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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The World Is Not Enough (audiobook) by Raymond Benson

Published by Brilliance Audio in 1999.
Read by John Kenneth

I never quite got around to seeing this Bond flick. I am a casual fan, meaning that I eventually get around to seeing them, but not usually in the theater. I ran across this audiobook version and figured I'd kill two birds with one stone - liven up my long commute with some entertainment and cross this Bond story off of my list.

The World Is Not Enough
is read by John Kenneth. Kenneth was confronted with a tough choice - how does he read Bond? Does his version of Bond sound like Connery? Dalton? Moore? Who? Kenneth's voice for Bond is unique and unforced, which cannot be said of some of the other voices he uses. At times, Kenneth presents the listener with a variety of increasingly-shrill British voices that sound more like the soundtrack of a Monty Python skit rather than a more serious presentation.

Being free of the movie format does offer the author, Raymond Benson, a bit of freedom and he uses it in two interesting ways:

#1 - the amount of sexual detail. Benson goes into graphic detail with Bond's sexual adventures. This is not in keeping with the movies which generally feature a wink and a nod and a female voice purring, "Oh, James!" as the camera fades to black. This is a trademark of the series, just as much as "Bond. James Bond" and "Shaken - not stirred" are and I think it should have been given more respect.

#2 - Benson explores the twisted background of a Bond arch-enemy rather than limiting his background to the bare oral briefing that Bond receives when he is assigned his mission. We learn all about the childhood of Renard, a terrorist bent on anarchistic chaos. I found that to be an interesting and welcome addition to the book.

Interestingly, this James Bond audiobook was directed by a man named Jim Bond!

This audiobook can be found on Amazon.com here: The World Is not Enough by Raymond Benson.

I rate this audiobook 3 stars out of 5.

Reviewed on November 11, 2006.

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