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209 of 217 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Suivi"
Bond...James Bond is the name. And the game is extreme Baccarat. Ian Fleming's 1953 novel - premier introduction of the post WWII, fantastical cold war intrigues of Her Majesty's Secret Service's Master Spy, Agent 007, Bond - is a riveting read.
I first read CASINO ROYALE, as well as a few others in the series, while in my early teens - back when I'd only read...
Published on June 17, 2003 by A. Casalino

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48 of 60 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bond's Rough Beginnings
Like many, I have long enjoyed the Bond films as a kind of escapist entertainment, excusing its less than "enlightened" view of women as first a reflection of the times and then later as a knowing skewering of the attitudes of those times. (This isn't to say that I haven't appreciated the "Bond women," which makes me something of a hypocrite, I guess.) The recent movies...
Published on October 14, 2006 by M. L. Asselin


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209 of 217 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Suivi", June 17, 2003
By 
A. Casalino "V^^^^^V" (Downers Grove, IL USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Casino Royale (Hardcover)
Bond...James Bond is the name. And the game is extreme Baccarat. Ian Fleming's 1953 novel - premier introduction of the post WWII, fantastical cold war intrigues of Her Majesty's Secret Service's Master Spy, Agent 007, Bond - is a riveting read.
I first read CASINO ROYALE, as well as a few others in the series, while in my early teens - back when I'd only read stories in order to immerse myself in the plot - to find out what happens next, essentially - not caring a jot about writing style, descriptive detail, or character development. Back then, I found it curious that the Bond of the books was so different from the Bond of the movies (THE SPY WHO LOVED ME and MOONRAKER being the contemporary releases of that time.) I wondered, for instance, why the James Bond in the movies didn't have black hair and why, in the books, he wasn't funny at all...Indeed - well, so much for my pre-adolescent review.
Now, more than 20 years later, indulging on a whim, I'm reading the series again. And I must say I am thoroughly enjoying it - but not for the same reasons I had when I was young. I'm actually nearly through it in its entirety - and must say that, though they're all very good, CASINO ROYALE has a palpable raw depth rarely visible in the rest. I can now see and appreciate the fine quality of the writing, the extraordinary sculpturing of an ideal action hero, and the magical lure that has begotten the most well-known, long-standing film series of all time. And, yes, these books are great fun!
"M," head of the British Secret Service, hands Commander Bond what appears on the surface to be a posh assignment: thwarting an enemy Russian spy, Le Chiffre, in his attempt to win an exorbitant 50 million francs - KGB funds which he had lost through an ill-advised investment in a chain of brothels. Agent 007 lives an intensely hard lifestyle, and he's known to be the best gambler in the Service. He's therefore assigned to break Le Chiffre's bank at the baccarat tables of the Casino Royale, in the French Riviera.
SMERSH, the Russian Secret Service in charge of all diplomatic killings for the Fatherland, is right on to Le Chiffre. Though he's very desperate, Le Chiffre happens to be a first rate baccarat player. He plans on winning that 50 million francs at any cost, employing a couple of potent assassins enforced to help see it through.
Though James Bond must face Le Chiffre as a force of one at the baccarat table, he has his own team of assistants: Rene' Mathis of the French branch, American CIA agent Felix Leiter, and the beautiful Vesper Lynd of the S branch of British Intelligence. Vesper is officially the very first Bond girl - and she utterly mesmerizes our master spy: he sees her as an entity of wonder.
Truly, this story does not own any of the qualities that could easily be made into a movie. There's plenty of tension, plenty of action, and quite a lot of romance to boot. However the tension is mainly in the climatic card game, which, minus the author's excellent descriptive prose, would appear tedious on the screen; the action is definitely intense, but includes a harrowing torture scene which should not be witnessed by the squeamish; and, well, without the advantage of being able to follow the thoughts of our hero, a film version of this story might easily cause the romance to appear as carelessly thrown in.
Vesper's an intriguing Bond Girl, though. Her fateful role exacts a twisted surprise ending, which inevitably sets the tone and atmosphere of Bond's future relationships with women. This is perhaps the only book of the series wherein Bond takes a good, hard look at the moral portents of his own place in his profession - sort of a teasing glimpse into the window of his heart - but only that peek - as it seems thereafter shut fast and hard. Keen, sharp, dark and moody: James Bond remains ever the quintessential Man of Mystery.
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71 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enter James Bond, December 28, 2000
By 
IA (San Francisco, California United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Casino Royale (Audio CD)
It's hard to believe the book is nearly 50 years old but it is. This novel marks the entrance of James Bond into the world. The real Bond doesn't have much to do with his movie counterparts--he's colder, more ruthless and has no charm or humor. He's also a deeper character. 10 years later at the end of the Bond cycle he would grow and become more humorous and personable, (See "You Only Live Twice") but here meeting him may be like taking a cold shower if you're only familiar with Connery, Moore, and etc.
As the prototype novel of the Bond series "Casino Royale" has less action and more concentrated violence than the future books. Its mood is claustrophobic but it's grasp of defined character is somewhat airy. Bond is not quite fully fleshed out--what we can grasp is that he believes himself a professional but often loses or comes close in both love and business. He speaks like a misoygnist but falls very badly for women; he plays cards like a pro but needs to be bailed out. The other characters are also compelling--Leiter and Mathis are agreeable national stereotypes, while LeChiffre is the first of Fleming's great villains--subtly monstrous and grotesque to the point of being king devils, not people. Fleming never wrote a convincing female character until he spoke in first person for the heroine of "The Spy Who Loved Me," but Vesper Lynd is one dimensional in a non-shameful way.
Fleming's style isn't yet fully formed, but it's still evident. No one has written better scenes of torture (And this undoubtedly one of the most harrowing torture scenes you'll ever read) or card games than Fleming, and as an action writer on the whole he was undoubtedly a master, and deserves to be acknowledged as one. At the moment his literary reputation is quite low. Fleming was hardly the reactionary super-evil crypto-fascist, rabid-racist, hyper-misognyist, ultra-snob that some have claimed him to be (In books full of astoundingly stupid errors and lazy readings), and the coming years will hopefully force many to fully note his many flaws and his considerable strengths. He deserves the same ranking as Chandler or Hammett--minor artists, but artists none-the-less.
The biggest difference from the later novels is the degree of moral exploration Bond undergoes. The novel's supposed climax is engineered to come very early, and Fleming daringly gives an entire chapter for Bond to afterwards think--he actively questions his job and the role he plays in the entire Free World/Soviet struggle. Beyond that he questions the nature of evil. After CR, Bond never attempts this sort moral exploration again, and the future novels as a result aren't as deep. There's a reason for this....
Fleming's master stroke was his realization that a convincing adventure tale in the spy genre could not arise from the conflict between the ideologies of the Soviets and the West. It was too much of a gray area and Fleming did not want to be a political writer--he wanted to create myths and fairy tales for adults, and he turned out to be the best writer of the century in doing so. So Fleming decided that Bond would not fight against Communist spies but rather the organization of terror that made them spy--evil fantasy villains--so he created SMERSH as Bond's opponent. He would use them as villains until the lessening of cold war tension enabled him to create an even less political replacement--SPECTRE.
The first part of the novel thus details Bond fighting against Communist agents, but Fleming builds the climax early. Afterwards he builds another tale dealing with the ramifications of the first. During this he has Bond question his role, and by the end, with its shocker finish, Bond has renounced the role he has questioned and decided to from now on go after the force that makes spies spy. Having created an all-purpose group of fairy-tale villains for Bond to fight in future novels, Fleming has no more need for any further moral exploration by Bond--the knight doesn't bother wondering whether he should slay the dragon.
That I think is why Fleming's friend Raymond Chandler always said that he had never bettered "Casino Royale" and to an extent I agree--the novel marks the point where Bond is in between the realistic world of betrayals and moral ambiguity and the thrilling world of surrealistically evil villains and larger-than-life exloits. Bond never returns to this point again, and we are deprived of the pleasure of seeing him walk that edge.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE FIRST IN THE JAMES BOND SERIES, December 9, 2006
By 
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Now that Casino Royale has been released as a movie I decided to reread the book to see if it held my interest as several readings before, and yes it did.

When Ian Fleming set pen to paper to write about things he knew well, having been involved during WWII with such matters, he tailored the figure of Bond on things he not only knew well but fashioned Bond after many things he, Fleming, spent his entire life pursuing. While Bond is not an exact clone of Fleming he is most certainly somewhat Ian Fleming's near shadow.

This first book not only establishes a style and pattern of writing for the other 13 books in the Bond series, but sets a new enemy before us: SMERSH, short for SMYERT SHPIONAM which translates "Death to Spies". And in the case of James Bond in this first book he gets the ideogram for SMERSH cut by a knife into the palm of his hand. As Bond would later say in another book, "he got the point".

The location of the story is Royale-les-Eaux and casino, situated as a resort in N.E. France. Since the book was first published in 1953 that may be an approximate time for the action, and it most certainly has to be a few years after WWII from references made by Bond. Quite a bit of the story is set at the card tables within the casino involving the card game baccarat. Other than 'M' there are only 5 main characters: James Bond, Vesper Lynd, Rene Mathis, Felix Leiter, and one of Fleming's most interesting creations: Le Chiffre or the cypher. And had it not been for the intervention of SMERSH, Le Chiffre had the best of Bond and would have killed Bond in this first novel; Le Chiffre certainly came close enough. Sub characters concern a group of Bulgars or Bulgarians who are hired hit men trying to use several camera bombs to blow James into tiny, little pieces. The reader's interest is held to all of this as the story unfolds, what could have happened 50 years back is quite plausible yet today, too.

As Raymond Benson states in synopsis of this first James Bond novel: "Most atmospheric of all novels; most serious and violent of all novels; Bond at his coldest and most ruthless.". I would also add as the reader arrives at the end of the book, a most philosophic James Bond, and through his philosophy as he speaks to Rene Mathis, James gives us his reasons to continue on with the "00" number. He explains that his number is 007 and the "OO" number is only given to agents after they have killed two people in cold blood prior to becoming an agent. When he begins his lengthly philosophy Bond seems bent on resigning from the secret service, but by dialogue's end, he has convinced himself he must, however, take on this new evil: SMERSH.

And as all of us having both the books and DVDs know quite well, it has been and continues to be, one glorious and bumpy adventure, one after the other.

If you are a newcomer to James Bond and decide to read the books, and that is really the only way to come know Bond, it is advisable to read them in the order written. Though they stand independently, one from another, and can be read as such, reading in sequence will allow your knowledge of things "Bondian" a gradual growth. As in this first novel we find that Mr. Bond wears suits that cost $6000.00. Now in the 1950s that could amount to 2 year's salary for most factory workers! Just one of many other inside items never finding its way to the silver screen.

Good reading, shaken but never stirred.

Semper Fi.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Richly Textured Novel and Period Piece, November 20, 2006
This is not only Ian Fleming's first James Bond novel but one of his best. It is richly textured, well written, clearly defines the Bond character and has survived not only as good literature but as a great period piece of the 50s. It also gives us a glimpse of the often unseen smoke filled cocktailed night life found in Europe's plush casinos of that era. Clearly, James Bond is a worldly character that lives and breaths in this unseen world described by Ian Fleming in this novel. James Bond can easily adapt to any locale or situation, size it up and endure. He is both innovative and resourceful and he must rely on his talents and instincts to survive. This is a very good Bond novel. The interestingly designed retro cover too adds to the ambiance.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Enigma That Is Bond, November 18, 2006
By 
Slokes (Greenwich, CT USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Casino Royale (James Bond Novels) (Paperback)
In 1953 Dwight Eisenhower became president, the hydrogen bomb debuted, Stalin died, the Rosenbergs were executed, and a new hero arrived in time for the iciest phase of the Cold War. Ruthless, hard, loner-by-choice James Bond debuted that year in Ian Fleming's "Casino Royale," as someone much different than he was in decades to come.

This Bond doesn't employ gadgets, doesn't shoot his gun, and has odd feelings about women. Meeting one here, he notes in her eyes "a touch of ironical disinterest which, to his annoyance, he found he would like to shatter, roughly." Yeah, I can totally see Roger Moore in that role!

Bond's lack of likeability is a key and singular strength in "Casino Royale," set in the mythical French port town of Royale-les-Eaux where Bond has been sent to outduel a KGB operative named Le Chiffre - at cards. If Bond's successful, a key Soviet puppet operation in France will go down in bankruptcy and scandal.

As others note in these reviews, not much happens in "Casino Royale." The action scenes are brief and rendered in a low-key, realistic manner. Fleming keeps things humming not with the "Fleming sweep" of a long drawn-out set of varied action sequences that were a hallmark of his later work, but with verisimilitude and an appreciation of his main character's tortured psychology. You smell the late-night sweat around the tables of boule and chemin-de-fer; feel the hangover Bond has trying to acclimate himself in a den of lust and greed.

Fleming's writing would never be quite this good again, in part because he no longer needed to sell Bond to the audience and in part because he treated later Bond volumes as a chore and a joke. Bond in later volumes seemed to mutate from this character into something softer and jollier. Fleming found the metahumor of Bond, and the movies, when they came, added more. So this is the one chance to see Bond as someone serious, a prisoner of the Cold War he ostensibly serves, not without questions even after enduring horrific torture at the hands of Le Chiffre, about what makes him right and others wrong.

"Surround yourself with people, my dear James," suggests a friend. "They are easier to fight for than principles."

But Bond follows this advice to his peril. The last third of the novel loses many, as the main business is long concluded. But it's here that Fleming works his black magic most effectively upon the reader, and on Bond, who finds himself captivated by a woman named Vesper who speaks in riddles and denies him her deeper self even after they've made love. "People are islands," she tells him. "They don't really touch."

Of course, Bond is a perfect counterpart to Vesper that way. Fleming imbues "Casino Royale" with a sort of romantic fatalism that hangs in the air long after the basic but exciting story is done with. It's the same sort of fatalism with which many viewed the world around them in 1953, when the Cold War did not bode so well for the Free World.

Things changed, worldviews brightened, and Bond became a happy bounder with a taste for the good life while that dark core within him, plumbed so well here, would only be hinted at from time to time after. "Casino Royale" may not be the most enjoyable Bond book, but none can match it for its raw, staying power.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So your a Bond movie fan and you want to start reading Ian Flemings original novel???-a review for beginners!!, March 10, 2006
By 
Shamrock (Washington D.C.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Casino Royale (James Bond Novels) (Paperback)
Long before the gadgets, the babes, the multi-million dollar franchise there was a small little novel written by a bored ex-intelligence officer that piqued the interest of the American public in the 50s. This novel Casino Royale{and it's following novels} even today still represents the truest form of the character known famously around as agent 007...James Bond.

This review is geared more toward people who are more familliar with the movie franchise and are about to take their first plung into reading one of the Fleming novels.

Here a few things you should know and prepare yourself for before reading:

1. You have to keep in mind that these novels, were written mostly as short stories rather than full novels. You will find that story lines tend to happen rapidly and that there isn;t as much dwelling on sequences as you would have in a full novel. You could probably finish Casino Royal in one reading if your up to it. This could be jarring to some people, but trust me it will be worth it.

2. These novels were also written in the 50s and by an elderly British gentleman as well. Hence you will find dated references and some jarringly politically incorrect moments. Don;t be surprised if you get offended by a phrase her or there.

3. A lot of Flemings life and own experiences make up the framework of a lot of the story as well as the characters makeup. You'll get several references to Jamaica, chemin de faire and proper cuisine---all of which are pleasures that Fleming himself enjoyed.

4. The Bond of the novels is a radically different character than the Bond of the films. The novel Bond is more human, a misogynist and somewhat of a depressed character. You tend to see more of a tortured soul in this character

5. These novels can tend to be a lot more darker and violent than the movies. There is more of a sinister feel to Bond's profession.
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48 of 60 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bond's Rough Beginnings, October 14, 2006
By 
This review is from: Casino Royale (James Bond Novels) (Paperback)
Like many, I have long enjoyed the Bond films as a kind of escapist entertainment, excusing its less than "enlightened" view of women as first a reflection of the times and then later as a knowing skewering of the attitudes of those times. (This isn't to say that I haven't appreciated the "Bond women," which makes me something of a hypocrite, I guess.) The recent movies have tried to capture some of the kinetic excitement of contemporary action flicks, while giving at least a token nod to the change in contemporary social mores by losing some of the sexism of the early films (e.g., "M" is now played by a woman). The first films, though, are enjoyable, too, for reflecting some of the popular sensibilities of the Cold War and of the 1950s lounge culture. The hero is the archetypal 50s playboy: an epicurean man of action and big appetites who is often sardonic and self-absorbed.

As the first Bond novel, CASINO ROYALE exhibits some of the traits of a first novel: without being too clumsy about it, Fleming introduces the essential elements of the Bond stories: Bond himself, "M,", "Q," SMERSH, Felix Leiter, Miss Moneypenny, and the whole Bond-lite version of the world of espionage. You get a sense that Fleming is still working out a style. The writing borrows from pulp fiction, and rarely rises above it. The novel draws fairly well a picture of the main character, James Bond, though the character has little depth at all. We don't really *know* Bond, we just observe him, and sometimes experience his own, usually shallow, thinking. He's sort of like a shark: dangerous, menacing, cruel, and single minded; he acts quickly when he needs to, but otherwise moves deliberately. Unlike a shark, though, he is particular about what he drinks and eats (and smokes). What might strike the casual Bond movie fan, though, is Bond's apparent lack of interest in women--certainly, at least, when there's work to be done. This is not the Bond who's jumping into bed with a bevy of Bond beauties at every turn.

The plot is simple; most of the action takes place around a card table. The scene played around the game Baccarat, however, are surprisingly effective. Fleming explains the game, and the tension created by the circumstances of Bond's particular games is palpable. The actual "action" scenes, such as they are, are less intense--this includes the de rigueur car chase.

There are two elements of the novel that are particularly disturbing. One should be aware of these elements in reading this novel, and especially in permitting children to read it. One is that the strongest violence in the novel surrounds the torture that Bond undergoes. Though 1950s sensitivities prevent the writing from being very explicit, the scene is nonetheless intense and with deep, underlying sexual overtones.

Second is the novel's pervasive misogyny. I mention above that the reader is not presented in CASINO ROYALE with the promiscuous Bond. No, women do not rise even to the level of one-dimensional sex objects. Rather, women in the CASINO ROYALE world are what distract men from their work, and when things go wrong in that work are usually the cause. The one love affair that Bond has, though apparently genuine as far as he is concerned, is largely driven by his need to discover that torture has not made him impotent.

What I found particularly interesting is how Fleming explains, late in the novel, why his Bond novel is not a traditional espionage novel: it does not focus on actual spying, but on the threat that causes it. "The business of espionage could be left to the white-collar boys. They could spy and catch the spies. He would go after the threat behind the spies, the threat that made them spy." Fleming's Bond is not Le Carre's Smiley: Bond, his apparent intellect notwithstanding, is out to eliminate the threat, not the spying.

CASINO ROYALE, with the caveats given above, is an enjoyable read: there are fine elements to the story, and it is a kind of time capsule for an earlier popular spy fiction, one that leads later to a more sophisticated, and more intellectual engaging, body of espionage literature.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't just rewatch the movies... read the original books!, May 31, 2005
By 
This review is from: Casino Royale (James Bond Novels) (Paperback)
I'm a completist, and I tend to be a chronological completist. When I come across something new, I dive right in at the beginning. Imagine my surprise when, as a grade-school student, I bought the first Rush LP and realized it sounded nothing like the other Rush I'd heard and enjoyed. The experience reading this book, the first James Bond novel by Ian Fleming, isn't entirely the same, but there are some interesting similarities.

When considering the James Bond canon, many start with the movies, often forgetting the original source material: Fleming's novels. Odd that the man also wrote Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, but not so odd: Hence, Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang? The James Bond mythos begins not with "Dr. No" the movie but with "Casino Royale" the novel, and it is here that the character is established, his mission set, and the many aspects of his world slowly unfolded.

And it's a wonderful read, despite the movies. Read them as independent. Forget Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, etc. -- and take James Bond as Fleming offers him. He's even more intelligent. More wordly. More skilled. More erotic. More calculated. More romantic. And more compelling. Gone are the cartoony, gadget-driven plotlines and guy-gets-girl interoperative liaisons. And we end up with a character perhaps as hardboiled as Quarry but not as cartoony as Mack Bolan... much less the silver-screen Bond.

Drop the movies. Pick up the novels. Read them starting here, No. 1. Allow Fleming to develop the real James Bond in your mind. Allow yourself to forget the existing cinematic plotlines and instead revel in the original source material that developed those in some ways pastiche films. You may think you know the extent of Bond's world. Not so. Not so.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good first start, February 4, 2003
By 
Amazon Customer "enzion" (San Luis Obispo, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Casino Royale (James Bond Novels) (Paperback)
"Then the enigmatic cards would be burnt or defaced, a shroud would be draped over the table, and the grass green battlefield would soak up the blood of its victims and refresh itself."
So describes the tale created by the James Bond writer Ian Fleming. Like many individuals, my interest in the James Bond movies led to the search of the books that helped create the movies I grew up watching. With so many books to choose from, I decided to start reading the books in order of their publication. This is something I highly recommend. Casino Royale helps set the tone of the future books that follow. In this novel James Bond's task is to out gamble Le Chiffre, a paymaster of the murder organization SMERSH. This leads to a few action packed sequences as well as a highly intense gambling scene which is highly remarkable due to the size of the novel (about 150 pages). I feel that this novel offered a more realistic version of James Bond when compared to movie version which everyone is familiar with. Ian Fleming's James Bond is a person who depends fully on luck and often falls into deep despair because of the turn out of his luck. I also feel that this novel was helpful because it allowed me to see into Bond's mind and read his thoughts. Reading this novel allowed me to know his character on a more personal level. If you have any interest in the James Bond movies, I highly recommend that you start reading the novels and that you start with Casino Royale.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite simply, a Fun Book to Read, February 11, 2007
By 
presypclhs (New Jersey USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Casino Royale (James Bond Novels) (Paperback)
Whether you are a fan of the Bond movies or you enjoy a good spy novel, Ian Fleming's Casino Royale is an excellent place to start. The novel served as the worlds very first introduction to iconoclastic superspy James Bond who is easily one of the most recognized fictional characters in recent memory. This one book spawned a movie franchise currently 21 films strong spanning over four decades, as well as a number of independent films and a massive collection of non-Fleming novels. If that is not enough reason to give Casino Royale a try, I will give you a few more.

Although a bit outdated at this point, the Cold War setting provides a great introduction to James Bond. The story finds the veteran agent on his way to the casino in hopes of foiling the SMERSH (basically the Soviet version of the CIA) agent Le Chiffre's plan to regain SMERSH money he mistakenly invested. The goal is to force Le Chiffre to seek sanctuary with the British or American secret services in exchange for information. Bond, the best gambler in the secret service, is sent to break Le Chiffre's bank.

The story starts off a little slow, filling the reader in on background information about some of the important characters and institutions, but quickly picks up pace and does not slow down for a page. Fleming does not waste words. His descriptions are only as detailed as they need to be. Instead of devoting pages and pages to detailing a characters appearance or whatever, Fleming provides some broad brush strokes and lets the reader fill in the details. This allows the reader to develop a personal connection with the characters, letting us create a bond with Bond (that pun really was not intended) and the other prominent characters that makes us truly care about the outcome.

The action scenes are minimal but efficient. The lengthy gun fights in the movies are much more restrained and, in truth, much more realistic. A secret agent would try to remain secret, not just walk in with guns blazing. Casino Royale is a gritty novel. It is no way a glorification of secret agency but instead a mere description of it, showing the reader what life is like for an agent.

Fleming's characters are quite intriguing. Le Chiffre is a truly hateable villain whose cruelty will make most any reader cringe. Vesper, the lead female, is a delightful character whose wit makes you laugh and whose melancholy is, at times, palpable. And of course Bond is a truly admirable character that will appeal to any reader. He's tough, intelligent, courageous, persistent and, above all, very human. Bond's humanity is often lost in the films, yet in Casino Royale he can be wrong and he can lose.

In conclusion, there is a whole lot to like in Casino Royale. A fast-paced, intense plot, likeable heroes and detestable villains, strong but brief writing (brevity is, after all, the soul of wit). If you are looking for the novelization of the recent film adaptation, however, you may be disappointed. There is no tremendous chase scene to start off the movie or a brutal fight in a stairwell against a man with a machette. But there truly is a whole lot to like. Quite simply, its a fun book to read.
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Casino Royale (James Bond Novels)
Casino Royale (James Bond Novels) by Ian Fleming (Paperback - August 27, 2002)
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