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Casino Royale (Penguin Modern Classics) (original 1953; edition 2004)

by Ian Fleming

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4,0461871,258 (3.54)263
Member:dangennoe
Title:Casino Royale (Penguin Modern Classics)
Authors:Ian Fleming
Info:Penguin Classics (2004), Edition: New Ed, Paperback, 192 pages
Collections:Your library
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Casino Royale by Ian Fleming (1953)

  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 184 (next | show all)
Been so long since I read a Fleming and I don't think I had read this one before. Quite good actually to get to know the "real" 007. ( )
  ndpmcIntosh | Mar 21, 2016 |
I had decided to read this first of the James Bond novels many years ago, and it took me a good long while to get around to it. In the interim, I ended up reading some other Cold War espionage classics that I consider to be much better books, such as Deighton's Ipcress File and Greene's Our Man in Havana. Still, Casino Royale has its charms, tending toward the violence and sex that characterize the enormously popular Bond franchise. It largely lacks the epistemological anxiety that I find to be one of the chief attractions of the spy genre.

The book reads very quickly, but has an unusual pacing, with two major climaxes and plot resolutions accomplished fairly early, and settles into what appears at first to be a long denouement for the final third of the book, focusing on Bond's physical recovery from his earlier ordeals and the consummation of his love interest. Fleming is supposed to have drafted the novel just prior to his wedding, which seems a bit alarming in light of the grim eventuation of the romantic plot elements. Also, considering his reported ambivalence about the book prior to publication, it seems odd that its finish clearly intends to provide a point of departure for more stories about Bond.

One of my motives for reading the book was to assess the common claim that its villain Le Chiffre was based by Fleming on his acquaintance Aleister Crowley. Crowley may have contributed a few minor details and physical mannerisms, along with an aura of the sinister, but the resemblance is less vivid than those afforded by other Crowley-based characters in fiction, such as the Oscar Clinton and Apuleius Charlton of H.R. Wakefield.

Bond is no superman in this story, but he is harsh, calculating, particular, and not altogether sympathetic. The French agent Mathis with whom he is teamed comes off as both more fallible and more likable. Fleming's prose throughout is efficient, and shows the fascination with hardware (especially cars and weapons), the predatory attitude regarding sex, and the attention to glamorous settings that would become hallmarks of the Bond works as a whole.
4 vote paradoxosalpha | Mar 10, 2016 |
"Above all, he liked that everything was one's own fault. There was only oneself to praise or blame. Luck was a servant and not a master. Luck had to be accepted with a shrug or taken advantage of up to the hilt. But it had to be understood and recognized for what it was and not confused with a faulty appreciation of the odds, for, at gambling, the deadly sin is to mistake bad play for bad luck. And luck in all its moods had to be loved and not feared. Bond saw luck as a woman, to be softly wooed or brutally ravaged, never pandered to or pursued. But he was honest enough to admit that he had never yet been made to suffer by cards or by women."

I have been a fan of the movies for a long time now and have always wanted to get around to reading the books. I was not at all disappointed either, which is saying something since I know the movies and books are very different in some areas.

Casino Royale is Bonds' first mission after gaining his Double-O status. There are the good guys and the bad and everyone else questioning which side they really belong to. It may be a little hard to following is some areas where the characters are talking about which agency they work for and who the double agents are. Once the characters have been developed everything else just falls into place.

I think the biggest shock for me was how different Bond is compared to what is portrayed in the movies. In the movies, he gets the jobs done and get the girl (Oh Bond!). Whereas the books, he is self centered, the best gambler in the service and so focused on the job that women really are just an afterthought.

For those that have seen the movie, the torture scene really is on the book and it is still as unpleasant to read it, as it was watching it.

An enjoyable first novel and I will be sure to read the rest of the series now that I have dipped my toe in. ( )
  purpleprincess1311 | Mar 8, 2016 |
"Above all, he liked that everything was one's own fault. There was only oneself to praise or blame. Luck was a servant and not a master. Luck had to be accepted with a shrug or taken advantage of up to the hilt. But it had to be understood and recognized for what it was and not confused with a faulty appreciation of the odds, for, at gambling, the deadly sin is to mistake bad play for bad luck. And luck in all its moods had to be loved and not feared. Bond saw luck as a woman, to be softly wooed or brutally ravaged, never pandered to or pursued. But he was honest enough to admit that he had never yet been made to suffer by cards or by women."

I have been a fan of the movies for a long time now and have always wanted to get around to reading the books. I was not at all disappointed either, which is saying something since I know the movies and books are very different in some areas.

Casino Royale is Bonds' first mission after gaining his Double-O status. There are the good guys and the bad and everyone else questioning which side they really belong to. It may be a little hard to following is some areas where the characters are talking about which agency they work for and who the double agents are. Once the characters have been developed everything else just falls into place.

I think the biggest shock for me was how different Bond is compared to what is portrayed in the movies. In the movies, he gets the jobs done and get the girl (Oh Bond!). Whereas the books, he is self centered, the best gambler in the service and so focused on the job that women really are just an afterthought.

For those that have seen the movie, the torture scene really is on the book and it is still as unpleasant to read it, as it was watching it.

An enjoyable first novel and I will be sure to read the rest of the series now that I have dipped my toe in. ( )
  purpleprincess1311 | Mar 8, 2016 |
"Above all, he liked that everything was one's own fault. There was only oneself to praise or blame. Luck was a servant and not a master. Luck had to be accepted with a shrug or taken advantage of up to the hilt. But it had to be understood and recognized for what it was and not confused with a faulty appreciation of the odds, for, at gambling, the deadly sin is to mistake bad play for bad luck. And luck in all its moods had to be loved and not feared. Bond saw luck as a woman, to be softly wooed or brutally ravaged, never pandered to or pursued. But he was honest enough to admit that he had never yet been made to suffer by cards or by women."

I have been a fan of the movies for a long time now and have always wanted to get around to reading the books. I was not at all disappointed either, which is saying something since I know the movies and books are very different in some areas.

Casino Royale is Bonds' first mission after gaining his Double-O status. There are the good guys and the bad and everyone else questioning which side they really belong to. It may be a little hard to following is some areas where the characters are talking about which agency they work for and who the double agents are. Once the characters have been developed everything else just falls into place.

I think the biggest shock for me was how different Bond is compared to what is portrayed in the movies. In the movies, he gets the jobs done and get the girl (Oh Bond!). Whereas the books, he is self centered, the best gambler in the service and so focused on the job that women really are just an afterthought.

For those that have seen the movie, the torture scene really is on the book and it is still as unpleasant to read it, as it was watching it.

An enjoyable first novel and I will be sure to read the rest of the series now that I have dipped my toe in. ( )
  purpleprincess1311 | Mar 8, 2016 |
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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
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
The scent and smoke and sweat of a casino are nauseating at three in the morning.
Quotations
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
Blurbers
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.
(yoyogod)

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)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 12 descriptions

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