For James Bond and the British Secret Service, the stakes couldn’t be higher. 007’s mission is to neutralise the Russian operative Le Chiffre by ruining him at the baccarat table, forcing his Soviet masters to ‘retire’ him. When Le Chiffre hits a losing streak, Bond discovers his luck is in – that is, until he meets Vesper Lynd, a glamorous agent who might yet prove to be his downfall.
Includes an exclusive bonus interview with Dan Stevens.
Ian Fleming was born in London in 1908. He was educated at Eton and worked as a journalist in Moscow and a banker and stockbroker in London before becoming personal assistant to the Director of Naval Intelligence during the Second World War. He wrote his first Bond novel, Casino Royale, in 1952 at Goldeneye, his home in Jamaica. Since then James Bond has gone on to become a global phenomenon.
Dan Stevens is internationally known for his role as Matthew Crawley in the hit television drama Downton Abbey, and more recently he has starred in films including Summer In February, The Fifth Estate, A Walk Among the Tombstones, The Guest, The Cobbler and Night At The Museum 3. Dan’s other screen work includes Vamps, Hilde, Sense & Sensibility, Maxwell and The Line of Beauty, and his theatre work includes The Heiress on Broadway, and Arcadia, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, The Vortex and Hay Fever in London.
©1953 Ian Fleming Publications Ltd (P)2013 Ian Fleming Publications Ltd. © AudioGO Ltd, 2012. James Bond and 007 are registered trademarks of Danjaq LLC, used under licence by Ian Fleming Publications Ltd.
"Ian Fleming writes with a kind of pushing, bloodcurdling elegance. His thrillers are models of fastidious murder." (New York Times)
"From the first evocative words to the last savagely ironic sentence, this is a novel with its own flavour." (Sunday Times)
"Hums with tension." (Time Magazine)
"A superb gambling scene, a torture scene which still haunts me, and, of course, a beautiful girl." (Raymond Chandler)
"A first-rate thriller…with a breathtaking plot." (Manchester Guardian)
Well narrated but not really familiar to Fleming's Bond and his world. The unfamiliarity comes through in the narration and lack of passion for values shows through.
Otherwise, nice experience.
Classics, history, historical fiction, marketing, Napoleonic stuff and of course 'Boys own Adventure'. This is my bent. Occasional self help as well.
Dan Stevens is excellent. Didn't see much of him on Downton Abby but now I have a new respect for him. Damn good he is. Ian Fleming's writing is worth studying. His use of action direct verbs is excellent. He really knows how to move the story along at the right pace. James Bond is a product of the early Cold War and the left over days of WWII. Still, it is believable and fun to listen to. I like the way Ian Fleming treats characters, not as clichés but as interesting real people, well all but the Bulgarians. This book is worth the read, but as for listening to it, Dan Stevens really does an excellent job.
I have not read any Fleming before and was probably judging him unfairly based only on the movies, but the book was well constructed and the writing much better than expected, I think I thought it would be more comic book style. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Dan Stevens does a good job of the narration - maybe even a little hint of Connery about the phrasing and cadence every now and then.
When I drive, I read... uhm listen. I like SciFi, Fantasy, some Detective and Espionage novels and Religion. Now and then I will also listen to something else.
James Bond is one of the characters that have survived its creator. In Casino Royale, Ian Fleming introduced this 00-agent for the first time and he does a splendid job of it. You don't meet the assured machine-man super-spy of later books, but a very vulnerable and human James.
Personal tragedy mixed with patriotism and revenge drives 007 to make the decision between good and evil. He is not as cold and clinical as he initially seems and he is blinded by his very human emotions. For me, this is much better than the Film and not yet contaminated by high-tech gadgets and action scenes.
Dan Stevens deserves a 5 star performance. It does seem that when you read James Bond, as the narrator you have to put on a clandestine voice that initially has a bit of a monotonous ring to it or maybe a whisper. Stevens' success in reading this story is that the characters doesn't speak with this same type of voice. His impersonations are first rate.
I enjoyed this audio book and must hand another 5 points for Audible making the 'original' James Bond available in unabridged format.
"The original and the Best"
To celebrate 50 years of the James Bond films in the cinema, all of Ian Flemings oriiginal books have being recorded by an all star list of narrators. The first book is narrated by Dan Stevens of Downton Abbey fame.
The book is well read and provides a great introduction to the world of Flemings Bond and will also be enjoyed by die-hard Fleming fans as well.
"James Bond will return..."
With the 50th Anniversary of Bond on film just passing, I thought it was time to read the origins of this character, to see what Fleming original intentions were.
I found myself surprised in listening to this book just how jaded and brutal Bond was. Fleming's Bond is a million miles from Roger Moore's interpretation and personally I prefer the tougher more jaded Bond we have in book and that we eventually have with Daniel Craig's Bond. What's more I was surprised to find that one of the most brutal scenes from the latest Casino Royale film was actually taken from the book itself.
I was however not surprised by Bond's or the books attitude to women. Having been written over 60 years ago in a different era it is not surprising, but I don't think you can denying a novel of it's cultural value simply because of the views expressed in it. The book and it's characters represent a time, place and sensibility while today shocking, wasn't out of place then. But then again I think if all fictional characters expressed views that were more morally acceptable the fiction world would be very dull. The audio book is only 5 hours long, as Fleming doesn't waste time in explaining things away. For instance Vespa's arrival and staying at the Casino is glossed over, she is simply there to be kidnapped and to be Bond's love interest and is weakly written.
The reading by Dan Stevens is once again superb and was the reason I went for the audio book instead of reading it myself, his narration is what pushed the overall review to 5 stars.
"Not the Bond you expect"
I was surprised by Casino Royale. It was a more thoughtful Bond than I was used to in the films, but it still had all the excitement and style you have come to expect. The Narrator set the scene and mood of the story excellently. I would recommend this and I'm looking forward to more of the Bond books.
It was not my favourite book but there is nothing I can criticise with the performance. A good book with a fantastic narrator
Yes, an easy listen and an unequivocal modern classic
"A good read"
This is a typical Bond book well written by Ian Fleming as usual. Well read by Dan Stevens and I would recommend it even if you have seen the film (either the original or new version). I really was not sure whether to purchase this book or not but am glad I did. Based on this I will be purchasing more bond books.
Beautiful narration - all of Ian Flemings books are a great read - Casino Royale gives you wonderful insight into the old Casino lifestyle and more understanding into James Bonds inner mind - something that is quite well hidden in the films. The middle part - where Bond is tortured is quite violent and graphic when read out loud - and not for the faint hearted - which I am! But really enjoyed this book and will investigate more Bond books and this narrator.
Love James bond I like a lot Mr James and Mr ian Fleming he is a genies
"Great way to get to know Bond!"
I'm a huge fan of the movies, so getting to know the original Bond is exciting. Dan Stevens makes a great Bond, and the story was fascinating. Will carry on with the series
"Excellent, but ..."
Excellent book and reading, except to my mind voices of Bond and M. Hence 4 stars. Reader sounds like Bond during narrative, but when Bond is speaking sounds a bit stuffy, like a civil servant. OTOH Felix Leiter and Vesper Lind sound very natural.
"5 hrs and 5 mins of pleasure"
This audiobook surprised me. Being a big Bond fan I saw a different side to hm in Ian Fleming's first novel, a more human side dare I say it. I actually quite preferred Bond to be more human e.g. feel pain, fatigue and emotion.
Definitely going on to book 2 now. Very enjoyable and the narrator did a good job. Recommended.
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