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.
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.
Although I've only seen a few James Bond movies before reading this first book, I don't know if that created too much expectations between the gadgets and far-fetched scenes of the movies to this James Bond character written in 1953. I was disappointed to read that his mission is to bankrupt a Russian agent by trying to beat him at the baccarat table. It sounds more like the work for a professional gambler than a spy. It goes into details about the gambling, odds, and strategy. The suspense builds as the stakes increase. However, all the characters are flat. Maybe because it was Fleming's first book... it's a rough outline of who they are. There is James Bond, the cold and calculating British spy. He has support from Mathis, operative from the French branch, and Felix Leiter, CIA agent. There isn't any back story to explain why Bond is so cold or the depth of relationships between Bond and any of the other characters. Occasionally through dialogue or Bond's inner voice, the reader get a sense of him and his focus on accomplishing the mission. If some woman gets in the way and gets hurt for it, so be it. This book would probably rate higher for fans of James Bond or pulp fiction genre (easy read for entertainment).
Fantastic all the way around
Almost cried towards the end
The first audio book I listened to and I'm hooked
Kowalski, someone's looking at my profile. Find them. Rico, time for boom boom. Private, send the family a funeral bouquet.
The movie was different enough from the book that I still felt suspense while reading (though it ended up being more like the movie than I expected). After working my way through the Game of Thrones series I felt saturated with overdone sexuality, so when it got to those moments in this book I found myself a bit hopeful that a book written in the 50s might leave more to the imagination, even if it's James Bond. It wasn't too spicy, but one line made me stop reading for a couple of minutes until I stopped laughing. Bond and Vespa were standing, clothed and kissing, then "he slipped his hands down to her swelling buttocks. . ."
I think I'll try some version of that with my wife. Maybe, "Hey baby, your swelling buttocks are talking to me, and I like what they are saying." Or perhaps, "Those pants make your buttocks look swollen," or, "Are your buttocks swollen for me, or Mr. Darcy?" Hmm, those might need some work.
THE essential spy novel - no gadgets, no contrived international plots, just a cocky young spy in love with the lifestyle, keener on the gambling than on his license to kill. Until he learns the hard way that he can't have it all, and becomes the James Bond we know and love. His evolution at the very end of the book is honest and incontrovertible. We're right there with him, poised for his next adventures to start.
This book will NOT ruin the movie for you or vice versa. It has actually heightened my appreciation of the film, which I now understand as a coherently updated version of the same coming-of-age-as-a-spy story. The original Bond is very much a 1953 spy, Daniel Craig is very much not.
Just one note of warning, this 1953 spy novel is also unapologetically racist and misogynist. Take it as a charming time capsule, take it as terribly offensive, just know it's there.
(And on the narration - Simon Vance is incredible! You can practically feel the martini and champagne in his soul here. By sheer coincidence I listened to another book of his right before this and can't believe that this man seems equally destined to read James Bond as Winnie the Pooh!)