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Casino Royale Audiobook

Casino Royale

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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 (1850 )
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4.4 (1262 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Rick United States 04-26-14
    Rick United States 04-26-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Great listen"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Casino Royale to be better than the print version?

    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.


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The torture scenes were hard.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hank 03-31-14
    Hank 03-31-14

    I travel the country setting up at comic, toy, sci-fi, and horror conventions. Audiobooks help with the travels.

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    "This was just a fun thing to buy"
    What made the experience of listening to Casino Royale the most enjoyable?

    Knowing the character and story for years made it worth hearing how it was originally written


    Would you be willing to try another book from Ian Fleming? Why or why not?

    Yes i already bought another one.


    Have you listened to any of Simon Vance’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Not yet but i will now


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    That bond has always been sexist? Heck yes it is awesome.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joey BREWER, ME, United States 03-20-14
    Joey BREWER, ME, United States 03-20-14 Member Since 2011
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    "A must Read for Bond fans"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    janae 01-26-14
    janae 01-26-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Bond is not for me"
    Any additional comments?

    I was disappointed because I expected much more from Bond. I will say I have never been a Bond fan.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erik Sooke, British Columbia, Canada 01-24-14
    Erik Sooke, British Columbia, Canada 01-24-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Wow! Much better than the Hollywood Bond"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy F. Sierra Foothills, Northern CA 01-19-14
    Nancy F. Sierra Foothills, Northern CA 01-19-14 Member Since 2007

    Live on edge of National Forest with lake, birds & wild animals. No more perfect place to indulge life-long love of reading.

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    "A Sorbet Between Hearty Books"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Yoshida 01-17-14
    A. Yoshida 01-17-14
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    "Not like the action-packed James Bond movies"

    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).

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher ASTON, PA, United States 01-16-14
    Christopher ASTON, PA, United States 01-16-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Even better than the movie"
    If you could sum up Casino Royale in three words, what would they be?

    Intense
    Origin
    Bond


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Casino Royale?

    Car chase


    What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

    Fantastic all the way around


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

    Almost cried towards the end


    Any additional comments?

    The first audio book I listened to and I'm hooked

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Smithfield, UT, United States 01-14-14
    Amazon Customer Smithfield, UT, United States 01-14-14 Member Since 2014

    Kowalski, someone's looking at my profile. Find them. Rico, time for boom boom. Private, send the family a funeral bouquet.

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    "Enjoyed this book"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheimon New York, NY USA 01-11-14
    Cheimon New York, NY USA 01-11-14 Member Since 2007
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    "Brilliant in its simplicity"

    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!)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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