Dr No – Ian Fleming: 52 in 52 Book #4

Dr No

For my challenge I did set myself a couple of rules. One of those rules was that audiobooks were acceptable as long as they were unabridged, not dramatisations and lasted longer than two hours. Audiobooks fit well into my life where I have a long commutes and it allows me to catch up on my reading whilst winding down after work. Dr No is the first audiobook I have finished on my challenge so far.

Dr No by Ian Fleming is well known. The film featuring Sean Connery is critically acclaimed and the 007 franchise is known around the world. I personally have never seen the film but fully intend to after listening to this amazing book!

Bond is sent to Jamaica on a routine enquiry about two missing agents. M has given Bond this assignment to ease him back in after the disastrous ending to his last assignment. However, far from being the easy holiday in the sun M had intended, Bond finds himself caught up in the sinister plots of the half Chinese, half German mad man known as Dr No and his plans on the remote island of Crab Key.

This book contains everything you would expect from a Bond novel. There is action, cunning, courage and espionage by the bucket. Of course Bond finds time to have a little tipple and manages to end up in the company of a very attractive young lady called Honeychile. It is an exhilarating adventure. Bond meets a variety of interesting characters from the Jamaican Quarrel to the very British colonial secretary and the eponymous antagonist, Dr No himself.

Unlike the Bond from the films who occasionally comes across as cold and uncaring, you are privy to Bond thoughts and feelings in the novel. You realise that whilst he may have the license to kill, that doesn’t necessarily mean to say he likes to. You feel the emotions Bond goes through: guilt, anger, lust, courage, fear. This adds huge depth to the story and has empathising with Bond and wanting him to succeed and survive.

The audiobook I listened to was read by Hugh Quarshie and he managed to voice the characters and the story perfectly. There wasn’t a moment I wasn’t hooked and attentive to what was being read to me. I found myself being almost disappointed when I reached home and had to stop listening. I recommend the audiobook as much as I recommend the book itself.

This is best book I’ve read on my challenge so far. It kept me wanting more, had infinite variety and interest. You are kept captive by the brilliant plot and characters from the first few lines to the last words uttered by Honeychile at the end. By not reading this book you are missing out on an incredible experience. I recommend this book wholeheartedly: buy it, read it, love it!



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