People say I resemble my dog (and vice-versa). He can hear sounds I can't hear, but I'm the one who listens to audiobooks.
Tough decision on Fleming. Having seen the movie versions of his books, how can one block out that version of James Bond and those cinematic depictions of his adventures? Casino Royale would stand up better without that comparison. On its own, it is the story of an ordinary agent (not one who is just shy of super-hero) on an ordinary mission (mere financing of a political movement, not a diabolical scheme to rule the world). That story is complicated by the relationship he forms with a fellow agent, as well as the doubts about the credibility of his cause that form after being tortured by his adversary. That is worthy literary stuff, especially for 1953. But how can you not imagine the movie Bond and feel that this Bond comes up short? As for Simon Vance, nice reading -- not so good that one would specifically seek him out as a narrator, but well cast for this particular novel.
You can't conceive of changing an Ian Fleming James Bond story, not on the written page (obviously, the creators of the recent screen version beefed it up, while retaining the core plot, but a film adaptation is a wholly different issue than suggesting changes to a classic novel). The only thing that would have made this work better is to block out all preconceived notions of James Bond and take it for what it is -- Bond's 1953 debut as an ordinary agent. But is that possible? Was not for me.
The showdown at the baccarat table in the casino between Bond and Le Chiffre. Fleming does a great job of explaining the game and describing the battle between the two opposing agents over the money that Le Chiffre would use to finance his organization's activities.
No. Baccarat is not a popular casino game in America. The movie version wisely substitutes Texas Hold'em, one of the most popular casino games in America. I don't need to be inspired to take that game up, as I already play it.
One has, almost by definition, a different outlook on a work of art like a novel when looking at it outside of the specific context in which it was written. Long after the fall of the Soviet Union, and with all the information that has come out since then, the machinations against a French labor unionist (Le Chiffre) by the CIA and MI6 don't really carry much weight more than 60 years later. On the other hand, Bond's doubts about what constitutes good vs. evil, and his role in that war, is timelessly classic outside the scope of this particular setting. Beyond that, I learned after listening to Casino Royale, that Fleming wrote it to distract himself during the planning of his wedding -- without spoiling the surprise end, it is certainly interesting to wonder where his head was regarding his impending nuptials in the context of how Casino Royale concludes.
I religiously watch all the James Bond movies, most multiple times. I like all the actors that have played the part of James Bond. Over the years I've come to think I know James Bond and what to expect from him.
I came across these books while looking for my next read. I don't often pick a book after I've already seen the movie but I never read any James Bond books so I figured I would give it a try. I was surprised Casino Royale is actually first in the series.
I'm happy to say that the books and the movies can exist independently. There is very very very little that ties the two together. I was amazed at what runs through James Bond's mind, how he thinks of himself and how he thinks through a situation. The book Bond is not the same as the TV Bond. The book makes fiction very believable. So while I enjoyed the story a lot I was more captured by how Ian Fleming thinks through his characters and how much more realistic and believable the book is than the movie. I'm going to enjoy this series.
More fun than reading as the narrator does a super job of bringing the characters to life. Quite enjoyable!
Having never read a Bond book before, I was pleasantly surpsired by character development and depth. The pacing was slower than a typical Bond movie, but That allows for insight and developement into James Bond--the man--versus the spy. The ending fit the book and I liked it. Although I did not confirm this, I feel that this must be an early volume in the overall Bond storyline. The movie was quite different and I liked them both for different reasons.
I chose this book because I loved Simon Vance in the Dragon Tattoo series. I missed the ol' chap and wanted to enjoy his company again. Plus there's was the Daniel Craig movie role link between these works;)
While I always enjoy spies and mystery and action, as a woman, I can't resist a love story either. The book's love interest plot line was much deeper than explored in most Bond movies.
Highly disappointed is an understatement. This is the first time I have tried to read a James Bond adventure and now I wish I hadn't. I'm not completely sure if it's the writing or the person reading it? The long drawn out moments that lead from point A to point B are tedious, uninteresting, and at times downright boring. You should not be able to fall asleep during one of these books! The novel is short on the upside but the movies are much shorter and much better. Ten bucks for the book or Ten bucks for the movie? Get the movie.
Bi-Vocational Pastor/Draftsman. Full time husband and dad. Audiobooks are a staple in my life because I can read and work...
Overall good read. Characters were good and action was good. Worth the time to listen. Narration was good.
The action-oriented espionage classics by Ian Fleming are always an enjoyable read, or in this case, listen. The audio is great, and the narrator's voice and accent create an enthralling, believable production of the literature.
Well, I guess as someone who grew up with the Bond movies, I should have known that there would be considerable differences to the books. In general I always found that novels were much better than the movies made from them, and considered this to be true with the Bond novels as well. However, listening to Ian Flemings first Bond novel was a really underwhelming experience in that regard.
The Bond I grew up with (Sean Connery mostly) is smart, witty, a bit arrogant, quite sexist but in a considerate and charming way. He is also tough and of course a lethal advisary to all who oppose him. In addition I think fairness is also an attribute I'd associate with James Bond.
This book showed me a different James Bond. And I must say I really don't like the guy. He is sexist too, but is far from charming most of the time. Even realising the book is from the early fifties, I consider Bond behind his time. He is annoyingly arrogant, but lacks the brilliance to carry it off (like the equally fictional Sherlock Holmes does). Ok I grant him tough and lethal, but he's basically just a pain in the ass with a superiority complex.
The story ... well that's the other thing. I found it quite boring to be honest. Not much going on there and even the scenes that promise action (like the car chase) are not very well done. Which might partly be attributed to the reader. Simon Vance basically does a good job with intonations and emotions, but reminds me too much of Hugh Frasier reading an Agatha Christie novel. And while I quite like her books and Frasier's reading, they're not what one considers action-packed. And neither is this one.
So this is the first and the last Bond book for me. Back to the movies.
I am a 30 year old over-the-road truck driver. I listen to A LOT of audiobooks!
I am a big 007 fan. This is the first book in the series, so it is the first one I purchased. Since then i have listened to three others and this is probably my least favorite. A big part of that comes from the fact that in the book, Mr. Fleming describes casino games in detail which I have no knowledge of. Other than that, the story line is great! Like the rest of Fleming's considerable works, it is well thought out, well written, and Simon Vance gives a knock-out performance. If your a Bond fan, start here!
All the things you love about James Bond without the crazy complicated tangents of the movie versions. Great narration. Not much more needs to be said.
I don't read as much as I used to. I have about an hour commute each way so I like to listen to audio books.
Having watched the movie I really enjoyed the book. It was different but yet I thought it made the character more real. I could see this being made back when Sean Connery was bond but yet it worked in the movies with the current Bond.
The torture scenes were hard.