#359 ~ Moonraker

Moonraker by Ian Fleming

Published by: Penguin

Published on: December 2002 (reprint)

Page Count: 256

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

My Reading Format: Audiobook purchased from Audible.com

Audiobook Published by: Blackstone Audio

Narrator: Simon Vance

Audiobook Length: 6 hours 48 minutes

Available Formats: Hardcover, paperback, eBook and Audiobook

My Review

After returning from a fortnight vacation, Bond returns to London and settles back in to a quiet period of office work and continuing training. M calls him into office one afternoon to ask him for a personal favor. Sir Hugo Drax, the man who is developing a missile technology that will protect England for many years to come, is a member at M’s gambling club, Blades. He has a wonderful reputation in London, but there is a concern that he’s cheating. If it were true and the club members at large were to discover it, the loss to Drax’s reputation might have a negative impact on his Moonraker project. That project is so essential to British national security that M has asked Bond to accompany him to Blades to determine the truth. Neither M nor Bond knew that discovering the truth about Drax’s card playing only scratched the surface.

James Bond and I are coming into our own. I finally feel comfortable in his world and with him as a man. While the action didn’t hit the ground running in this installment, it wasn’t needed. I am interested in his day to day work life. I liked seeing him at firing practice and filing through his papers. Despite the rough edge he had with professional women in Casino Royale, he was more chivalrous toward professional woman in this novel. He had a good relationship with his secretary Loelia Ponsonby. He worked especially well with Moonraker‘s Bond Girl, Gala Brand. There was the essential sexual tension and his assumed role as protector, but Gala wasn’t just any “girl.” She was smart and strong. Duty nor pain deterred her. Unlike other women, she wasn’t immediately taken with Bond. He had to do some work. Like I said, she was smart.

As Moonraker takes place entirely in England, there was good array of British accents to be narrated. There were some wonderful voices that came through with Simon Vance at the wheel. His BBC newscaster toward the end of the audiobook was really delightful. Given the tension of the moment, it couldn’t have been more perfectly timed. I can’t think of a better narrator for James Bond than Simon Vance.

Of the three, Moonraker is my favorite. It’s quite possible I’ll say that with each new installment, but there was something about this story that clicked with me. Bond is ever confident, but in this case he didn’t know what he was getting himself into until it was nearly too late. Bond and Brand worked so well together. I loved them together for what they weren’t as much as for what they were. I had worried that I might get tired of Bond after a while, but I’m finding myself more and more engaged. I’m looking forward to continuing the journey through Ian Fleming’s Bond novels with the Shaken, Not Stirred challenge.

If you’ve listened to the audiobook or would be interested in watching Roger Moore as Bond in the film version of Moonraker, join us on Twitter at 9:30 PM EST on August 27th. All you need to do is follow the hashtag #shakennotstirred.

I’m posting this review today to participate in Jen at Devourer of Books‘ weekly Sound Bytes meme. If you have an audiobook review to post, why not participate with us?



  • At 2011.08.26 09:14, rhapsodyinbooks said:

    I have never ever read (or listened to) a James Bond book, although I’ve seen most of the movies! But I still (don’t hate me!) have never listened to a Simon Vance audio, so maybe Bond is the way to get acquainted with him!

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    • At 2011.08.26 11:44, carol said:

      I think this was my least favorite of the movies. Maybe I’ll have to give it a read sometime though and see if the book is better.

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