Casino Royale

Title: Casino Royale (James Bond #1)

Author: Ian Fleming

Reader: Simon Vance

Category: Thriller

Audio published: February 9, 2011 by Blackstone Audio (First published 1953)

Rating: 2½ out of 5 stars

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Purchase: Audible | Amazon

Introducing James Bond: charming, sophisticated, handsome, chillingly ruthless, and licensed to kill. This, the first of Ian Flemings tales of Secret Agent 007, finds Bond on a mission to neutralize a lethal, high-rolling Russian operative called Le Chiffre by ruining him at the baccarat table, forcing his Soviet spymasters to retire him. It seems that Lady Luck has sided with 007 when Le Chiffre hits a losing streak. But some people just refuse to play by the rules, and Bonds attraction to a beautiful female agent leads him to disaster and to an unexpected savior.

I think I may have been somewhat spoiled by the Bond movies. The James Bond in Casino Royale is just not the sexy, dangerous 007 I know. Bond in this does not making the smartest decisions, lets his guard down too easily for the girl. He’s also a sexist pig. I’m sorry, but what kind of man even thinks  that making love to a certain woman will always “have the sweet tang of rape?” I think my jaw dropped open at that. Sexism is one thing- that’s just wrong.

I have to say I enjoyed the gambling part of the book, learning how to play baccarat, seeing if bond would win. The stuff that came after, really supposed to be the exciting part, was a little annoying for me and I can’t really put my finger on why. Maybe because Bond was not at all in control, of his emotions or the situation.

Simon Vance did a wonderful job reading the story, as I expected. I was amused by the flat American voices. I don’t think of Americans as having an accent, of course, but listening to Vance with all the British characters, the odd American really stands out.

I’ll be interested in seeing how the Bond character develops through the series.

James Bond Series

  • Casino Royale
  • Live and Let Die
  • Moonraker
  • Diamonds Are Forever
  • From Russia, with Love
  • Dr. NoIan
  • Goldfinger
  • For Your Eyes Only
  • Thunderball
  • The Spy Who Loved Me
  • On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
  • You Only Live Twice
  • The Man with the Golden Gun
  • Octopussy and The Living Daylights