May 29, 2013.
Attention Amazon: Tom Hiddleston’s fans are ready to give you money – are you ready to take it?
A company named AudioGO – “The home of BBC Audiobooks” has announced that British actor Tom Hiddleston will record audiobooks of Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels Octopussy and The Living Daylights. This makes lots of sense, because his fans absolutely love to hear him talk. The recordings will be available in September, as CDs or as Internet downloads.
AudioGO has lots of experience with this sort of thing; it has already recorded The Man with the Golden Gun, read by Kenneth Branagh, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, read by David Tennant (of Doctor Who fame), Moonraker, read by Bill Nighy, Diamonds are Forever, read by Damian Lewis (of U.S. TV show Homeland), Live and Let Die, read by Rory Kinnear, The Spy Who Loved Me, read by Rosamund Pike, along with several other selections.
News of this project created much excitement among Hiddleston’s fans, since many of them would like to see him play 007 in a film one day, and the audiobook could serve as an audition of sorts. Can you imagine the disappointment, bewilderment and grumbling when they (we) learned that these audiobooks won’t be available in the U.S. or Canada?
AudioGo’s UK Facebook page says it does not have the rights to sell the audio books in the U.S. or Canada.
A quick Internet search found a Los Angeles Times article from 2012 that says that Amazon.com had announced its purchase of the North American rights to Ian Fleming’s James Bond books.
Amazon.com sells James Bond audiobooks from Blackstone Audiobooks, Inc. that are narrated by actor Simon Vance, but not the ones made by AudioGo. It does refer customers to sites that sell USED copies of the AudioGo CDs, though, and Amazon.ca does the same.
Audible.com, “an Amazon company” has many of the AudioGo titles mentioned above on its web site, but it won’t sell them to North Americans either. Audible.com has 24-hour customer service, so I called and talked to a helpful guy there. He suggested that I send an email to Audible.com, and ask them to carry Hiddleston’s audio books and any others I’d like to buy. The more messages the better, he said. He also said that people are welcome to make suggestions about books that they’d like to have recorded in the future, and who they’d like to hear reading them.
So, if you’re a North American Hiddleston fan and you’d like to hear his book, or any other the others mentioned, consider writing to email@example.com.
I’ve already written to that address myself, and to the Audible.com public relations department, too. Maybe they’ll have some happy news. If they do, I’ll certainly let you know.