#371 ~ Diamonds Are Forever

Diamonds Are Forever by Ian Fleming

Published by: Penguin

Published on: December 2002 (reprint)

Page Count: 240

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

My Reading Format: Audiobook purchased with a credit from Audible.com.

Audiobook Published by: Blackstone Audio

Narrator: Simon Vance

Audiobook Length: 6 hours 34 minutes

Available Formats: Paperback, eBook and audiobook

My Review

Diamonds are big business. So, when British officials discover an illegal pipeline sucking a great deal of money out of England through the hands of an American mob, they call on the Secret Service. M believes James Bond is just the man for the job. Bond nearly holds the American mob in contempt, believing they are no real threat to anyone. He sets off on what he assumes will be a quick, easy and perhaps mind numbing case. He gets more than he bargained for in the Spang brothers, in Wint and Kidd and in Tiffany Case.

As the Bond novels progress, I have noticed an improvement in Ian Fleming writing. It’s subtle and I can’t quite put my finger on it. Still, I found myself thinking about that growth. Perhaps it had most to do with the imagery. Diamonds Are Forever begins with a scene between a scorpion and an unfortunate beetle. I loved that opening. It really set the scene and the pace for the novel.

Bond and most other male characters still refer to women as girls, but this time around there was an interesting aspect to Bond’s relationship with Tiffany Case. Her background was not altogether rosy. Instead of feeling burdened or repenting her for her baggage, Bond warmed to her with empathy, something I would have considered impossible coming from him after reading Casino Royale. Bond talks a big game, but he is rather more compassionate than he’d like to think.

This novel wasn’t as fast paced as Live and Let Die, but Fleming made up for that in setting some interesting and varied scenes. From the horse races in Saratoga, medicinal mud baths, Las Vegas casinos, a man’s cowboy fantasy town, a transatlantic cruise ship and Sierra Leone, there is much to see through Bond’s eyes. As usual, Simon Vance is impeccable as narrator. It was a pleasure to take the Diamonds Are Forever journey with him.

While I still hold Moonraker as my favorite Bond novel thus far, Diamonds Are Forever was a treat. While discussing the book with the Shaken, Not Stirred group during the Twitter party, Tanya from dog eared copy mentioned that she’d love to see more of Tiffany Case. I couldn’t agree more. With each audiobook, I grow more excited for the next in the series. If you haven’t given Bond a chance, I’d highly recommend it. I’d love to have you participate in Shaken, Not Stirred. It’s never too late to get started.

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 2011.09.30 16:08, Jen - Devourer of Books said:

    I’m so sad I haven’t been able to fit these books into my audio rotation, I’ll have to listen at some point!

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    • At 2011.10.01 11:22, Jennifer said:

      Casino Royale was a little rough because Bond’s feelings about women were so raw, but well worth the effort. I’ve heard that From Russia With Love is the best novel in the series and that is next. Can’t wait!

    • At 2011.10.02 12:07, jenn aka the picky girl said:

      I really loved the imagery, too. That opening scene was just fantastic, and I liked the symmetry with how it ended. However, I will say the last bit dragged for me BIG TIME. That’s exactly what bothered me with LIVE AND LET DIE (among other things). I felt it was ready to end long before Fleming did. 🙂

      BUT I enjoyed it until then. I’m really excited for the next one. Loving this challenge. It’s the only one I’ve ever kept up with and really been excited about.

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