by Ian Fleming
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The Moonraker project has a millionaire backer, the war hero Sir Hugo Drax - a man who, it seems, cheats at cards. With a ballistic rocket at stake, Sir Hugo’s exposure could threaten Britain’s latest defence system, so James Bond is asked to investigate. Moving from London’s most exclusive gambling club to a missile silo on the Channel coast, 007 and his Special Branch assistant, Gala Brand, discover there’s more to Drax than meets the eye. Includes an exclusive bonus interview with Bill Nighy. 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. Bill Nighy is a multi-award-winning actor who has appeared in many TV dramas, including State of Play, The Girl in the Café and Page Eight, for which he received a Golden Globe Best Actor nomination. He won Best Supporting Actor BAFTA for his role as Billy Mack in Love Actually, while his other films include Pirates of the Carribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and the smash hit The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
Good but not great
So far I've listened to the first 3 books of Ian Fleming's, and this is the 3rd in order of when they were published. This is a slightly disappointing book, only becasue it lacks action and tension, even though the prose of Fleming continues to impress. Firstly, the book is set in England only - London and near Dover, Kent, and no where else. So it always feels a bit claustrophobic and lacking in glamour. Added to this is another of Fleming's card games (see Casino Royale for his first) which is gone over in fine detail and you can see how the book might bore many. But it remains interesting mostly, but never exciting, certainly not till the end. I also found Bill Nighy's narration the wrong tone for Bond. He's just too laid back for it and lacks a cutting edge to his tone, vital when reading a Bond book and more so with the villans. I thought in some passages he read the words as though bored by the job in hand. I'm probably wrong, but that's the danger of choosing someone as laid back as Nighy.
If you're a Bond and Fleming aficionado - as I am - this is worth a listen and has much to impress. But if you're searching for a one off book to read of Fleming's, leave this one off the list.
I loved it!
I have bought all the bond audiobooks and I keep going back to this one as a firm favourite
I think Bill Nghy does a cracking job of bringing all the villians to life. I found him very easy to listen too on long journey's.
Fleming is a master story teller and for me the books still hold up today even though they were written in the 50's as they are belivable drama that plays on the theatre of the mind.