down on the book, but the Bond stories did go downhill somewhat after You Only Live Twice. I got them all for completeness because I wanted to be familiar with the source material, having enjoyed Skyfall so much. I also want to try some of the spinoff novels, notably the Jeffrey Deaver.
- Dr Caterpillar
I had listened to The Woodcutter just before, and the skill of the narrator to present the story, without any jarring mispronunciation or wrong emphases makes these two of my favourites of 2014 so far. ( Robert Glenister is also a favourite.)
His other audio work is just as good. tom is blessed with a wonderful voice, but sometimes overdoes the accents.
So different to the James Bond we have come to expect from films. I particularly liked 'The Living daylights and having Bond portrayed as a lonely, but romantic, man.
I liked the 'interview at the end, it would be good to hear that on other titles. i would love to hear more Hiddleston narration.