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Casino Royale by Ian Fleming
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4,5752091,048 (3.53)304
  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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Showing 1-5 of 205 (next | show all)
[b: Casino Royale|5824|Casino Royale |Anthony Hern|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348841258s/5824.jpg|21967797].

Where to begin, precisely? This book is utterly brilliant. It's fast-paced, well-plotted, and contains just about anything you could possibly want from a spy thriller. Sadistic villains, beautiful women, high stakes gambling, betrayal, car chases - with cars as beautiful as the women, of course - and enough wonderful food descriptions to make your mouth water while reading it.

The first introduction to Bond is a memorable one, and one to quickly make anyone fall in love with the character. While the book may be dated, and downright offense I suppose, I feel that's a bit of a ridiculous reaction to have. You're reading a book that's firmly set within a specific time frame with a very particular sort of character at the head. Yes, it's misogynistic. So what? At least Vesper is acknowledged as having been wonderful at her trade and intelligent, as later Bond girls are seen as being as well. It's a step above them being only good for their looks.

[b: Casino Royale|5824|Casino Royale |Anthony Hern|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348841258s/5824.jpg|21967797] is a classic, and written in a concise style that I truly envy. [a: Ian Fleming|2565|Ian Fleming|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1364532740p2/2565.jpg] is a marvelous author and I'd recommend it to just about anyone. Who doesn't love a bit of Bond? ( )
  Lepophagus | Jun 14, 2018 |
Though it's not on my book list I actually read this book years ago, but decided to re-read it after a recent discussion regarding the Daniel Craig movie. I was contending that Craig had the essence of Bond down better than perhaps any other Bond actor, with the possible exception of early Sean Connery. So to be sure I was correct in my assertions I decided to read this first Bond novel again. It does not disappoint, and though Bond is less action oriented in the books, he is more cerebral and much more dangerous. Bond can be described as resplendent, refined and absolutely ruthless. His character may be best refined in his statement to Vesper Lynd, "It's not difficult to get a Double 0 number if you're simply prepared to kill people." This is Bond and I think Craig captures this, which supports my argument and brings me back to the book. It is well conceived and builds tension throughout, especially as Bond struggles to stay detached while falling for Vesper. The card game and the defeat of LeChiffre are the best possible setting for this turbulent relationship and its tragic conclusion - because, as we know, Bond cannot be attached. ( )
  Al-G | Apr 14, 2018 |
Very fast read, quite low reading level. A decent enough story, but unsurprisingly misogynistic. Also, I'm pretty sure this is the first book I have ever read that says "the sweet tang of rape". Sweet tang, WTF???

It does amaze me that someone took this book (or perhaps another was the first?) and decided to make a movie and created a whole THING. Because there just isn't that much here! ( )
  Dreesie | Feb 14, 2018 |
This is the first book featuring James Bond who, over the years has become an icon of all that's right and good, a sophisticated hero of our times etc. So I was kind of looking forward to reading about him. The book begins in the middle of the action, then jumps back a little to give some background on the case, and a little info on Bond himself. At first Bond comes across as cold, distant and unemotional. If he were a real person today he'd be branded a misogynist-his attitudes towards women were quite shocking. I mean we all know Bond is a womaniser, a ladies man, but in the book he comes across as disliking the fairer sex quite strongly. Near the beginning, when he is presented with a woman as a cover, (Vesper Lynd) he states that women are for recreation, that they have emotional baggage and need to be looked after. He clearly believes that a woman belongs in the kitchen, and in the bed, but not on a dangerous job. Anyway... let's say he thaws somewhat as the book progresses and begins to fall for miss Lynd, and this softens him up somewhat, and he is able to get on with the job in hand as it were....to say anymore would give too much away, but I'm sure by now most will be familiar with the plot featuring the french-named villain Le Chiffre and the counter-agency SMERSH (which goes on to feature in later books), and the dealings at the casino. The one aspect of the book that was slightly annoying was the copious use of french words and terms with no explanation. I kept my phone handy to act as translator! But on the whole not a bad book, if rather short at under 220 pages. But it was Fleming's first foray into fiction, and as regards the seemingly sexist attitudes, well this was written in the early 1950's, it was a different world back then. Some of the scenes are fairly violent- the torture scene that I remembered from the film is pretty much as it is in the book-it pulls no punches. Bond is no hero for boys-this is an adult world!
I will definitely read more Bond books. The sad thing is that Fleming died in 1964-two years after Dr No was filmed! So all those films that we have grown up with, well many of them were based on stuff not written by Fleming. And thats the thing. Bond lives on. People continue to want to see Bond rid the world of evil, in style, and so new stuff gets published. Even Sebastian Faulks, author of seminal war story Birdsong, has written at least one Bond book.
Long may he reign. And remain shaken, not stirred...

Link to blog
http://sfaddict.blogspot.co.uk/2018/01/casino-royale-ian-fleming.html ( )
  sf_addict | Jan 29, 2018 |
The book was so much better than the first movie! LOL! Great beginning of James Bond. ( )
  weisser4 | Jan 10, 2018 |
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» Add other authors (85 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Fleming, IanAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Deaver, JefferyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fahey, RichieCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevens, DanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
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Important places
Important events
Related movies
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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
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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
For James Bond and the British Secret Service, the stakes couldn't be higher. 007's mission is to neutralize the Russian operative Le Chiffre by ruining him at the baccarat table, forcing his Soviet masters to "retire" him. When Le Chiffre hits a losing streak, Bond discovers his luck is in - that is, until he meets Vesper Lynd, a glamorous agent who might yet prove to be his downfall. This audiobook includes an exclusive bonus interview with Dan Stevens.
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 7 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 18 descriptions

Legacy Library: Ian Fleming

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