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Casino Royale by Ian Fleming

Casino Royale (1953)

by Ian Fleming

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: James Bond (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,8431331,343 (3.56)255
  1. 00
    The Kobra Manifesto by Adam Hall (benfulton)
    benfulton: Very similar spy stories. Quiller is a bit more physical than Bond, I think.
  2. 12
    The Spy Who Came in From the Cold by John Le Carré (Cecilturtle)

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» See also 255 mentions

English (130)  Danish (1)  Hebrew (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (133)
Showing 1-5 of 130 (next | show all)
After having seen all the Bond movies, I decided to try the novels from which they came. To say I was disappointed would be putting it mildly, especially considering that the books are almost always better than the movies. I found this book to be lacking in action and very slow paced. The Bond character was portrayed as very cold and distant, stating at one point that all one needed to receive a double-oh number was the willingness to kill someone. This was said in the same casual manner as someone stating they liked sugar in their tea.

Bond did seem to have some skills, although the ease in which he was captured showed his lack of experience in such matters. It was during and after his capture that Bond became a more human, likeable character. This was, however, short lived as the tragedy which befell him dropped him back into the cold operative mode. It was obvious that Bond was deeply hurt emotionally and I did have a certain amount of empathy for him.

The whole premise behind the casino sting also had me scratching my head. Even if they were successful in bringing down Le Chiffre, wouldn't someone else simply fill the void created? I find it puzzling that England would risk one of it's top operatives for the job. Yes, I understand that Bond was lucky and one of the best card players, but luck is fleeting and I question their judgement. Something along the lines of the CIA involvement was more reasonable, but then that would make an even more boring story.

One other thing I would like to bring up is Fleming's use of French. While it is not overdone, it was annoying to me. Yes, I know the story was set in France and it adds to realism, but I do not speak French. To put this in without translation is just wasted space to me. In my mind, this narrows the audience to English readers who also speak French. Fleming was not the first to do this and I'm sure he will not be the last, but it has become one of the little things that detract from my overall enjoyment.

All in all, I found this to be just an average read. Perhaps I am being influenced by unfair expectations, but I was rather disappointed. This was the first in the series, which is why I chose it, and Fleming would have ample time to hone his craft and develop the "Bond" character. Also, as far as movies went, this was one of my least favorites. I only mention this to suggest their is plenty of upside to the series. I will definitely read more. ( )
  NPJacobsen | Sep 1, 2015 |
An enjoyable little book. Unlike the movies, the books are dead serious, more like the tone of spy novels a la John LeCarre. They are also somewhat dated in that racism and sexism is quite blatant. Nevertheless, they are fun to read. I learned how baccarat is played (basically very similar to black jack), and that Bond feels pain and experiences fear, and also just how cold-hearted and unforgiving James Bond really is. ( )
  Marse | Aug 13, 2015 |
Having recently read Silverfin a story about the young James Bond by Charlie Higson, I decided to revisit the James Bond books that I loved as a teenager. This is the introduction to Bond and the series promises to be a lot of fun. Although the gambling strategies related to baccarat are beyond my understanding, the excitement and suspense was clear. The story was just as entertaining as I remember, even though it wasn't one of my favourites. The reader must also remember that it pre-dates modern politically-correct sensitivities. A word of advice: resist forming an opinion of Ian Fleming books on the James Bond movies, most of which, though fun, are cheesy, cheap reproductions. ( )
  VivienneR | Jun 11, 2015 |
The first book in the James Bond Series by Ian Fleming. It wasn't what I was expecting. Here we have secret agent Bond, time worn, a caricature of a real person. He only lives for the his job, nothing else. Its a gritty, dark world. Not heroic, not spy like. Bond does what he has to survive.

Its an interesting read - at times too convoluted, at other times, too simple. The writing is short, to the point. I had a hard time keeping track of the characters. The ending seemed a bit tacked on - it seemed like an after thought to tie up loose ends.

That isn't to say this book is bad - while at times, the writing is too dry, when its good, its really really good. ( )
  TheDivineOomba | Jun 8, 2015 |
Brisk and brusque, cosmopolitan and sensuous, whilst deceptive and brutal, “Casino Royale,” the first James Bond novel, is a very good, fluid, and quick read. It’s a simple and exciting novel that I’d bring along for a long train trip, though its smatterings of old world sophistication may seem at times too detail-oriented and too sentimental. Also, its ending just seemed to drag on and on towards its manly but ultimately unsatisfying, vindictive, and empty final line. I’m now reading “Live and Let Die” and I hope it’s at least as good as the original. ( )
  GYKM | May 28, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 130 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (26 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ian Flemingprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Deaver, JefferyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fahey, RichieCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
The scent and smoke and sweat of a casino are nauseating at three in the morning.
The Devil has no prophets to write his Ten Commandments and no teams of authors to write his biography. His case has gone completely by default. We know nothing about him but a lot of fairy stories from our parents and schoolmasters. He has no book from which we can learn the nature of evil in all its forms, with parables about evil people, proverbs about evil people, folk-lore about evil people. All we have is the living example of the people who are least good, or our own intuition.
"surround yourself with human beings, my dear James. They are easier to fight for than principles. But don't let me down and become human yourself. We would lose such a wonderful machine."
“Your own injuries are serious, but your life is not in danger... If all goes well, you will recover completely and none of the functions of your body will be impaired... But I fear that you will continue to be in pain for several days...”
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Book description
James Bond

closed his eyes and waited for the pain. He knew that the beginning of torture was the worst.

Le Chiffre
The formidable, dangerous French Communist with large sexual appetites. Paymaster of SMERSH and a master sadist.

Vesper Lynd
the conquest of her body would each time have the sweet tang of rape.

A superlative thriller. Replete with elegant, enigmatic women, superb food and service, explosions, torture and sudden death. - Boston Sunday Post

The best gambling scene one can recall and the most revolting torture scenes. - The Birmingham Post

Hums with tension - Time Magazine
Haiku summary
Double Oh Seven
gambles with a union boss
who's a SMERSH agent.

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 014200202X, Paperback)

In the first of Ian Fleming's James Bond novels, 007 declares war on Le Chiffre, French communist and paymaster of the Soviet murder organization SMERSH.

The battle begins with a fifty-million-franc game of baccarat, gains momentum during Bond's fiery love affair with a sensuous lady spy, and reaches a chilling climax with fiendish torture at the hands of a master sadist. For incredible suspense, unexpected thrills, and extraordinary danger, nothing can beat James Bond in his inaugural adventure.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:50 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

In the first James Bond novel, originally published in 1953, 007 takes on Le Chiffre, a French communist and paymaster of the Soviet murder organization SMERSH, as the suave agent becomes involved in a high-stakes game of baccarat, enjoys a fiery love affair with a sexy female spy, and endures torture at the hands of a master sadist.… (more)

» see all 12 descriptions

Legacy Library: Ian Fleming

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