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AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: FTN reviews James Bond: Thunderball written by Ian Flemming and read by Jason Isaacs

October 16th, 2013 by Irwin Fletcher Comments

Thunderball (with interview)
Ian Fleming Audio Book
Unabridged Reading
Author: Ian Fleming
Reader: Jason Isaacs
Running Time: 7hrs 51min.

PublisherAduioGO Ltd.
Series: 007 reloaded
Number of CDs: 8
Quality: MP3 (64 kbps)
Release Date: Out now
ISBN: 9781471312632

Ernst Stavro Blofeld, leader of the terrorist organisation SPECTRE, has hijacked an American plane loaded with atomic weapons. Unless his demands are met he will destroy one of the world’s major cities. With only one week to locate the missing bombs, James Bond goes to the Bahamas where he encounters Blofeld’s right-hand man Emilio Largo and his mistress Domino. As the clock counts down, Bond learns that sharks are not the only killers in the Caribbean Sea.

This is a great read, with Fleming’s trademark action set pieces, superbly colourful scene setting and larger than life villains. This is the first of the trilogy of books featuring Blofeld, although Bond doesn’t actually come face to face with him here. Fleming never lets up with his great descriptive prose, managing to make every detail clear in the mind’s eye, making every location and character come to life. Right through to the final underwater battle you feel totally immersed in the action.

Another mark in favour of this excellent book is the slightly vulnerable depiction of Bond. Not quite the self- confident impervious hero of earlier books, this Bond has the occasional bout of self -doubt, making him seem more human than before.

Like all good Bond books, Thunderball has good living, action, humour, a world held to ransom, a race against time, an exotic location and a gutsy Bond girl with domino. Thunderball is a classic Bond novel and a thrilling read. Jason Issacs is an ideal reader for this audiobook version of Thunderball. He delivers a light touch to the beginning of the novel; his timing is excellent and effective, particularly during the underwater fight scenes. Isaacs’ voice is slightly gruffer too, as he portrays our flawed hero, James Bond. With the novel’s many colourful characters, Isaacs wonderfully increases the atmosphere of Thunderball. He effectively ratchets up the tension as the novel reaches its climax and makes this Thunderball audiobook a thoroughly enjoyable and exciting listen.

The audiobook also contains an interview with Issacs which is worth a listen.

4 out of 5 nerds



I'm an LA journalist who really lives for his profession. I have also published work as Jane Doe in various mags and newspapers across the globe. I normally write articles that can cause trouble but now I write for FTN because Nerds are never angry, so I feel safe.