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I thought I would like this a lot, but I didn't. I don't think the story has aged well. The best parts of the tale took p The first novel about James Bond, the 00 agent, takes place at the Casino Royale.
The best parts of the tale took place in the casino itself, the bar or the dinner table. There was only oneself to praise or blame. Luck was a servant, not a master.
Luck had to be accepted with a shrug or to be taken advantage of up to the hilt. But it had to be understood and recognized for what it was and not be confused with faulty appreciation of the odds.
For, at gambling, the deadly sin is to mistake bad play for bad luck. I hate small portions of anything, particularly when they taste bad. This drink is my own invention.
I'm going to patent it when I can think of a good name. Why they hell couldn't they stay at home and mind their pots and pans and stick to their frocks and gossip and leave men's work to the men?
I believe I'll stick to the films from now on. View all 7 comments. Casino Royale is the first book in the James Bond series.
I've seen the movie -- the new and the old version -- many times, but this is the first time I've actually read the book. James Bond is a much more complex character than the way he is portrayed in the movies.
Yes, he travels to exotic places to kill people and he has more than his share of liaisons with beautiful women The complexity of the character just doesn't come through in the movies.
The movies are pretty much just action-packed fight scenes separated by drinking martinis and having sex. In Casino Royale, Bond infiltrates a high stakes baccarat game in order to bankrupt and ultimately ruin a Russian operative, Le Chiffre.
But Le Chiffre is determined not to be ruined. He kidnaps Bond and Vesper Lynd, setting in motion events that might be the end of Bond. This book contains one of the most gruesome torture scenes I have ever experienced in a book.
The movie starring Daniel Craig depicted the basics of the torture, but left out much of the psychological brutality of the entire scene.
I thought the movie version was traumatic It's an important scene that's integral to the plot of the book. It's not overdone and there is absolutely no detailed description of the event or in the injuries to Bond.
The horror comes in the matter of fact manner in which Le Chiffre explains what he is doing and why, and the description of how he goes about it.
The coldness, the violence, the unfeeling nature of a very evil man In the movie, a knotted rope is used for the attack.
But in the book it's a simple household tool, a carpet beater. Le Chiffre comments that it is easy to cause extreme pain and suffering to a man with the simplest of tools if one knows just how to do it.
The entire scene sent chills down my spine. It is definitely not for the feint of heart. The book has 3 distinct sections -- the baccarat game at the casino, the kidnapping and torture, and the aftermath.
I didn't much care for the first section of the book. I have absolutely no interest in gambling and there is a lot of explanation about the game, the odds, what cards they are playing, etc.
Plus Fleming uses a lot of French, German and Russian words and phrases sprinkled throughout. While that does help create atmosphere, after awhile it just gets old, especially when it's gourmet food, wines, liquors and other details I felt weren't all that important.
For me, it was just a bit overdone. After the baccarat game, the action revved up considerably and the story became much more interesting for me.
The ending is a bit abrupt, but it makes sense that it ends the way it does. After reading this first Bond book, I have a better understanding of the character and why he is the way he is.
I want to read through the entire Bond series this year as part of my goal to read more books that I've always wanted to read, but never actually took the time.
I'm glad I finally read Casino Royale. The book is so much more detailed than the movie. I listened to the audiobook version of Casino Royale from Audible.
I'm glad I chose to listen to the audiobook as as I don't speak French, German or Russian and would have completely flubbed my way through a lot of wine, food, character and place names throughout the entire novel.
At just over 5 hours long, it was a relatively quick listen. Stevens reads at a nice even pace, and did an excellent job with all different accents and voices of characters.
I have hearing loss but was easily able to understand and enjoy this audiobook. Jun 04, Jason Koivu rated it really liked it.
There is a time for every man and this man is of his time. I might go a step further and say, a profession for every man and this man is of his profession, for James Bond is a psychopath and one would need to be in order to do the things his job requires of him.
He is a controllable psychopath. He's not the loner, loose cannon type. He's the loner, well-aimed cannon type. He's not going to fill up his closet with the severed limbs of his random victims, because the voices in his head told him to There is a time for every man and this man is of his time.
He's not going to fill up his closet with the severed limbs of his random victims, because the voices in his head told him to. He's going to fill up his closet with the severed limbs of his victims, because his boss told him to, and the victims won't be random.
Bond objectifies women, often referring to them as "bitch," seeing them only as a sexual commodity, and so many complain that they simply do not like this literary version of Bond.
The movie versions of the books have conditioned people to like James Bond, portraying him as a dashing man's man who takes what he wants and discards the remains when he's done.
It's cold-hearted, but we realize he's got a job to do I can't deny the difference between the two. One is lovable, the other is loathsome.
One is exciting to watch, but is otherwise a boring person. The other is exciting to watch and is an intensely interesting person.
You watch the movies for fun and come away with a warm-fuzzy. You read the books for fun and come away leery of humanity. I'll put it simpler.
Movie Bond likes to make ravaging love to his women. Book Bond has rape fantasies. I don't deny anyone's subjective tastes to like or dislike one over the other.
I see good reason to hate Book Bond. But I wouldn't read Ian Fleming's work for pure fun. He's created a singular character type. James Bond is not a hero.
He's a man paid to do a job. What you think of the man and your opinion of the job is entirely up to you. But real versions of these things have existed in our world and they are horribly fascinating.
View all 15 comments. Jun 25, Duane rated it really liked it Shelves: Everyone's heard of James Bond I'm guessing. I've seen a few of the movies over the years but can't say I'm a big fan; I can take them or leave them.
But I thought I would add a few of the Fleming novels to my read list and I always like to read the debut novel of any author, especially if it's a series.
Casino Royale is not considered one of the best of the novels by critics, and I can't say I concur because I haven't read any of the others yet, but I can understand after reading it.
I gave it Everyone's heard of James Bond I'm guessing. I gave it 4 stars, but 3. About what I expected although there was more "serious" romance than I thought there would be.
Dec 03, Will M. I've been a huge fan of James Bond ever since Casino Royale was shown in theatres. I remember watching it with my family and my dream then was to become just like James Bond.
I watched all the Bond movies that Daniel Craig starred in ever since that Royale movie. I haven't seen the older ones though, and I heard that this novel is similar to the older movies, and thankfully I haven't seen those.
There's this scene in this novel wherein the villain tortured Bond by repeatedly striking his m I've been a huge fan of James Bond ever since Casino Royale was shown in theatres.
While reading the novel, I imagined Bond as Craig, and I don't think I can ever imagine him as someone else.
The novel itself is very short, but substance filled. Is that a thing? I really enjoyed it, and it brought back a lot of memories.
Not that much action I guess, but this is Bond, and I'm pretty biased about him. Deep inside, I'm sure I'd still want to be a spy if given the chance.
I almost forgot, this novel explained why Bond got the status, been wondering my whole life. Not sure if they told it in the movies, but I was 8 years old when I watched it, so I can't really remember much.
He likes to smoke 70 cigarettes a day, take cold baths, and collect cool cars. I'm a huge car enthusiast, I hate cold baths, and I don't smoke, but one day, I still believe that I'll be just like James Bond.
I'm a huge crime-mystery-thriller fan, and I'm a huge Bond fan, so this novel was quite enjoyable for me. I've been deciding between 4 or 5 stars, but I believe I didn't find any flaws that bothered me that much.
Like I said though, I'm really biased when it comes to Bond. Read this if you want a short but satisfying crime novel.
Apr 16, Chad rated it liked it. Surprisingly most of the plot of the movie is in the book minus the parkour scenes in Africa.
Bond is a cold ruthless bastard. It's hard to get past the sexism of the era The book was written in The plot is slow and plodding in places, especially the beginning.
The excitement picks up after the baccarat scene. It's definitely a cold war era spy novel with lots of double crosses and twists and turns.
Definitely not the best Bond novel, but first books for Surprisingly most of the plot of the movie is in the book minus the parkour scenes in Africa.
Definitely not the best Bond novel, but first books for a character rarely are. Oct 31, Councillor rated it did not like it Shelves: Never before have I thought of myself specifically as a fan of the James Bond movies, although I did watch 13 out of overall 24 Bond films.
However, along with the recent release date of "Spectre" which I haven't seen yet , I wanted to discover how Ian Fleming's works influenced the successful movie adaptions and whether or not those movies lived up to the novel's expectations.
Too high, I guess. Some amazing artwork originating from the movie can be found out there on the internet, and doesn't Casino Royale already sound pretty cool?
Sexy double agents in suits with attractive girls surrounding them and villainous gangsters trying to take over the world who will probably end up being defeated after some sort of showdown - it's always the same procedure used in every film, yet all most of them become a huge success.
In contrast to many other Bond movies, I can understand how this success came about since the adaption of "Casino Royale" was pretty well done, but after reading Ian Fleming's original, I am nothing but bored by even hearing the name James Bond.
But who is this James Bond in the novel? Raymond Chandler once said that "James Bond is what every man would like to be, and what every woman would like between her sheets".
So, if every man would like to be sexy, but tending to brutal, rapey behaviour, and protective with women, but degrading them, thinking of himself as superior to the other gender, and murdering numerous other people as a 'hobby' Never before did I encounter a character so unlikeable and abhorrent, and neither do I understand why people like those seem to have so much success with women.
I'm not opposed to unlikeable characters - some of the most interesting protagonists I've read about are anything but likeable - but the image of men and women depicted by Fleming is simply unbearable.
Ian Fleming's writing is certainly not awful. He included some interesting sections reflecting Bond's behaviour, giving his character time to think over his situation, but it did nothing to transform Bond into a character with depth.
The double agent with a strong leaning towards sex with as many women as possible remains the only characteristic James Bond is allowed to have.
But apart from that, the plot itself did not improve the novel's quality. Quite the contrary, the story of Casino Royale was boring. Yes, it was boring as hell.
I caught myself skimming through the last chapters, being more annoyed by this book with every new sentence, and constantly struggling not to put it aside.
There's one advantage, however: I could use this as a bedtime story and thus avoid any potential problems with falling asleep. This was definitely the last Fleming novel I've read.
In conclusion, I can recommend watching the movie and just skipping the novels in order to not waste any time with this. It isn't worth the expenditure of time.
View all 4 comments. Jul 02, BrokenTune rated it liked it Shelves: Here was a target for him, right to hand. 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.
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 "Well, it was not too late.
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.
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? I think it is important to demystify the legend and the franchise - even tho I do enjoy the films! I finally got to read a Bond novel Yes, so far I had not read any of his books, but had religiously seen almost all the movies especially the ones released during the late seventies and the early eighties - my teens and twenties.
I enjoyed the movies for their goofy speed, silly plots, the imperturbability of Bond and all those lovely ladies MMMMM!
But somehow, I never got around to the material where these films took off from. And now I realise that I am too late. There is absolutely no s I finally got to read a Bond novel There is absolutely no suspense: The Soviet Union is long since defunct, so its demonisation is not even objectionable now, only laughable especially when one considers what the "good guys" are doing nowadays.
And Bond's attitude to women should have been objectionable even in those days - he is only interested in how to get them to bed.
In fact, he is interested in finishing the mission quickly so as to get down to the serious business of sexually exploiting the pretty girls in the story.
In this book, Bond comes as surprisingly naive. His only positive contribution is his luck at Baccarat Ian Fleming somehow attributes it to his gambling prowess, but I failed to see the connection.
He does not win a single fight, and lets himself be captured by acting like the hero of a third rate melodrama. In fact, the story moves on despite Bond, not because of him.
However, I liked the human face of the character. James Bond is not the cool and super-efficient murderous automaton of the movies here - he is very human and vulnerable too vulnerable where ladies are involved.
Also, the novel is not entirely black and white with regard to heroes and villains: I have decided to read all the original stories one by one, if only to see how the movies compare with the written word.
View all 3 comments. Sep 16, David Schaafsma rated it liked it Shelves: I got back into Bond from the comics adaptations that are being made by Dynamite, meant to be in keeping with the original tone of Ian Fleming's novels.
I had read some of them over the years, but like most people, when I think of Bond I think of Sean Connery: Suave, sophisticated, urbane, vodka martini shaken, not stirred , fast cars, the latest guns and gadgets, great clothes, and hot women.
My sister and I used to watch all the movies again and again and we assessed the hotness of the women I got back into Bond from the comics adaptations that are being made by Dynamite, meant to be in keeping with the original tone of Ian Fleming's novels.
My sister and I used to watch all the movies again and again and we assessed the hotness of the women and their worthiness for Bond.
The look had to be right, and increasingly, they had to have physical skills in addition to sexual ones of which you actually never saw evidence, really, in the PG movies.
In rereading through listening to Casino Royale today for five hours in the car, I was struck by how dated and sexist the book is with respect to women, but if you like Bond films, even today's versions, you don't expect deeply feminist stories.
Casino Royale is basically divided into three parts: The mainly surprising part is the way Bind falls for Vesper, to a consideration of marriage.
The surprising turn of events in the end may have something to do with Bond's cooly aloof relationship with women in the later works of the series, but my impression is that the first Fleming glimpse of Bond is both tougher the torture, the murders, the unsentimental hard edge to his talk and demeanor and then softer he speaks of love and marriage in a matter of days?!
Is this Romeo and Juliet? Aug 22, Richard Derus rated it liked it. Kind of a time capsule of what was wrong with What redeems it is the sheer balls-out what-did-I-just-watch comedic pace of the thing.
The return of Ursula Andress, this time as superspy Vesper Lynd not to be mistaken for 's Vesper, completely different character , is notable; but the turn to the comedic and ridiculous is signalled by Bond having a child by Mata Hari, yclept Mata Bond.
It was one of the many moments where I rolled my eyes so hard I think I saw my brain. Don't go into the film thinking it's a Bond flick and maybe it's okay Why watch it, then?
Because David Niven is very good at being urbanely nuts. If he arched his eyebrow any higher, he's lose it in his receding hairline.
Because Ursula Andress is classic as Vesper. Because Orson Welles is endearingly baffled as Le Chiffre, seeming not to have seen a script before being shoved in front of the camera.
It's like a Warhol-movie moment. If you're a straight guy, Jacqueline Bisset and Barbara Bouchet are pneumatically endowed.
But Peter Sellers was a major disappointment to me. Clouseau was his only character at that point, I guess. Not Bond, but fun.
View all 13 comments. When one reads these pages one is struck by the description of the character and his actions; he's cold, aloof, calculating, isolated.
He's not a swaggering, macho, seducing machine. Don't get me wrong! Bond likes the ladies, but they have their uses. They are props and they are there for an affair once the case is solved.
He's probably the most attractive man in the room. In Casino Royale Bond is after Le Chiffre, a money man for a communist organization who has embezzled.
High stakes gambling ensues to recoup his losses. Bond challenges him at baccarat. This is a game I've never seen played.
Bond's eventual capture and torture is spot-on the movie. There is also a Vesper, but her story follows a different trail. I'm looking forward to reading all 13 of this series.
Aug 14, Inder rated it did not like it Recommends it for: A-holes who need some tips. Also - incredibly, over-the-top offensive.
Vesper and Bond discuss all of the events that occurred that night and they both get closure from the whole ordeal.
As soon as Bond was fully recovered, they decided to go to a small hotel along the coast and spend a romantic weekend together.
Along the way, Vesper feels like they are being followed and becomes quite nervous. This whole ordeal puts a major strain on their relationship and the awkwardness between the two of them is quite obvious.
Bond reveals to Vesper of his intentions to marry her and they seem to overcome some of their issues. Vesper says she needs some time to work things out in her head and the two part ways for the night.
She revealed that she did fall in love with him and that after he was tortured, she refused to do anything the Russian government commanded.
This is what Bond was thinking after Vesper had been captured by Le Chiffre and his men. Although these views may have been blown out of proportion due to the situation at hand, there are many examples throughout the story where his harsh perception of women has been made obvious.
This is a result of the torture that Le Chiffre inflicted on him; it made him doubt not only himself but his profession as well.
After Bond comes to Mathis with his doubts and with his desire to retire from his profession, this is the advice that Mathis gives in return.
He basically is telling Bond to worry more about individuals than getting lost in matters of religion and morals. We believe this foreshadows the ending of the novel when Bond lets his guard down and suffers the consequences.
In honor of the sixtieth anniversary of the novel, The Telegraph , posted an article in tribute to Ian Fleming and his work. They wrote this in their article,.
We gave this book 4. In general, it was an excellent book with interesting characters, a captivating storyline, and short, easy to read chapters.
The focus of this book is around Agent James Bond and his latest mission from the US government. Another aspect to this book that really got us hooked was its attention to detail.
We also appreciate the element of surprise and mystique that the book seems to have, as we never were successfully able to guess what was going to happen next.
However, there are some downsides to this book that just simply cannot be overlooked. The first is the lack of action that this book contains, which can be disappointing for someone who is expecting the first James Bond book to be a thriller.
The second and final downside to this novel is the amount of French language that is used throughout it.
Some readers may find that extra work to be tedious and annoying. After the service, he worked in finances while writing his first novel, Casino Royale , which introduced the world to the famous spy character: The narrator in this novel does an excellent of describing people and places in such a way that you can actually picture them in your mind.
We learn all about Le Chiffre, a USSR agent who is in a brink of financial crisis because he has lost a significant amount of money due to a poor investment.
In this chapter, we learn about the Head of S the section of the secret service that focuses on any issues with the Soviet Union.
The beginning of this chapter is all about Bond and his tendencies. The beginning of this chapter is a history of the Royale-les-Eaux and other casinos in the area.
In this chapter, prior to the explosion, we meet Bond walking the streets back to his hotel. He notices two men in straw hats standing quietly under a tree and thinks the scene is quite peculiar.
Chapter seven is the first time we truly get to see Bond in action on the tables. At the beginning, they have a lovely time and their personalities seem to complement each other quite well.
We discovered that someone was willing to pay these three men 2 million francs if they were successfully able kill Bond. Read our review to find out what you can learn from this book.
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