HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Casino Royale (James Bond) by Ian Fleming
Loading...

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

by Ian Fleming

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,1321961,215 (3.54)269
Member:wigster102
Title:Casino Royale (James Bond)
Authors:Ian Fleming
Info:Thomas & Mercer (2012), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 188 pages
Collections:Ebooks
Rating:***1/2
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)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 269 mentions

English (193)  Danish (1)  Hebrew (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (196)
Showing 1-5 of 193 (next | show all)
"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 |
When I finally got around to reading this book I was in for more than a few surprises. And it was not as if I went in blind. I was aware that the movies--even the Daniel Craig vehicles--were different from the books. And I had read Thunderball years ago, though it was during the observation period after a car accident; it was the only book of fiction in the room and all I can remember is that I didn’t care for it.

My first surprise was at how well written Casino Royale is, particularly since I had heard of Ian Fleming’s lack of critical respect. I can only assume it was more a question of subject matter and tone than his narrative prowess. Another surprise was that while we share thoughts with Bond, there remained a certain lack of intimacy. I felt we never got much insight into 007. Fleming painted more vivid pictures of the supporting players: Vesper Lynd certainly, and to a lesser extent Mathis and Felix Leiter. Perhaps this was intentional in order to give Bond’s final scene--and the last line of the book--more impact. If that was the goal, at least that part was successful.

As was the main casino sequence. Fleming loved sports and games and endeavored to include them in his work whenever possible. That showed here. Bond’s showdown with Le Chiffre at the baccarat table was everything it could be.

But there were other negatives, some serious. First of all, I kept waiting for something to happen. A lot of time--for me, too much--was spent inside Bond's head. Again, because I felt we didn’t learn much about the man, this compounded the feeling that there was too much “waiting around.” And then there is the matter of following a protagonist who never manages to save himself. He was saved from a bomb by luck. He was saved from another bitter loss by Leiter’s care package. And he was saved one other time [from Le Chiffre’s torture by SMERSH]. True, he did extricate himself from an attack earlier, yet I had the feeling had that confrontation not happened in full public view, Bond would have been left dead on the floor.

I don’t mind mistakes by the hero. They should all make some, whether the series is realistic or fantastic. But by the time a villain says to Bond, “You are not equipped, my dear boy, to play games with adults,” I find myself agreeing with him.

My last complaint is muted to some extent by the fact that the book is sixty some-odd years old. It took place in an era when the only reason characters’ needed to fall in love (in any medium) was that they were alone together in a story that required it. While the attraction between Bond and Vesper was ever-present from the beginning, love seemed unlikely, particularly as they were never on the same wavelength for any period of time. This is particularly true at that beach resort, where, again, there seemed to be a lot of wasted time; I found myself “willing” for something to happen.

Was it worth the read? Maybe as a curiosity. Will I follow up? I was somewhat intrigued by the character and those who have read the series have promised more evolution to Bond, at least in the first couple of books. And it might be interesting to see how the movies and the accompanying mainstream success affected Fleming’s work. But somehow I doubt I’ll be back. It didn’t do enough for me.

[Reprinted and updated from a message board post I’d written in early 2006.] ( )
1 vote JohnWCuluris | Jul 3, 2016 |
The James Bond introduced in Casino Royale was more introspective but just as cold as the Bond of the movies. This was a quick read, a good spy story, but no surprise at the end. Now I want to watch an old Connery Bond film and look for the book Bond mannerisms. ( )
  wandaly | Jun 30, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 193 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ian Flemingprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Deaver, JefferyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fahey, RichieCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
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

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (4)

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.
(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 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

Ian Fleming has a Legacy Library. Legacy libraries are the personal libraries of famous readers, entered by LibraryThing members from the Legacy Libraries group.

See Ian Fleming's legacy profile.

See Ian Fleming's author page.

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
31 avail.
77 wanted
15 pay18 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.54)
0.5 5
1 13
1.5 12
2 78
2.5 23
3 313
3.5 107
4 360
4.5 23
5 142

Audible.com

5 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

 

You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 108,329,855 books! | Top bar: Always visible