Author: Ian Fleming, 1961. Introduction by David Wolstencroft, 2006.
Genre: Spy Thriller.
Other Details: Paperback 346 pages and Unabridged Audiobook (7 hrs, 51mns). Read by Jason Isaacs.
Upon M’s insistence, James Bond takes a two-week respite in a secluded natural health spa. But amid the bland teas, tasteless yogurts, and the spine stretcher the guests lovingly call “The Rack,” Bond stumbles onto the trail of a lethal man with ties to a new secret organization called SPECTRE. When SPECTRE hijacks two A-bombs, a frantic global search for the weapons ensues, and M’s hunch that the plane containing the bombs will make a clean drop into the ocean sends Bond to the Bahamas to investigate. On the island paradise, 007 finds a wealthy pleasure seeker’s treasure hunt and meets Domino Vitali, the gorgeous mistress of Emilio Largo, otherwise known as SPECTRE’s Number 1. But as powerful as Number 1 is, he works for someone else: Ernst Stavro Blofeld, a peculiar man with a deadly creative mind. - synopsis from Ian Fleming's official website.
One of my favourite Bond novels both in print and on screen, probably because when I first read it as a teenager I was living in Miami and enjoying swimming daily in the coastal waters. Reading again after all these years the humour of the novel became more apparent especially the scene when 'M' is all enthusiastic about sending Bond on a health cure and then when Bond gets bitten by the wholefood bug for a short time. As with all the Bond novels Fleming has a very economical style and writes his action scenes in a highly cinematic fashion. They remain remarkably readable even after 50 years.
Last year I was tempted by a sale on the AudioGo UK site for the 007 Reloaded series and bought a few for those in the series I had yet to read. I decided to have this as a dual listen/read during last weeks Bout of Books Read-a-thon. Jason Isaacs did a superb job of reading the novel. His interview at the end shed light on how he approached the reading given some of the dated aspects of the narrative.