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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2013 Ian Fleming Publications Ltd (P)2013 AudioGO Ltd

Critic Reviews

"A must for all Bond buffs." ( Newsweek)
"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)

What listeners say about Octopussy and the Living Daylights and Other Stories (with Interview)

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Excellent Delivery

I'm not a big fan of the Bond stories, but Tom Hiddleston's delivery is excellent and can even make the listener feel empathy for a strange man with a white whale-style obsession with an octopus.

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  • Mad Tilda
  • 14-07-2015

Wonderfully performed

This is the first ever James Bond book I read|listened to. I expected something quite different (well, I guess it's all because of the movies ;) ). However, the unexpected is really good. And I liked it. Looking forward to other stories in the series.

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  • SoMrHarris
  • 02-05-2019

Double-O Loki

A great collection of short James Bond stories, covering Octopussy, The Living Daylights, Property of a Lady and 007 in New York. Octopussy and Property of a Lady would both form part of the film adaptation of Octopussy (with the short story of the same name being the back story to the title character's father). The Living Daylights was also adapted into the opening scene of the film of the same name. 007 in New York is something entirely different, written by Fleming whilst writing Thrilling Cities for the Sunday Times, and is Bond's inner monologue (including a recipe for scrambled eggs). All in all a good listen, and well narrated by both Tom Hiddleston and Lucy Fleming.

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  • Karl K
  • 30-11-2018

Bonds human side

Tom Huddleston's vocal characterizations are very evocative of the period , the stories are interesting and show a different side of Bonds character.

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  • C. Woodward
  • 26-03-2016

Ian Fleming short stories

A good interesting collection of short stories, well observed characters, not a lot of relationship to the films, beautifully read by Tom Hiddleston

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  • Theresa Green
  • 26-04-2015

Bond Stories

These stories first read in my youth have Been exquisitely read by Ton Hiddleston most enjoyable especially the last one read by Lucy Fleming

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  • Dr Caterpillar
  • 06-12-2014

For the sake of completeness

What did you like best about Octopussy and the Living Daylights and Other Stories (with Interview)? What did you like least?

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."

Would you recommend Octopussy and the Living Daylights and Other Stories (with Interview) to your friends? Why or why not?

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.

Which character – as performed by Tom Hiddleston and Lucy Fleming – was your favourite?

Apart from Bond himself, none stood out.

Did Octopussy and the Living Daylights and Other Stories (with Interview) inspire you to do anything?

It inspired me to get on with the Alan Turing biography I was listening to - the real life side of intelligence.

Any additional comments?

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.

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  • T. Glittenberg
  • 28-02-2014

Great performance. Poor Quality.

What did you like best about Octopussy and the Living Daylights and Other Stories? What did you like least?

I really like the way Tom portraits all the different characters in the story. His voices are distinct and a great joy to listen to.

What I found very disappointing was the overall quality of this audiobook. It is full of noises (movement, clicks, mouth noises etc.) that I personally find more then just distracting. If someone would have done a better job in editing this book, I would have given it 5 stars.

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  • Marion
  • 20-02-2014

Glorious!

What made the experience of listening to Octopussy and the Living Daylights and Other Stories the most enjoyable?

Beautifully read.

What other book might you compare Octopussy and the Living Daylights and Other Stories to, and why?

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.)

Have you listened to any of Tom Hiddleston’s other performances? How does this one compare?

His other audio work is just as good. tom is blessed with a wonderful voice, but sometimes overdoes the accents.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

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.

Any additional comments?

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.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 31-03-2021

enjoyable

never really liked the bond films but really got on with this. I may now try and pick more of the books. its was so entertaining.

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  • Graham Harter
  • 11-03-2021

A short story collection to finish the 007 canon

The canon of Ian Fleming’s 007 books comes to a close with this, the fourteenth in the series. It comprises three of Fleming’s short stories, all published around the end of his life, read by Tom Hiddleston. As a small bonus, Lucy Fleming (Ian’s niece), who produced these recordings, reads a final snippet, ‘007 in New York,’ which appeared in 1963 as Ian’s contribution to a travel guide to world cities.

The stories are:

Octopussy (published 1965)
The Property of a Lady (published 1963)
The Living Daylights (published 1962)
(Interview with Tom Hiddleston)
007 in New York (read by Lucy Fleming, published 1963)

‘Octopussy’ and ‘The Living Daylights’ are passably entertaining stories, each of which supplied a small element of the films bearing their name. Easily my favourite story here is ‘The Property of a Lady,’ a very listenable account of Bond flushing out a Soviet agent during the auction of a Carl Fabergé emerald sphere at Sotheby’s in London, which contributed another small element to the film ‘Octopussy.’

Not the best 007 book by any means, but worth a listen.

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  • Steph H
  • 08-03-2021

Excellent

Very enjoyable set of stories.

Octopussy was interesting especially due to Bonds short appearance in it and so the focus was given to another character.

The Lady was also interesting as it didn't include the usual derring do, but was more subtle.

The other two stories were also interesting in their way.

I've really enjoyed all these original Bond stories and will definitely be listening to them again.

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