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Casino Royale | [Ian Fleming]

Casino Royale

Introducing James Bond: charming, sophisticated, handsome, chillingly ruthless, and licensed to kill. This, the first of Ian Fleming's tales of secret agent 007, finds Bond on a mission to neutralize a lethal, high-rolling Russian operative called "Le Chiffre" by ruining him at the Baccarat table, forcing his Soviet spymasters to "retire" him. It seems that lady luck has sided with 007 when Le Chiffre hits a losing streak. But some people just refuse to play by the rules.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: Listening to Casino Royale is like peeling away the shell of a cultural icon and returning to the good, exotic thrillers that gave it birth. As captured by narrator Simon Vance, Bond is as suave, British, and ultra-competent as you'd expect, but he's also startlingly vulnerable, falling victim to both his enemies and his own doubts. With a wry, knowing delivery, Vance excels at capturing the tension in Fleming's prose: he wrings Bond's torture for every last, excruciating squirm. —Ed Walloga

Publisher's Summary

Introducing James Bond: charming, sophisticated, handsome, chillingly ruthless, and licensed to kill. This, the first of Ian Fleming's tales of secret agent 007, finds Bond on a mission to neutralize a lethal, high-rolling Russian operative called "Le Chiffre" by ruining him at the Baccarat table, forcing his Soviet spymasters to "retire" him.

It seems that lady luck has sided with 007 when Le Chiffre hits a losing streak. But some people just refuse to play by the rules, and Bond's attraction to a beautiful female agent leads him to disaster...and to an unexpected savior.

Shaken? Stirred? Check out 007's other assignments.

©1953 Glidrose Productions, Ltd.; (P)2000 Blackstone Audio Inc.

What the Critics Say

"[A]n intense, fascinating, and moody piece of fiction." (Raymond Benson, author of High Time to Kill)
"Britisher [Simon Vance] takes a suitably urbane approach, sounding as if he is attired in white tails and sipping a very dry martini between takes [and] taking particular pleasure with his characterizations." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (1513 )
5 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.1 (955 )
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Story
4.3 (949 )
5 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Jason Poteau, OK, United States 08-26-10
    Jason Poteau, OK, United States 08-26-10 Member Since 2010

    Bi-Vocational Pastor/Draftsman. Full time husband and dad. Audiobooks are a staple in my life because I can read and work...

    HELPFUL VOTES
    373
    ratings
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    124
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    4
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    "Short and SWEET!"

    Overall good read. Characters were good and action was good. Worth the time to listen. Narration was good.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alex Claremont, CA, United States 03-05-11
    Alex Claremont, CA, United States 03-05-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enjoyable but uneven"

    I was pleasantly surprised by how good a writer Ian Fleming was. The first half of the book is very good. Among other things, James Bond is different from the James Bond of the movies, and that makes for added interest. The second half of the book is not bad, but odd. Fleming sets things up for a final twist, like most thriller writers, but readers will see the twist coming a mile away. Worse yet, you have to wonder why Bond doesn't see it coming. Despite that problem, this is a solid read.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Miles GE 04-19-08
    Miles GE 04-19-08 Listener Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    37
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    14
    14
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    "Impeccable"

    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.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Oliver Standring 05-21-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Great 1 book of the series"

    Great book that is easy to listen to. Love the series and the shift from book to audio is easy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TIM FOLEY 05-04-15
    TIM FOLEY 05-04-15 Member Since 2015
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    3
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    "If only the movie was as good as the book."

    Why Hollywood house to destroy a good story, the book was amazing and would've made a perfect screenplay. Skip all that crap at the beginning and stick to the books story and date of done just fine. Book was well read and story was and grossing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark M Miller Kissimmee, Florida United States 04-18-15
    Mark M Miller Kissimmee, Florida United States 04-18-15 Member Since 2014
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    8
    4
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    "Great book - Wonderful reader"

    I don't know why it took me so long to discover that Simon Vance had recorded the 007 series. I haven't read it or listen to an audio of it in a long time, but Simon Vance is the perfect reader for the series and this book comes to life with his performance. Easily worth the time and the money. This should be a priority for anyone looking for a great literary escape read by the best reader in recorded books history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. L. Procter 02-22-15 Member Since 2015

    Jay

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    "Fantastic"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Casino Royale to be better than the print version?

    I haven't read the printed version only for fear of the material to be dated and become dry. After listening to it I simply can see that it might not be the case.


    What did you like best about this story?

    That it shows a lot of aspects that the movie got right and why the changes in the movie needed to be made.


    What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

    I felt that he captured Ian Flemming's idea of how these characters should be read and kept me wanting to keep listening to the story.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    This book was fantastic as long as you remember it was written in the 50's and use your imagination to make it updated to fit with the times. Ian Flemming described everything beautifully and made it easy to do. One does have to remember that going into this book it was written almost 10 years after WW2 and toward the beginning of the Cold War. It can also fit in today's headlines with terrorism and current relations of the superpowers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terrance Ferguson 02-10-15 Member Since 2014

    I enjoy spy, military, psychological, technical and fiction based in reality and science. I really value intimate, thorough writing.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What happened in the second half? Haha"
    What did you love best about Casino Royale?

    The very last line of the book. Solidified the character for me. Loved it.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Bond himself. I felt he was very honest with the world and himself. Very unapologetic. I can respect that.


    What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

    It made it feel like the story would from Bond's perspective. Very... somber, controlled, direct yet artsy. The world did not feel analyzed it felt... tasted.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The brutality of a particular scene and the players involved. The sense of doom, hopelessness and anguish was over whelming.


    Any additional comments?

    Ive only seen a handful of ( mostly the newer) movies. I was shocked at how HUMAN and fleshed out Bond was. He was certainly an outlier but he still felt believable and relatable. He is a house hold name so i kinda felt like i was seeing the real life of some legend or whatever. VERY well written character.

    Also the last half of the book dragged on for me because it was in stark contrast to what i wanted. BUT it was worth getting to for the last line of the book. It really made Bond feel capable in the face of ANYTHING.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Davis Boston, MA 01-03-15
    Andrew Davis Boston, MA 01-03-15 Member Since 2014

    TPL Drew

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    "A classic, well read!"

    Loved this short Ian Fleming classic!
    I live James Bond and really love this novel. Great for a short trip!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Richmond, Va, United States 12-31-14
    Amazon Customer Richmond, Va, United States 12-31-14 Member Since 2015
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    "Amazing Audiobook!!"

    This is the first book in the James Bond saga, however, you probably already know that. I read the entire series years ago when I had the hard copies and the vision to read hard copy books and I loved it. I've always found the James Bond in the novels to be more authentic than the movies portray. The movies drifted towards comedy and gadgets and really don't portray Bond as the ruthless, survive by the wits spy that this book portrays. I really liked this book and really suggest you try it.

    Simon Vance turns in another exceptional performance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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