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Casino Royale (James Bond (Original Series) #1)

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  28,701 ratings  ·  1,971 reviews
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.
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Paperback, 181 pages
Published August 27th 2002 by Penguin Books (first published January 1st 1953)
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I Only Watched the Movie!
41st out of 824 books — 4,684 voters
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The MOVIE was BETTER than the BOOK
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Community Reviews

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Grace Tjan


To: M

From : Jane Moneypenny

Subject: An assessment of Agent 007's conduct during operation “Casino Royale”


Dear Sir,

I am aware of concerns raised by certain members of the Service regarding Agent 007’s performance during the abovementioned operation. Therefore, I would like to offer my personal assessment, based on the debriefing reports and my own long familiarity with the subject.

It is true that Agent 007 had somewhat compromised the operation by letting himself getting caught by the Target, oth
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Julian Meynell
Spoilers

This will be a review of not just Casino Royale, but of the James Bond books in general. I think that there is a good argument to be made, that the Bond books are the most misunderstood books of all prominent books, because the very subtext that accounts for their enduring appeal is buried so deeply that it just passes most people by.

The best way to understand the James Bond books is to understand the heroines of the books. These heroines are often characterized as being glamorous women
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Jason Koivu
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
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Will M.
I've been a huge fan of James Bond ever since Casino Royale(2006) 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
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Carmen
Jun 17, 2014 Carmen rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of pulp stories
Shelves: fiction
Some interesting facts that we learn in this book:

James Bond smokes 70 cigarettes per day.

James Bond loves his car.

James Bond likes to sleep naked.

This is the first Bond novel (1953) and it's a doozy. We have SMERSH, gambling, kidnapping, torture, intrigue, double-crossing, and cackling villains.

Bond is set up with millions of British pounds and told to go to France and out-gamble the evil Le Chiffre, a holocaust survivor with no "Christian name" and, supposedly, no memory of his life before age
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Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: well, why not? 3* of five

Oops! Forgot one. This is 1967's film version I'm discussing, not the book, which was *awful*. That's not fair...it's not horrid writing, it's just so very very very dated and not in a good way. Kind of a time capsule of what was wrong with 1954.

Ya know...this film version was pretty damn lame, too. What redeems it is the sheer balls-out what-did-I-just-watch comedic pace of the thing. David Niven is LUDICROUS as Bond, but good as this character who isn't Bond bu
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K.D. Absolutely
Oct 04, 2010 K.D. Absolutely rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006-2010)
Shelves: 1001-core, spy
My name is Bond. James Bond.

This is my first Ian Fleming's (1908-1964) novel about MI6 agent called James Bond. My dad used to bring us, his kids, to 007 movies when we were kids and I can still remember all the expensive cars exploding on the screen, shapely Bond girls in their bikinis, the high-powered guns and James Bond running, being chased by bad guys, escaping death in a millisecond precision.

I am heartened to know that Casino Royale, first published in 1953, was the first James Bond book
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Arwen56
Ma che triste questo romanzo. :-(

Vabbè, partiamo dall’inizio. Non avevo mai letto nessun libro di Ian Fleming, nonostante il fatto di aver visto moltissimi film tratti dalla serie di “007”. La molla è scattata due giorni fa, quando una conoscente mi ha prestato il DVD di “Casino Royale”, nel quale il celebre agente è interpretato da Daniel Craig, che sarebbe questo qui:



Già un bel vedere di suo, direi. :-D
[Arwen, per favore, ricomponiti.]
(Ok, ok, come non detto.)

Dicevo … ho guardato “Casino Royal
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Evan Leach
Every legend has a beginning. For Agent 007, that came in Ian Fleming’s 1953 novel Casino Royale.

img: James Bond

Now, I’ve been a fan of the various Bond movies for years, but I’d never tackled one of the novels until now. Casino Royale is the first of 14 Bond novels and story collections that Fleming produced, and it’s a little rough around the edges (as one might expect from a rookie novelist). The prose is not bad by any means, but it’s nothing fancy. More puzzling is the structure. I remember watching the m
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Robert
James Bond is as much of a weapon as his Beretta 418, although he’s more of an agent by chance than by choice, a weapon as sleek as his 1933 Bentley convertible. He has his vices: gambling, martinis, cigarettes, and sex. Ian Fleming may not have painted women in the most favorable light, may have used a different writing style for a thriller than I’m accustomed to—the agency brief, plenty of inner dialogue and thoughts, and only a dusting of intense action sequences—but this was an enjoyable rea ...more
Madeline
Call it a guilty pleasure, this book was just fun to read, mostly because I a) love Bond movies anyway and b) delight in sexist jokes, which made it easier for me to read Bond's anti-feminist rants and just giggle to myself. Here's one of my favorites, when Vesper Lynd gets herself kidnapped by the bad guys and Bond has to take the trouble to chase after them:
"This was just what he had been afraid of. These blithering women who thought they could do a man's work. Why the hell couldn't they just
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Inder
Aug 24, 2008 Inder rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: A-holes who need some tips.
Recommended to Inder by: Not Steve.
So. So. Bad. Also - incredibly, over-the-top offensive. Bond wants the somewhat-withholding Vesper because he knows that making love to her will always "have the sweet tang of rape"??

W.T.F.?

Misogynist zingers aside, it's at least 70 pages too long. When it wasn't repulsive and offensive, it was really boring. I'm not saying it didn't have its fun moments, but they were surprisingly few and far between.

Raymond Chandler is quoted on the back as saying, "Bond is what every man would like to be and
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Jacques Bromberg
Fleming's first James Bond novel is better than brain candy, though it is a quick one-sitting read. Notice how the characters are characterized by their ciragettes -- Felix Leiter only smokes Chesterfields, Bond smokes a Turkish/Balkan blend made by Morelands on Grosvenor Street, Le Chiffre smokes Caporals and Gauloises. Curiously, I found Bond's misogyny in the beginning and his sensitivity at the end a little overwrought, but I liked the Vesper Lynd character much more than her counterpart in ...more
Nikki
I give Casino Royale a low rating because it wasn't by any stretch of the imagination compulsive. I sort of enjoyed it, but I could live without it. Which doesn't mean I'm not going to read the other Bond books -- I am, at least a few, because Bond is this huge cultural thing that I've absorbed by osmosis, but only to some extent. The books are actually my first direct encounter with Bond.

(Yes, I lived to the age of twenty-two years and two days before I ever had a direct encounter with James Bo
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Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
"A dry martini," Bond said. "In a deep champagne goblet. Three measures of Gordon's, one of Vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it's ice cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?"

When I was about ten years old, my mom took me and my sisters to see Live and Let Die. That was my introduction to James Bond. It wasn't the sort of movie we were normally allowed to see, so naturally, we loved it. Paul McCartney's theme song still brings back happy memories wh
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Alejandro
I've fan of James Bond films all my life and I've seen them all. However I haven't read any novel so I thought that it was good idea if I'd read a first novel of James Bond has to be the first book of all. Hardly I was a newbie on Bond world as to need to read the first book, but I thought that it was the proper thing to do. I have clear that each story is self-contained, so I will read more Bond novels in the future but not in the publishing order. Well, it's clear that since it was the first n ...more
Gerald
Casino Royale was Ian Fleming's first James Bond book. It is remarkable in many ways. First, it has no techno-gadgets. A tire-shredding mesh thrown from the car of the leading bad guys is about as sophisticated as the mechanical tricks get. Bravo. Sorry, Q old man, this one shines brightly without you.

In all his books, Fleming drew on the tradition of Graham Greene, as Le Carre has done since. And he essentially wrote what he knew, mostly described places he had visited. Granted he may have been
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Chris
The literary Bond is far darker than the cinematic Bond. In his debut book this is no more apparent than when he roughly seduces a fellow agent and enjoys the fling for the "sweet tang of rape" that he gets out of her.

Despite and maybe because of the blatant misogyny, James Bond comes off as much more human and interesting than what is seen on the big screen, and it makes you wonder where Ian Fleming might have taken his creation if it hadn't become such a huge commercial success. Still, a good
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Nandakishore Varma
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
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Mark
Dec 05, 2014 Mark rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: real Fleming fans
Recommended to Mark by: found it in my dads cupboard
This is the book where the character of James Bond is being introduced to the world. The plot is essentially an idea that the writer Fleming had during the war when he was involved with the intelligence service, where he was involved in an idea to play in a casino against the opposition and make them lose all their money. Fleming did it not as well as his hero.

Casino Royale is IMHO one of the better books with James Bond as main character. In 1953 with the movies still more than a decade away Fl
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Nancy Oakes
Jan 27, 2013 Nancy Oakes rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: spy fiction aficionados
Shelves: spy-fiction
Hovering between 3.5 and 3.75, and weighing in at 181 pages, Casino Royale is the first installment of the 14-book James Bond series. The Bond of this novel will probably come across as a bit of a surprise to some readers who are familiar with his larger-than-life, superspy cinema persona, which oozes sexiness, indestructibility, confidence, and machismo. Here he comes across as more of a misogynistic, flawed individual, prone to self doubt and a bit of introspection at times -- more human than ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
I enjoyed these books greatly when I found them...in Jr. High School, I believe that's called "middle-school" now. In other words when I was around 13 years old. they hold up fairly well...better than the newer movies. Bond just doesn't ring true in some of the more PC adaptions of him lately, do you think?

This is the first Bond book...he meets SMRESH, gets tortured, almost loses certain body parts that are very important to him (and most men), gambles for high stakes, takes a lover...you know,
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[Redacted]
I watched my first Bond movie (I believe it was Dr. No) when I was about nine or ten. I know it was probably not very appropriate but those were my parents, the ones who took me to a drive-in showing of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest at the tender age of six (to be fair they thought I would fall asleep. I didn't). Anyway, I LOVED Bond. This started a life long love of the Bond movies. I adored Connery, Liked Moore a lot, Didn't like Dalton very well, tolerated Brosnan and thought Craig was a br ...more
Ryan
In Casino Royale, Ian Fleming introduces us to James Bond, but I found Le Chiffre more interesting. Le Chiffre is a disposable villain that Fleming uses to draw Bond out of England and into adventure, but I tried to find out more about him.

Le Chiffre is described as "a displaced person, inmate of Dachau DP camp." The "DP" in "DP Camp" stands for "Displaced Person" -- today we talk about "refugees" and "refugee camps" -- and many such camps were created after the Second World War. We often focus
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David
Revamping the Bond franchise with Daniel Craig by starting with Fleming's first novel was a smart move, and unlike many Bond films, Casino Royale actually resembles the book. The movie was actually more complicated and action-packed, though. The plot of the novel is very simple: a Russian agent known as "Le Chiffre" foolishly invested and lost a big chunk of money that SMERSH gave him. Since SMERSH isn't known for being understanding about these things, Le Chiffre is desperate to make a quick fo ...more
Michael
Ian Fleming introduced the world to James Bond; British Secret Service agent and womaniser out to keep the world safe, time after time. Casino Royale is the first in the huge 007 franchise where Bond’s adventures lead to a card game to bring down SMERSH agent Le Chiffre. But there is more at stake than just money.

This isn’t my first Bond book, I read Jeffery Deaver’s 007 novel Carte Blanche but this is my first Fleming book. So Fleming’s Bond is very different to the movies or Deaver’s secret ag
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Morgan
As a long time Bond movie fan I came to this book thinking that this particular movie, while good, was awkwardly paced and startlingly afraid of action. Reading the book reveals how slow the material was that the movie had to work with.

The introduction of the characters and the world were great, but when it came down to the meat of the storytelling not much happened, and Bond never did anything to progress the story forward or really do much to accomplish the mission. He avoided get blown up bec
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Kirsty
I must be one of the only people who hasn't actually watched a whole Bond movie... I've seen 10 min sections and such like, but never the whole thing. So I figured I needed to change that - but thought I'd read the books first (cuz I have that OCDish need to read any book before watching the movie version). Also it means that I'm seeing the book in a different light to a lot of the other readers.

I wasn't really sure what to expect - I know that a lot of people prefer the movies to the books. I w
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Shannon (Giraffe Days)
The first book in Fleming's James Bond series, Casino Royale launches us straight into the high life at Royale-les-Eaux, there to gamble all the money away from Le Chiffre, an agent of the USSR, who needs the money to get out of his debts and save his life, since the money he initially lost wasn't his to begin with but belonged to a Soviet organisation.

To aid Bond he has his friend Mathis, a new friend in Felix Leiter from the CIA, and the beautiful but reserved Vesper Lynd from Section S in Lo
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Jim
The first James Bond book published & the start of a wonderful series. I remember first reading the torture scene as a young teenager & being absolutely appalled, especially when I tried to fit Sean Connery or Roger Moore into it. Just didn't work - shocking. I mourned the car, too.

All in all, it was an amazing ride when I first read it & has been a good re-read on several occasions.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Ian Lancaster Fleming was a British author, journalist and Second World War Navy Commander. Fleming is best remembered for creating the character of James Bond and chronicling his adventures in twelve novels and nine short stories. Additionally, Fleming wrote the children's story Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and two
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More about Ian Fleming...
From Russia With Love (James Bond, #5) Goldfinger (James Bond, #7) Live and Let Die (James Bond #2) Moonraker (James Bond, #3) On Her Majesty's Secret Service (James Bond, #11)

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“People are islands,' she said. 'They don't really touch. However close they are, they're really quite separate. Even if they've been married for fifty years.” 186 likes
“Surround yourself with human beings, my dear James. They are easier to fight for than principles.” 113 likes
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