It is hard to be objective when it comes to reviewing an audio book, as there are so many elements one can be sidetracked into reviewing. At the same time those elements have to be included in the review, but the most important part is always the audio itself.
The Unabridged Brilliance Audio Die Another Day Audio Book spans 4 casette tapes or 2 CDs and is approximately 6 hours in length. It is based upon Raymond Benson’s 245 page novelisation of Die Another Day, which is taken from a screenplay by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade.
Sitting down and listening to the adventure that is Die Another Day is a vastly different experience from sitting down and watching the adventure unfold onscreen, but this doesn’t ever seem to detract from the audio book, nor does it detract from the novelisation. It isn’t necessarily true that Raymond Benson’s work is better then the film, but the novel, and in turn the audio book, does posses a unique quality; scenes that will never appear on the silver screen. It is obvious when listing to the story that particular scenes, for instance flash backs, just won’t make it to an print of Die Another Day. The novelisation definitely feels closer to Benson’s Tomorrow Never Dies then The World Is Not Enough due to its added scenes.
The novelisation is read by American Michael Page, and first uncertainties about an American accent reading a Bond novel were soon dispelled. This is largely due to Page’s theatre background, most modern actors aiming for a neutral accent that Page easily finds. Furthermore, he brings in accents for particular characters, some of which he does repeat, but never in the same scene. Jinx and Miranda Frost have particularly different accents and Zao’s voice is brilliantly delivered. Colonel Moon’s voice is almost touch and go at times as it sometimes comes across as a satire Asian accent.
Despite his theatre background, some of Page’s pronunciations may not hit directly home with the audience. For instance, his pronunciation of Omega tended towards ‘a-mega’. Another pronunciation that ‘felt’ strange was that of Zao’s name. To date it had always been sounded, in my head at least, as ‘Zay-oh’ rather Page’s pronunciation is closer to ‘Zah-oh’. Page’s pronunciation is similar to that of the onscreen pronunciation, so any unfamiliarity will be seemingly dispensed after the films release.
An audio-book is definitely not for everyone, however, Brilliance Audio’s Die Another Day Audio Book does ‘work’ and is very entertaining. Bond fans should definitely buy either a copy of the novelisation or a copy of the audio book, depending on their reading preferences.
The Unabridged Brilliance Audio Die Another Day Audio Book can be bought online from Barnes and Noble and amazon.com: