• You Only Live Once

  • A James Flynn Escapade, Book 1
  • By: Haris Orkin
  • Narrated by: Chris Ciulla
  • Length: 7 hrs and 48 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (247 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From zero to hero....

James Flynn is an expert shot, a black belt in karate, fluent in four languages, and irresistible to women. He’s also a heavily medicated patient in a Los Angeles psychiatric hospital. Flynn believes his locked ward is the headquarters of Her Majesty’s Secret Service and that he is a secret agent with a license to kill. 

When the hospital is acquired by a new HMO, Flynn is convinced that the Secret Service has been infiltrated by the enemy. He escapes to save the day, and in the process, Flynn kidnaps a young Hispanic orderly named Sancho. 

This crazy day trip turns into a very real adventure when Flynn is mistaken for an actual secret agent. Paranoid delusions have suddenly become reality, and now it’s up to a mental patient and a terrified orderly to bring down an insecure, evil genius bent on world domination. 

Includes a special bonus note from the author.

©2020 Haris Orkin (P)2020 Podium Publishing

What listeners say about You Only Live Once

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The Name's Quixote...James Quixote.

An escaped mental patient who images himself a double O with a license to kill is funny. Add an unwilling sidekick named Sancho, a lady love named Dulce, and a beat-up ’92 Ford Mustang that’s a mechanical equivalent of Rocinante, and you have a comic tour de force.

Of course, I’m not the first reviewer to notice this. And literary parodies are nothing new. But this is the first I’ve read that uses the premise of one book to sharpen the parody of another author’s work. And while there’s dark stuff here too, it all provides ample scope for James Flynn’s epic windmill-tilting.

I can’t agree with the negative reviews of Chris Ciulla. Besides a fine comic performance, his British secret service drawl seems to amalgamate the voices of every screen Bond, from Connery to Craig.

7 people found this helpful

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Interesting listen

I enjoyed this delightfully woven story which was performed superbly. I heard a/an (unintended?) message: follow your dreams of who you want to become and be at peace with the results. Tho we All, happily, will not be James Bond (or Flynn) we will have an amazing journey.

6 people found this helpful

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Enjoyable!

I typically listen to a lot of Military Scfi. This was a great change of pace. I was entertained the whole way. I recommend this story

4 people found this helpful

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where's the next book?

Not bad, kinda funny.
Would listen to the next one if Audible had it.
word word

4 people found this helpful

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Absolutely Entertaining

I could not put this down. The opening grabbed your attention. Story line is suspenseful from start to finish.

3 people found this helpful

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Greatness

Very entertaining story. Can’t wait to listen to the next one. I wasted the whole day listening to it.

2 people found this helpful

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Was pleasantly surprised

At first I thought I made a mistake getting this book. But it turned out to be a really good book. Narrator was really good too

2 people found this helpful

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Delightful!

The writing of this book was fantastic. It’s somehow managed to take the James Bond mythos and turn it into something entirely its own. It could’ve strayed too far towards being a ridiculous parody or slapstick like Johnny English but it didn’t. It had just enough humor to be warm and give you a chuckle but a serious side as well - it was a great balance.

The voice actor did a fantastic job bringing the story to life with his inflections, mannerisms giving each character their own personality.

I will absolutely be getting the next in the series!



2 people found this helpful

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Interesting and funny

Excellent except the "graphic" reading of the beginning, which almost turned me away. Glad that I didn't.

2 people found this helpful

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That was Awesome!

One of the best Audible Plus audiobooks out there. Smart, funny and action packed. Highly recommended!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-05-22

unexpected treat

picked up this book for my A to z challenge as my choice for Y. very unlike my normal choice of book and a bit of a whim pick.

found it genuinely amusing, non derivative satire. performance was very good and overall a nice easy listen. Story was fun and light and the nods to typical bond style fiction felt appropriate.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-16-22

Story spoilt for me by the narrator

They story has promise but I ultimately had to stop because of the narrator's unlikeable range of voices. The attempt at the refined English accent was passable, if clichéd, but the other principal character, Sancho, was utterly grating for the 8 chapters I managed to tolerate hoping that the annoying tone of slow, strained exasperation the narrator chose to use for all his dialogue would change or at least differ in range. Females didn't fair much better either as the narrated barely took the edge off his naturally masculine enunciation. The narration itself was pleasant enough but I was unable to continue with the story though I promise I did try because I liked the content. An honest shame.

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  • Roy Pether
  • 08-08-22

Excellent

Very well written, novel idea and extremely funny with a brilliant narration by Chris Ciulla

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-05-22

Hilarious and fantastically narrated

What an amazing listen! I cannot count the number of times I laughed out loud. Edge of your seat stuff and amazingly funny.
Get it now!!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • MR MICHAEL J BREED
  • 07-19-22

A nice change

A good alternative take on the popular 007 theme. Something different that is harmless. I do think it should be left there and no sequels though. Some of the narration can be a bit annoying at times but certainly don’t let that put you off listening.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-06-22

love it!!!

Very funny and entertaining Can't wait for the next adventure. Really recommend. If you like Stephanie plum novels you'll love this. Great narrator, easy to listen to.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-28-22

unusual and great fun

It started off a bit confusing and I wasn't sure however I'm so glad I kept going as it was excellent. highly recommended

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • peter staley
  • 05-18-22

loved it

The perfect satire of my favourite genre of book. Witty, fast paced, with all the right cliches. I loved it and I'm sure you will too.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • C. A. Bailey
  • 04-09-22

A Don Quixote, with spies rather than knights

A thoroughly enjoyable story about a Bond fantasist (a man in an asylum who literally believes he is Bond), who gets sucked into a spy-story adventure. This happens in 2 ways. Firstly, the hero continuously re-interprets the incidents of day-to-day life as if he were a secret agent, transforming the mundane into the dramatic. Secondly, his chivalry and his instinct for adventure really do lead to him interfering in a real-life criminal enterprise worthy of a Bond novel.

Unlike most Bond spoofs, there's a serious undertone to the story. The supposed "lunatic" is acting as he does out of a horrified rejection of the way the world actually functions. As Bond fantasies are a normal experience, and as the world is often disappointing, this is a comment on the human condition. The stubborn denial of reality does itself have an heroic quality. In fact, the novel is a re-telling of Cervantes' 17th century novel, Don Quixote, with Flynn in the place of Quixote. Both men are trying to live as protagonists in the heroic stories of their time - Quixote wants to be a knight fighting monsters, and Flynn wants to be a secret agent despatching super villains. Both stories ask whether the lunatic is not perhaps deeply sane, in his defiance of a reality both mundane and terrible.

This is great easy listening, a way to forget your everyday anxieties and concerns about life without denying that those anxieties and concerns do really exist. It's an amusing, well executed, Bond adventure, and pure fun. The narrator (and by extension, the central character) does an excellent Timothy Dalton impression.

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  • D. C. Downer
  • 11-02-21

Brilliant Fun!

I happened on this by accident & really enjoyed it. Humorous & quirky. I'm ready for the next one James ...... James Flynn 😉

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  • M Pointer
  • 08-10-22

Loved it!

Something a bit different. Perfectly paced, very witty, poignant,
thoroughly enjoyed, still smiling. Great listen!