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I have to confess that I found and then immediately downloaded this title by typing Tom Hiddleston's name in the search box on Audible. I have been a long-time fan of the James Bond movies and have been encouraged to read the books so this seemed like a complete no-brainer. Tom Hiddleston voicing 007? Yes, please! This title contains 3 stories: The Living Daylights, Octopussy and The Property of A Lady. I knew by the length of the download that these were fairly short, but there is quite a lot of detail in each one. I was surprised that they were not done solely in James Bond's pov, which I found disappointing at first, but I quickly got used to it thanks to Mr. Hiddleston's fantastic narration. The stories have sparked my interest in listening to more of James Bond's adventures. After experiencing Mr. Hiddleston flawlessly voice a Chinese character, I find myself wondering if there is anything he doesn't do well! I've seen him do impressions of his fellow actors on YouTube and after listening to this title I am convinced he has a golden opportunity to add audiobook narrator to his list of skills. Someone please tell this man the world needs him to read more audiobooks! Please?
11 of 12 people found this review helpful
And so we come to the end of Ian Fleming’s original run of James Bond. This is a short story collection, published post-mortem at the height of the spy craze that was caused as a direct result of the successful 007 film franchise. Sean Connery had been in four Bond films to that point, with a fifth on the way, and by this point it was assumed (rightfully so) that regardless of any legal issues from Thunderball, 007 was going to live on for quite some time. Cashing in with the last of Fleming’s remaining stories would have been an easy call to make, especially since Fleming himself had planned to do so anyway before his untimely death.
As with For Your Eyes Only, this collection is largely more about Bond's character than big missions against supervillains. There are four stories here: Octopussy, The Property of a Lady, The Living Daylights, and 007 in New York. Each are very different in their tone, but all of them express sides of Bond's character and Fleming's interests in ways that Fleming has given us before, so the result is a comfortable and familiar end to the original canon.
Tom Hiddleston is a magnificent narrator on the first three of these stories, with his only flaw being that perhaps he's far too charismatic for Fleming's version of Bond. Even so, it's clear he has a great deal of fun with the character voices and performance opportunities. In keeping with my running commentary on how to pronounce "007," Hiddleston proves he's a proper fanboy and gives us a true "double-oh seven" instead of the awkward "oh-oh seven."
The fourth and final story is narrated by Lucy Fleming. While her range isn't nearly as broad as Hiddleston's, it doesn't need to be as the last story is mostly a fluff piece. Since this these stories are her heritage, and since she's producer of this 007 Reloaded series, it's only right to have her for the final tale.
All in all, this collection of short stories is a fun and satisfying end to Fleming's writings. It seems strange to come to the end at long last, but all good things...
3 of 3 people found this review helpful