Quantum of Solace
by Ian Fleming
narrated by Simon Vance
Ⓟ 2008, Blackstone Audio, Inc.
- “From a View to a Kill”
- “For Your Eyes Only”
- “Quantum of Solace”
- “The Hildebrand Rarity”
After having shared seven adventures with 007 in previous novels, you become somewhat inured to Fleming’s political incorrectness and you start appreciating the other elements of his writing: the way he can create tension and surprise you; the way he shapes Bond’s interior dialogue; the attention to detail beyond the travelogue descriptions – and in the end you begin to like Bond again, even after the misogynistic fiasco that was Goldfinger. It’s not that Bond has changed much. He’s still thinks and says things that place him squarely in the ranks of the mid-century man; but in this collection, we sense that perhaps his views, however much they are shaped by his times, are not concretized – that Bond has the capacity to turn things over in his mind and realize that all may not be as they appear. This idea of deception becomes the theme of the collection (or at least the first five stories):
This short, more than even “Quantum of Solace” displays more of Bonds interior dimension than the others. Though not has clever as “QOS,” even rather ham-handed in its way, “The Hildebrand Rarity” has Bond thinking about relative morality. Mr. Krest, a wealthy American man who uses his pleasure yacht to collect specimens for the Smithsonian (a tax evasion scheme) hires Bond and Fidele Barbery to track down a rare fish, “The Hildebrand Rarity” in the Caribbean. There is nothing to like about Mr. Krest: He is a mean boor, a sadist, a corrupt businessman, a drunk and overall unscrupulous. And yet, Bond puts up with quite a bit, “eating crow” for four days. Bond equivocates, is uncertain about what to do, questions his smaller actions against larger contexts. What does he really see? What does he really know? What is the right thing to do? In this story, Bond himself might not be the man we have been led to believe he is.
- The Shaken, Not Stirred: A Simon Vance Audiobook Challenge Featuring James Bond hosted by @lithousewife. On Saturday, February 25, 2012, 9:30 p.m. EST, there will be a twitter discussion of the audiobook followed by a twitter viewing party of the movie 🙂
- The 2012 Audio Book Challenge hosted by @teresasreading at Teresa’s Reading Corner
I received a MP3-CD edition of Quantum of Solace (by Ian Fleming; narrated by Simon Vance) from Blackstone Audio, Inc. under professional courtesy/reviewer auspices.. I receive no monies, goods or services in exchange for reviewing the product and/or mentioning any of the persons or companies that are or may be implied in this post.