Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Casino Royale (James Bond Novels) Mass Market Paperback – August 27, 2002
|New from||Used from|
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
From Library Journal
The allure of James Bond was best described by Raymond Chandler, who insisted that 007 is "what every man would like to be and what every woman would like to have between her sheets." Who can argue with that? This month marks the 40th anniversary of the film release of Dr. No, which was the first Bond adventure to make the big screen, and two big coffee-table books are being published to honor the occasion (LJ 10/1/02, p. 96). Shockingly, Fleming's original novels have gone out of print, but Penguin here reproduces a trio of the British secret agent's early outings, released in 1952, 1958, and 1959, respectively, sporting stylish cover art. These stories were racy for the nifty Fifties but are quite tame by today's standards. Still, they can be fun.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Written during the height of the Cold War, Fleming's Bond novels were based on actual people and operations that Fleming had first hand knowledge of because of his highly placed role in British Naval Intelligence during WW II.
Rather than judge Casino Royale, or any of Fleming's Bond novels, by what you've seen in the movies, instead first learn about the real Operation Goldeneye; the real Operation Tracer; the real Operation Ruthless; the real No. 30 Commando Unit; the real Special Operations Executive; the real 10th Light Flotilla; the real "Smyert Shpionam"; the real Dusko Popov. The tradecraft, operations, units, events, and involved individuals were the very real WW II sources that Ian Fleming used in creating Bond and the world in which he moved. In chapter four of "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy", John Le Carre also alludes to a small group similar to Fleming's 00s as: "...about a dozen men, they worked solo, there to handle the hit-and-run jobs that were too risky" for Secret Intelligence Service agents stationed abroad.
Fleming's romanticized works have a ring of authenticity recognizable to anyone familiar with or who may have participated in events that occurred during those times. Read Casino Royale; travel back to a time when French was the only international language; a time when Joseph Stalin and the Soviet NKVD represented a very real threat; a time when people feared that threat; and a time when the governments of the Free World had very real people on the payroll like Fleming's fictional James Bond to counter that threat. Perhaps you'll see the same things in it that caused the first three printings to sell out quickly in the U.K., and that later made it a favorite of a Harvard graduate who happened also to be President of the United States.
At the time of Casino Royale (1951), Bond is about 30 years old and has held the 00 number for about six months. He earns the U.S. equivalent of about $5,600 annually (or about $50,000 in 2016 value), and drives a supercharged 1930 Bentley coupe that can reach 100 mph on a good day.
He spends what he earns. He knows that statistically he will have at least 10, probably 20, and as many as 30 very tough assignments before the mandatory 00 retirement age of 45. Too many. He knows the odds of his surviving the coming ten years are slim to none. And that depresses him. How do I know? Ian Fleming tells us so in Chapter One of "Moonraker" (third book in the series).
That's the Bond that Ian Fleming created. Much more interesting and gritty and real and human. That's the Bond Sean Connery portrayed until the Hollywood idiots ran amok after Goldfinger. It's the Bond Daniel Craig resurrected until the new crop of Hollywood fools screwed it up again with November 2015's Spectre.
I'll stick with the books, thank you very much!
Fleming's writing style, while perhaps not rising to the expectations of modern pedantic poseur literary critics, is easy to read and follow. As would be expected from a successful journalist writing for educated U.K. citizens of the 1950s, his audience would have been quite comfortable with his style; his adding color by use of some French terms and phrases in a novel that, after all, takes place in France; and whom would not have needed sub-titles to understand their context. I didn't find that aspect disruptive at all to the flow of the narrative.
If you want entertaining glitz, stick with the movies; if want something more, read the books! I've enjoyed them all immensely in the context of the time period in which they take place.
Bond fans may want to check out flemingsbond.com, a treasure trove of factual information upon which Fleming relied in writing the Bond novels, and "Ian Fleming's James Bond: Annotations and Chronologies" by John Griswald.
I liked the novel very much and felt it was a good, but not great novel. I purchased both the Kindle and the Audiobook. I tried, at times, to only listen, but had to keep going back to the Kindle because of all modern of the foreign words, primarily French. I don't feel the Audiobook narrator, Dan Stevens, did a really good narration.
This was the first Ian Fleming novel I have read and I have already purchased the next one, "Live And Let Die". Thank You...