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Casino Royale (James Bond) by Ian Fleming

Casino Royale (James Bond) (original 1953; edition 2012)

by Ian Fleming

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,1571981,205 (3.54)277
Title:Casino Royale (James Bond)
Authors:Ian Fleming
Info:Thomas & Mercer (2012), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 188 pages
Tags:spy, fiction, adventure

Work details

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 195 (next | show all)
This might be the only time I'll ever say this: the movie improved upon the book. Mightily. ( )
  bookofmoons | Sep 1, 2016 |
Today I finished this book.
Had seen the movie already, but (apart from the description of the gambling) I liked the book better.

What I dislike in both the book and the movie, is the very patronizing tone.

Apart from that: good read! ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Aug 28, 2016 |
"Well, it was not too late. Here was a target for him, right to hand. He would take on SMERSH and hunt it down. Without SMERSH, without this cold weapon of death and revenge, the MWD would be just another bunch of civil servant spies, no better and no worse than any of the western services."

And so begin the extraordinary adventures of the most famous of all spies. Had it not been for his involvement in bringing down the villain known as Le Chiffre, James Bond could just have been another one of such civil servant spies.

Unfortunately, this is the only aspect of the Casino Royale story that I actually liked. The idea of James Bond and his mission is what draws me to the books, but not in fact the character of James Bond himself.

James Bond, as a character, is an utterly unlikable, chauvinist, self-centered idiot, who happens to be good at playing cards but is otherwise pretty lucky to have anything go his way - whether it is his involvement with women or his actually staying alive.

I first read Casino Royale some years ago, shortly before the film was released, and really liked it for the plot and the fact that a card game could pose more danger to the world's biggest villains than any attempts of arrest or assassination. Incredible! However, I enjoyed that the book dwelt on thinking through Bond's moves at the baccarat table more than on action scenes.

However, on this particular re-read of the story, I felt more drawn to paying attention to the way Bond interacts with the world around him and was reminded why in some of the subsequent books I tend to root for the villains - I just can't stand James Bond.

Would I still recommend this book? Yes. I think it is important to demystify the legend (and the franchise - even tho I do enjoy the films!) and acknowledge that there was a time when the most popular of books was based on a character that was a snob, a chauvinist, a racist, a misogynist, an egotist, and an utter idiot.

2.5* rounded up. ( )
1 vote BrokenTune | Aug 21, 2016 |
I loved the farcical premise of the novel:
"We therefore recommend that the finest gambler available to the service should be given the necessary funds and endeavour to outgamble this man."
It is a fun action novel that we take increasingly seriously. Specifically I am thinking of the contrast between the movie interpretations of this novel, first movie starred Peter Sellers, second movie Daniel Craig. ( )
  kale.dyer | Jul 31, 2016 |
When British journalist Ian Fleming handed the manuscript for this novel to friends they implored him to write a second one, reasoning that if "Casino Royale" failed he would never want to produce another one.
They need not have worried, as the James Bond books became one of the most enduringly popular series of novels in modern history and now, over 50 years later, much of "Casino Royale" still grips it's readers with a taut, yet breezy style.
Having first read the novel in my youth I decided to revisit the Fleming series after the phenomenal success of the movie "Casino Royale." Over the years I had listened to a large portion of James Bond fans who consider this to be the best of Flemings Bond novels.
But, I quickly realized upon rereading this novel that the pages did not turn quite as willingly or excitedly as they do for some of the other novels such as "Moonraker," "From Russia With Love" or "On Her Majesty's Secret Service."
I think that Fleming had yet to settle into his rhythm and perfect his characteristic "Fleming sweep." Though a very enjoyable read I felt it too episodic with the climax of the novel seemingly mid-way through the book.
Taking his inspiration from a real World War II incident in Portugal in which Fleming had attempted to defeat a Nazi at cards this freshman effort by Fleming pits his fictional creation against SMERSH's banker Le Chiffre.
Much like Fleming had attempted a decade earlier(he lost the game against the German), British intelligence sends the best card player in the service to the fictional French casino in an effort to bankrupt the operations of the Russian intelligence service.
This novels climax to me is the card game for there is no greater novelist who can enliven the action at the card tables like Fleming. And fittlingly the baccarat game in "Casino Royale" is riveting, holding the reader's attention throughout. It is not surprising therefore that I had forgotten the second half of the book in which Bond is tortured and ultimately falls in love with Vesper Lynd, as the most interesting and entertaining section of the book had already passed.
That's not to say that you should not read this novel, you should. It's a fun read and a good introduction to the world of 007. just don't be surprised if you find your attention tends to wander during the second half.
Well recommended. ( )
  DarrenHarrison | Jul 21, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ian Flemingprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Deaver, JefferyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fahey, RichieCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Original title
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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
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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)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 12 descriptions

Legacy Library: Ian Fleming

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