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  • Diamonds Are Forever

  • James Bond, Book 4
  • Written by: Ian Fleming
  • Narrated by: Damian Lewis
  • Length: 6 hrs and 46 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (39 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Diamonds are being smuggled on a formidable scale from Africa to America via Britain. 007's assignment is to break the smuggling ring. It's a dangerous mission that takes him to the racecourse and mud-baths of Saratoga Springs, the gaming tables of Las Vegas, the ghost town of Spectreville, and beyond. The Spangled Mob threatens to be too much even for Bond, but help is at hand in the shape of co-conspirator Tiffany Case.

This audiobook includes a bonus interview with Damian Lewis.

Blackstone Audio, Inc. James Bond and 007 are registered trademarks of Danjaq LLC, used under license by Ian Fleming Publications Ltd

©1956 Ian Fleming Publications Ltd. (P)2014 Blackstone Audio

What listeners say about Diamonds Are Forever

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Atypical Bond Story.. But A 'Decent' One

A large segment of this book involves 007 falling in love with 'Tiffany Case'. Readers used to his promiscuity and seductive powers may be surprised by the vulnerability of the character displayed in the last few chapters of the book. Other significant segments of the book are unusually obsessed with gambling (Blackjack, Roulette, Horse-racing, Slots) and the Superspy interestingly takes on diamond smugglers/gangsters in this book (rather than Smersh, Russians, ex-Nazis, or megalomaniacal industrialists).
Don't worry.. there are plenty of cartoonish villains, sexy women, last-minute escapes, and violent encounters - this is most definitely a Bond novel - but 'Diamonds Are Forever' doesn't quite fit the formula for most of these tales.
[*Note: The story structure, dialogue, character motivations, and descriptions are quintessentially Fleming, though. Fans will be satisfied]

I have heard better performances of James Bond novels in this series, but Damian Lewis does a creditable job on this project. His diction, cadence, timbre, and tone fit the text nicely. He is clearly interested.
Less fortunately, the book is best consumed at 1.10X and the American gangster accents are laughably stereotypical (Lewis watched a few too many Bogart & Cagney films).
Overall, it's an "average" reading.

In toto, this installment in the 'James Bond (Celebrity Performance)' series is "acceptable". It rates 6 stars out of 10.
It's worth a listen and definitely belongs in your Library, but is unlikely to make it onto your "repeat listen" list.

[Incidentally: Why do all of Fleming's villains have enormous heads? I was unaware that Hydrocephalus caused you to be evil]

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Story is believable, unlike the movie

The characters are fully developed, you feel the threat and you feel the action with the story telling. The criminals are portrayed as real criminals police would deal with today and you are on Bond's side for the whole ride.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Carol
  • 2014-11-04

Bond. But not very good Bond.

This is not Bond in the white dinner jacket, flicking his gunmetal Ronson lighter onto his Turkish cigarette as he beats the bad guys and beautiful femmes at chemin de fer and anything else they care to play. Instead of Monte Carlo and the rugged capitals of Europe, or the sun-drenched Caribbean islands that are Bond's usual haunts, this book has Our Spy tracking down diamond smugglers in the U.S. -- which is fine while he's in New York City, but James Bond in Saratoga Springs (shudder), Las Vegas (double shudder), and a Nevada ghost town (giggle) as he brings down Jack and Seraffimo Spang and their "Spangled Mob"--well, sorry, Ian Fleming this one just didn't work for me.

There are no fun toys or gadgets in this one. And Bond, with supercilious disdain for (ethnic slur) criminals, does some really stupid things. The only things that save him are (1) the Spang brothers do even stupider things and (2) Bond girl Tiffany Case, having gone over to the Good Guys almost instantaneously after meeting James once, frees him when he's held prisoner by the mob bosses she's served for years. What a surprise!

The early Bond books are well written, atmospheric period pieces. This one, the fourth in the series, was published in 1956; one of the most interesting descriptions was of Bond's London to New York flight, a 12-hour journey complete with meals, booze, and sleeper seats in the days before jet engines hit the commercial airways. Once in New York, Bond's idea of an elegant dinner date starts with pate and three martinis, followed by steak with Bernaise sauce accompanied by a bottle or two of wine, and topped off with dessert and champagne. Women--even a strong woman like Tiffany, who's by far the best character in this episode--are arm candy in black velvet cocktail dresses.

It's a different world, and of course a world highly romanticized by Fleming, but I enjoyed the novels in my younger days, am a huge fan of both the early (Sean Connery) and recent (Daniel Craig) cinematic incarnations, and have enjoyed several of the audio renditions by Simon Vance. This new release of all the novels in audio form, each read by a different well-known British actor, is an intriguing concept. Damian Lewis, with his uncanny gift for flawless American accents (as anyone who's seen him as "Homeland's" Sergeant Brodie knows), was a perfect choice for narrator. He moves between British, American, and American ethnic accents so fluidly you're unaware of it, you just know immediately which character is speaking. I just wish the material had been more worthy of Lewis's art.

14 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Richard S. Swol
  • 2018-03-02

James Bond Takes On The American Mob

James Bond travels to America to smash the mob's diamond smuggling operation.
Along the way he meets some colorful mob characters as well as Tiffany Case, the "Bond girl" of this story.

The story follows the typical path of Bond being assigned to simply impersonate a hired smuggler and determine the details of a diamond smuggling pipeline from African mine to the high end diamond markets in America. Of course, Bond being Bond, things go beyond simple observation pretty quickly. Along the way he mixes it up with fixed horse racing, Las Vegas casinos, an old west ghost town and the Queen Mary. We also run into an old friend in Felix Lieter...which is always a good thing. (Although he is a bit worse for wear after the events chronicled in Live And Let Die.)

Don't expect this book to follow any part of the film of the same name. Other than a couple character names, the plot is not even close to the high tech machinations of the film. This is a grounded plot set squarely in the 1950's when Las Vegas was a new "thing" and just getting people's attention.

This is, while slightly dated in bits, still a very modern story that holds your attention well. If you like Bond, you will like this.

Recommended for all adventure readers.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Stephen W Osborne
  • 2018-01-20

Now I can't get Shirley Bassey out of my head!

The movies and the books are two totally different, separate things. Usually, only the title and the character names transfer, and sometimes the locale. This one wasn't as good as Moonraker (lousy movie, great book) but still had a lot going for it. Every now and then, though, you read a line of Fleming's and you think, "Oh my God! He actually WROTE that???" In this one, it was a sentence about homosexuals making particularly nasty killers.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Steven H
  • 2022-02-02

James Bond vs. The Mob

One of the weakest films in the franchise is also the weakest book so far. I enjoyed the first three novels, but this entry is weak. The performance by Damian Lewis is solid. I can't fault him for the content. Bond goes to America to trail a diamond smuggling ring. Felix Lighter returns and they have many a boring meal together and eventually Bond goes to Vegas. His lady this time is Tiffany Case. She has a traumatic past but other than that she doesn't lend much to the story. The mob are boring stereotypical characters and have no intrigue. Overall this book was a disappointment after the excellent Moonraker. I hope his next adventure is more memorable.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jack Mehof
  • 2020-03-15

All Bond Books Better Than the Movies

All the books are fabulous! The movies are now ruined for me. Someday we will see the real Bond On the silver screen.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Christopher Daniels
  • 2019-11-01

Forever a classic

very well read by Damin Lewis also again and is the case with many of the books they are different from the movies. But it is interesting to see what changes were made and what they kept.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • George
  • 2022-09-22

Good as expected

Really enjoyed this one. The politically incorrect language in this book written in the. fifties id great.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Pam Sullivan
  • 2022-08-29

Vintage Bond

Not much to say other than one of many fabulous Fleming stories! A must listen!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • John A.
  • 2022-08-06

A great book

A wonderful book that I found to be developmental and maturative for a young man coming of age such as myself. I found myself highly related to the protagonist James Bond and I found this book to also be generally intelligent. I further highly recommend this book.

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  • Richard
  • 2022-04-30

The the thinking assassin

The cabin scene was a bit stretched. Bond should have Ben able to get of two shots before either man could get to his holstered gun. Why not finish off the knife thrower half a second after shooting the first ;surely his skill and training were sufficient. Also why did his wound not require medically attention. Also again traces of his bleeding would have been left in the cabin indicating a third person involved in the room. This whole encounter as written was not up to 007’s slills