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Publisher's Summary

When 007 turns up at a sleepy American backwoods motel, it doesn’t take him long to realise that Vivienne Michel is in a tight spot, and that Sol Horror and Sluggsy Morant are hardened killers bent on destruction. Escaping from a past she doesn’t want to relive, Viv turns to James Bond to save her.

Includes an exclusive bonus interview with Rosamund Pike.

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.

Rosamund Pike is a contemporary and multifaceted actress who has earned international acclaim for both her stage and film roles. She is soon to take the lead as Amy Dunne in the highly anticipated big screen adaptation of Gone Girl, and will also star in the upcoming BBC comedy What We Did On Our Holiday. She recently starred in Hector and The Search For Happiness and Edgar Wright’s The World’s End. Past film credits include Jack Reacher, Wrath Of The Titans, Die Another Day, An Education and Made In Dagenham, among others. On television, Pike has been working on the upcoming re-invention of classic children’s series Thunderbirds Are Go! in which she will voice International Rescue agent Lady Penelope.

©1962 Ian Fleming Publications Ltd (P)2013 Ian Fleming Publications Ltd. © AudioGO Ltd, 2012. James Bond and 007 are registered trademarks of Danjaq LLC, used under licence by Ian Fleming Publications Ltd.

Critic Reviews

"Ian Fleming keeps you riveted. His narrative pulls with the smooth power of Bond's Thunderbird." ( Sunday Telegraph)
"Ruthlessly, fashionably efficient in both love and war." ( The Times)
"Muscularly brilliant...not for prudes." ( Evening Standard)
"If there’s a better writer of pure thrillers than Fleming, the name escapes me" ( The Boston Globe)
"Mr. Fleming is splendid; he stops at nothing." ( New Statesman)

What listeners say about The Spy Who Loved Me

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a different perspective

I love how this book is written from a totally different perspective. Every other bond novel is a story told by James, or from his perspective.
The reading performance was excellent too, loads of accents and different tones for each character. Definitely not monotone.

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THE SPY WHO LOVED ME

This is not the typical Bond story, it is good but takes a long time to get moving, I enjoyed it being from a young woman's point of view but the initial phase of the book was tedious. The Villians were a nice change of pace and the fact that Bond underestimates them was an excellent twist.

I still recommend it, but just be prepared it takes a bit of time to really take shape.

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riveting

wasnt sure at the start ,very different bond, but stuck with it and with the narration turned out to be fantastic,after the initial i found it riveting.great Work

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  • Craig Jenkins
  • 26-03-2020

Old fashioned but good

Wonderfully written and beautifully narrated. The story feels the years, but don't forget it was cutting edge at the time.

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  • Mark
  • 19-06-2020

Bond Cameo Gem

This is an unusual Bond example as Fleming writes from a female perspective (of the time in which it was written) and despite the views of some misguided detractors (imho) I think he pulls it off with style and aplomb. I think it's a brilliant listen with Rosamund Pike performing superbly in the first person narration role. Okay, the villains are a bit thinly drawn but a very suave if fallible Bond and lovely but vulnerable Vivienne more than make up for it with their dynamic sexual chemistry. Listen without prejudice and enjoy.

4 people found this helpful

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  • SoMrHarris
  • 08-02-2019

Not a 'typical' Bond book...

So let's set out a few things about the book:
# Bond doesn't appear until part 3 (90 odd pages in)
# When Bond does appear, he's not there in any official capacity (it's pure luck he turns up and saves the day)
# The whole book is written in the first person perspective of Vivienne Michel
# Part 1 is about Viv's previous life and lovers, Part 2 is about 2 low life crooks who show up at a Motel she's looking after
# There is no "villain", no plot to foil, and very little Bond action. Bond saving the day is basically rescuing Viv from being sexually assaulted and preventing an insurance scam. That's it. Nothing else.

And as much a I like Rosamund Pike, her narration as Canadian Viv is OK but once she's gets to Bond, the crooks or the police, the accents and narration are just terrible (verging on sounding like she has cotton wool in her mouth at times). Her Bond particularly is bland, boring and flat.

Overall the story is interesting, but it is in no way a James Bond novel, or even a spy novel. Fleming himself admitted to copying the style of an author he liked, and tried to stop the book being re-published (even denying he wrote it). When he sold the film rights, he stipulated that no part of the book could be used apart from the title.

I knew most of the above before downloading, and I listened to the book as part of wanting to complete all of Fleming's work.

If you're wanting a James Bond action adventure novel, stay clear.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 22-11-2020

Best narration I have heard in a long time. Wow!

Fantastic performance!!! The writing was 10/10 and the story an 8/10.
One if my favourite books, written from the first person past tense perspective.
This book is written from the perspective of The Bond Girl. (Through her eyes, not Bond.)
I think this is (technically) Ian Flemings best work, and it is incredible that he was able to capture the spirit of the character in such a dramatic way.
I would definitely recommend this book!

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  • T. Keates
  • 24-03-2021

So different from the movie and refreshingly so

Such a pleasant surprise that Fleming writes from the view point of a fiesty heroine Viv, and her interaction with Bond, whom arrives much later in her story of heart break and adventure.

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  • Sunflower
  • 13-02-2021

Ian Fleming 's James Bond from female perspective

Like the majority I knew bond movies, but was unfamiliar with the actual novels.
I have now reached book 10, which already reveals, that I like the books better..
This book reflects it's time (1962). - see impressions of women's preferences regarding
sexual encounters.. and on the other hand is very sensitive and explorative regarding the main characters emotions in her late teens, early 20ies and reflections about relationships, sexualitiy and gender roles.
The character of James Bond is described from a female perspective. He is compared and in many ways resembles a thug. He has the same bad character trades, he just fights for the better motives. But he is also the man whose rather violent and dark appearance is lightened by his smile, who cannot kill in cold blood, who needs to take drugs to stay awake, who makes errors, that are almost fatal. He, despite all the killing and death, has a heart and the ability to love. Not the sort of love, that stays or matures, but the all giving ,all taking ,soul revealing one, just to leave afterwards. His job and his journey are lonely ones..
The characters are fuller, with more nuances, plenty of despicable sides and still lovingly human.
I think these are marvellous short books, reflective for the 60ies and truly entertaining.

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  • adrian d peaty
  • 13-02-2021

Enjoyed it immensely

Loved listening to it. Miss Pike is a great narrator, hope she does more like this.

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  • Steph H
  • 21-01-2021

Really different

This is not like the other James Bond stories, it's told from the perspective of the female lead and Bond doesn't enter the story until quite a long way into it.

Having said that it is a really good listen, and makes for an interesting change from the others.

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  • Sir Bazile
  • 03-01-2021

This is of course why I am here.

WOW What can I say... I will admit to CHECKING i had downloaded the right book. Or that I did indeed have the right book for the story. I assumed that it was a mistake. But once I had confirmed that it was not and was what I had purchased I settled in and. WOW...

I never read the books when I was younger, I was too much into 2000AD, Marvel and SciFi generally. But I have seen ALL the movies they inspired, so now I am catching up on all I missed out on.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-12-2020

Complete surprise

I was a bit unsure why Rosamund Pike was narrating a James Bond book as all I knew of The Spy Who Loved Me was the film. So listening to a James Bond story from another perspective and where actually James Bond doesn't even turn up until 2/3rds of the way in was a delightful experience. Rosamund has an incredible spellbinding voice and I loved her accents. I'm thoroughly enjoying my James Bond journey and discovering the real him...for a spy he certainly likes to talk to strange women about his endeavours!

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  • Riff
  • 25-11-2020

Unique in Fleming's Bond canon

This book, as other reviews note, is atypical of the Bond series as Fleming wrote them - but it does perhaps produce one of the most interesting and strong Bond girls. Viv Michelle is lively, vivacious, a little naive, but resourceful (for a girl of the time and in comparison to many of Fleming's other Bond girls) mentally strong and something of a jet-setting progressive.

She's endearing, in a way that perhaps most other girls in Bond's life are not. After all (spoiler alert) she doesn't end up dead, doesn't faint or swoon (too much) in Bond's presence, and in many ways she seems to carry many of James Bond's attitude within her: For example she's less afraid of dying than dying without making her mark on the two gangsters.

The gangsters, too, make their own impact. They are strong, capable, efficient, ruthless - ex-cons, probably ex-military. And although they bear the usual mutations of most of Fleming's villains, they are far more dangerous and menacing than similar thugs in the Bond canon. Compare them with, for example, Wynt & Kidd from Diamonds Are Forever. Indeed, they are very nearly a match for Bond.

In terms of its place in the Bond history, this seems to take place between Thunderball and OHMSS. One wonders if perhaps following the latter, Bond might have reached out to Viv in his grief. But then that's just one of the inconsistencies in the oeuvre of Ian Fleming's body of work.

It's worth mentioning Rosamund Pike's narration which is amazing. She captures accents perfectly, male and female. Her Canadian accent is exceptional, and she captures male voices far better than many male narrators recreate females. She gives our heroine an inner strength and a lively vivaciousness (pun intended) that outshines that of Tracy from OHMSS and even outdoes Tiffany Case. But her males are laden with menace and she gets Derek's priggishness down to a T.

This isn't a long read. It's barely a novella - in some ways it might have been better included in a collection of short stories and Fleming is clearly experimenting (as he did in other short stories) with style and tempo - but it's a must for any serious Bond scholar or fan.

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