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.
I travel the country setting up at comic, toy, sci-fi, and horror conventions. Audiobooks help with the travels.
Knowing the character and story for years made it worth hearing how it was originally written
Yes i already bought another one.
Not yet but i will now
That bond has always been sexist? Heck yes it is awesome.
Like a lot of people my first exposure to James Bond was via the movies produced over the years featuring that famous character in a variety of scenarios. Over 50 years worth of movies have been produced and they have produced their own definition of what Bond is and how he came to be. Casino Royale is the original Bond novel and bares very little resemblance to the modern Casino Royale movie or the original made for TV one of the same title. In a word - Better. Go into this book with an open mind and be prepared to forget some of the details that you think you know about Bond - and get the whole story instead.
This is the first James Bond book I have listened to and while it wasn't bad, it really wasn't that great, average at best. It doesn't really follow the movie that close and for me the movie was overwhelmingly better and the characters more complex and deep than the book. Overall, I wasn't impressed and wouldn't listen to another.
I was disappointed because I expected much more from Bond. I will say I have never been a Bond fan.
First published in 1953, I'm willing to bet that most people have grown up on "Hollywood Bond". So it was for me. Having listened to this book, I can say that I have done the book and myself a disservice.
The story is quite crisp and well paced. There is none of the overt complexity and silly "wow" factors of the modern screen Bond. The novels' characters were believable and much more complex. The basis of the story was simple, but very captivating.
A warning, however, and that is there are a few chauvinistic passages in the book. Smoking is also featured heavily. It was written in 1953, after all.
As always, Simon Vance put in another sterling performance. He was made for Ian Flemings works.
So, if you haven't invested some time to investigate where the Bond character started, I recommend you give this audio book a try. You will be pleasantly surprised.
Live on edge of National Forest with lake, birds & wild animals. No more perfect place to indulge life-long love of reading.
I bought this book because it was on sale. It is a light frothy book, very traditional Bond and without depth ... and nevertheless quite entertaining. I've been listening to long and heavy novels of late (i.e. Jakes' North and South Trilogy). This was the perfect palate cleanser between those novels. I'm happy to have listened and simultaneously happy that I didn't have to spend a whole credit on it.
Much of the fun of this book was due to the outstanding performance by Simon Vance. One of my audible favorites.