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Geof

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  • The James Bond Bedside Companion

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Raymond Benson
    • Narrated By Dan Bernard
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    Here is the new audio edition of the classic 007 reference book from the 1980s, complete with a new Foreword by the author. The James Bond Bedside Companion is an encyclopedic celebration of 007, who is still the world's most popular secret agent. The only book to cover all aspects of the James Bond phenomenon in a single volume, it includes: An intimate portrait of Ian Fleming as remembered by his friends and colleagues, a character study of James Bond, the by-products of Bondmania and the merchandising of 007, detailed analyses of every James Bond novel, and much more.

    Paul Luthi says: "Informative but not very entertaining."
    "Good overall, but really should have been updated."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Raymond Benson and/or Dan Bernard?

    While the 1984 original (and updated 1988 edition) print edition is long out of print and highly sought after by fans, it's a very odd choice to release a newly-created digital print and an unabridged audiobook, presumably to celebrate Bond's 50th Anniversary in film, yet NOT update it whatsoever to include any of the novels or movies since 1988. I wasn't a big Bond fan back when this book was first available, so this audiobook contains almost no information on the 007 adventures I experienced "first-hand". While I don't consider that to be a deal-breaker, I certainly wouldn't have paid full price for it, and I'm glad I was able to use my monthly credit to buy it.

    Dan Bernard is mostly competent as the narrator, but often pronounces names incorrectly (and sometimes alternately correctly.) Considering how fraught with typos the print edition was, I suppose mispronunciation shouldn't be that big of a surprise. He also has a slow-burning, and increasingly annoying habit of referring to Bond as "Oh-oh-seven" instead of "Double-oh seven'. It's a nitpick, yes, but the Double-0 prefix is just that, a Double-0.

    Aside from that, there's a wealth of information here, and I would recommend it to any Bond fan at the $14.95 monthly credit price. One can only hope that someday a follow-up edition which covers the missing 24 years of stories will be written and recorded.


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