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Casino Royale Paperback – 1 Oct 2009

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Paperback, 1 Oct 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; Re-issue edition (1 Oct. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141044969
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141044965
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (262 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 794,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ian Fleming was born in 1908 and educated at Eton. After a brief period at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, he went abroad to further his education. In 1931, having failed to get an appointment in the Foreign Office, he joined Reuters News Agency. During the Second World War, he was personal assistant to the Director of Naval Intelligence at the Admiralty, rising to the rank of Commander. His wartime experiences provided him with a first-hand knowledge of secret operations.

After the war he became Foreign Manager of Kemsley Newspapers. He built his house, Goldeneye, in Jamaica and there at the age of forty-four he wrote Casino Royale, the first of his novels featuring Commander James Bond. By the time of his death in 1964, the James Bond adventures had sold more than forty million copies. Dr No, starring Sean Connery, was released in 1962 and the Bond films continue to be huge international successes. He is also the author of the magical children's book Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

The novels of Ian Fleming were immediately recognised as classic thrillers by his contemporaries Kingsley Amis, Raymond Chandler and John Betjeman. With the invention of James Bond, Ian Fleming created the greatest British fictional icon of the late twentieth century.

(The picture is reproduced with the permission of the copyright owners, Ian Fleming Publications Limited and the Ian Fleming Will Trust)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Ian Fleming created the character of James Bond, he said, to overcome the shock of getting married. Whatever his reasons, his first attempt at fiction started a global cultural phenomenon.

Casino Royale takes place on a smaller stage than later Bond adventures, as if Fleming wanted to familiarise himself with his spy before setting him loose on the world but it fizzes with intensity. SMERSH, the most powerful and feared organisation in the USSR, and one of its operatives, the French communist le Chiffre, are blamed for the deaths of a number of British agents and the British Secret Service wants justice. In a characteristic Fleming twist, however, le Chiffre is compromised from the start--a deadly agent in the service of his masters but with a deadly secret to hide from them. His, as yet undetected, misappropriation of a vast amount of SMERSH funds presents the British Secret Service with an ingenious opportunity to turn killer into sacrificial lamb. When a nearly bankrupt le Chiffre sets out to do some serious gambling at the casino in Royale-les-Eaux in order to replace the money, James Bond is assigned to out-gamble him, make SMERSH aware of his embezzlement and sit back and watch as they do the dirty work for him.

Casino Royale reveals the full complexity of James Bond's character, his sophistication, his sensitivity (he has serious anxieties about being a killer) and also his darker side. He is emotionally cold and distant to the opposite sex and his views on women are strong and chauvinistic; "These blithering women who though they could do a man's work. Why 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 me?" Part of the attraction of the adventure is the way it sets out future trademarks of the 007 series; a stern but ultimately caring "M", the flirtation between 007 and Miss Moneypenny, the spectacular locations, the beautiful girls and the dangerous and violent criminals.

Casino Royale is the most serious and violent of all the Bond novels and it shows Bond at his coldest and most ruthless. It is a fabulous opening to the Bond series and gives wonderful insights into the character of James Bond 007. --Jamie Campbell --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


A superb gambling scene, a torture scene which still haunts me, and, of course, a beautiful girl (Raymond Chandler )

Bond is a classic adventure-story hero … a hero for all time (Jeffrey Deaver ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 15 Oct. 2012
Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
`Bond saw luck as a woman, to be softly wooed or brutally ravaged, never pandered to or pursued. But he was honest enough to admit that he had never yet been made to suffer by cards or by women. One day, and he accepted the fact, he would be brought to his knees by love or by luck. When that happened he knew that he too would be branded with the deadly question-mark he recognized so often in others, the promise to pay before you have lost; the acceptance of fallibility.'

It's perhaps telling that what would become a global phenomenon - more due to the extraordinary success of the film series that moved increasingly further away from his novels - begins with the acrid, sweaty stink of a casino in the early hours of the morning, its glamour stripped away as James Bond calculates his winnings and losses. The premise of the book may be slightly fantastic (though rooted firmly in a failed scheme Ian Fleming himself proposed to bankrupt a Nazi spy during the war) but the approach is more down to earth, with the emphasis on the details (conveyed through intermittent quotes from secret reports or Bond's imaginative speculation) and atmosphere to make the tale more credible than it sounds. The senses are also evoked, Bond's sense of taste and smell often to the fore whether it's a casual mention of the villain's flatulence or the aroma of roast mutton in the air in a vivid description of the aftermath of a botched bombing. Described as looking like singer Hoagy Carmichael, far from the veritable superman he would become, this Bond is described as absolute Hell to work for, with not much heart and a tendency to get hostile when he senses himself getting too friendly.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Sam Cooper on 19 July 2003
Format: Audio CD
The first of Ian Fleming's 007 series is nothing really more than the first few shots fired in James Bond's war with a Soviet organisation: SMERSH.
In print, the world's most famous spy is similar but ultimately different from the loveable rogue that has blessed cinema screens for the past forty years. He is a cruel ruthless killer, ambivelant towards women; in that he loathes but desires them, but somewhat troubled with his dangerous profession.
In this the first installment, Bond comes up against a known and powerful SMERSH operative named "Le Chiffre". A Frenchman working for the Soviets with a penchant for spending his superiors cash on sideline businesses that he hopes will bring him fortune. In an attempt to hide his massive losses from his Soviet bosses, he attempts to retrieve their lost money by gambling with what remains at one of France's premier casinos.
Bond, an almost fresh but respected agent is sent to intercept "Le Chiffre" and bring him down, not with a bullet, but in a game of baccaret. Hoping to relieve him of his remaining funds Bond becomes involved in a wonderfully detailed game of cards, the aim being to coax a vengeful wrath from SMERSH onto their misguided French agent and thus ridding NATO of a potential nuisance from France.
The writing is of a very high standard. Bond is described well, as are all the other characters, making him seem more human than his on screen personna. Vesper, Bond's naive assistant, is believable and mysterious in her role, attracting Bond but focused on the job in hand. Fleming's talent for atmosphere and ambience are present here, neatly surrounding the main theme and it's absorbing narrative.
Rufus Sewell is a very casual, effortless voice talent. Each character has it's own trademark accent and tone.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Andromeda Descendent TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 1 Nov. 2012
Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Well, I'm amazed I'm saying this after giving a frustrated three star review to Goldfinger, but I found this to be a very enjoyable Bond novel. It helped that it was only four discs; - being a shorter novel than I'd imagine most if not all of the rest are, it meant that the writing was tight paced and I didn't ever feel bored, waiting for something of substance to happen. Bond is a thoughtful character in the novels, and the chances of him actually punching or shooting anyone are remarkably low compared to your expectations. When we meet him he has killed two people in his career and although the occasional hope that he'll get to kill a henchman he doesn't like crosses his mind, he's ultimately not in a hurry to kill again because he empathises when he himself is painted as a target.

That unpleasant torture scene from the Daniel Craig film is here in the book too, and was perhaps the main reason Casino Royale went un-filmed for so long before the franchise masters decided audiences could stomach it. Before we get to that though, and in act 1 of what is essentially a three act book, we spend a long time with Bond trying to bankrupt Russian operative Le Chiffre at the card table so that his paymasters will assassinate him. This section of the book is surprisingly riveting, and it didn't matter that I know very little about any type of card game, let along baccarat - the writing drew me in.

The second act, as I've mentioned is set around a very graphic torture scene, and the third act deals with Bond's recuperation and takes an unusual (for Bond) twist in that he starts falling in love with his latest conquest instead of just falling into bed with her.
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