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Casino Royale

James Bond, Book 1
Narrated by: Dan Stevens
Length: 5 hrs and 2 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,768 ratings)
Regular price: $17.47
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Publisher's Summary

For James Bond and the British Secret Service, the stakes couldn't be higher. 007's mission is to neutralize 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.

This audiobook includes an exclusive bonus interview with Dan Stevens.

Blackstone Audio, Inc. James Bond and 007 are registered trademarks of Danjaq LLC, used under license by Ian Fleming Publications Ltd

©1952 Ian Fleming (P)2014 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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Bond. James Bond.

When AudioGo first announced this round of new recordings a couple of years ago, I was manic to have them. I own copies of the original Simon Vance recordings from my pre-Audible days, which are phenomenal, but being the Bond fan that I am, I'm always curious to see what others can bring to the table. Then I found out these new recordings weren't available outside of the UK, and my heart sank. I prayed Audible would bring them to me.

At last, my prayers have been answered, and wouldn't you know, I had to hunt for them. Instead of referring to them by their official series name of "007 Reloaded," they're called "celebrity performances." Well, by any other name, it means my 2 credits a month are dedicated for the next few months (barring Star Wars releases), and not being independently wealthy, I can't afford to spring for them all at once as I'd like to do. Curses, foiled again.

Be that as it may, I have begun the series, and I'm over the moon impressed with this new performance by Dan Stevens. He impressed me with his work on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, and his work here is every bit as nuanced and incredible. I almost wish he could do the rest of them too, but the point is to have a variety of talent for this series, so I'm looking forward to riding that wave. As many times as I've gone through the original novels, I'm still not as familiar with them as I am the films, and this provides the perfect excuse for me to dive in again and live with them for a while.

For those new to the original Fleming novels, this is a great introduction to the series. You almost have to forget what you've seen on screen and take Bond in his original cold war context, but thanks to the recent Daniel Craig films coming closer to Fleming's work, the in-road to the classic version has never been friendlier. It might take some getting used to Bond using a Beretta instead of the Walther PPK, or driving a Bentley instead of the Aston Martin, but the core of everything that is Bond starts here and evolves into what we've come to know and love throughout the series. Fleming's incredible detail brings these stories to life at every level, from Bond's scoping the room for signs of intrusion and tampering, to food and drink, to the gambling tables, to the torture sequences, and beyond. It's visceral in a way that can only come happen thanks to practical, real world experience. That's what separates Bond from his world of knock-offs and wanna-be copycats. Setting the standard of all that's come before and all that will come to be in the action/spy genre, regardless of medium, there's only one name you need to know. The name's Bond. James Bond.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

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Stevens Makes This a much Better Listen

The same good story, but Dan Stevens of Downton Abby is a fantastic upgrade at narrator from the previous version.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Gambling, Danger, and Betrayal

The Bond franchise begins with this story, and if you have never read a Bond novel, it is best to start here. The opulent lifestyle, car chases, romance, and life of cold espionage is on full display. If you have only seen the Daniel Craig movie, this will be a treat, because Fleming’s Bond reacts differently to everything. He is human, while being a spy, capable of misreading situations and people.

Dan Stevens might be one of the finest audiobook readers around. His French pronunciation is impeccable, American accents are flawless, and he has distinct voices for different characters. He drives the narrative with his reading, and you will never be bored, even when Fleming is describing Bond’s meal, which he does, frequently. Best audiobook I have had the pleasure of listening to.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Dan Stevens is brilliant, bringing Ian Fleming's Bond off the page and to life in an exciting way

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Classic James Bond and an Easy Listen!

Would you listen to Casino Royale again? Why?

Yes. The story is simple and straightforward but for someone like me who has a hard time following stories with tons of characters this audiobook was perfect! Great Narration by Dan Stevens.

What does Dan Stevens bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Dan hits every word and enunciation perfectly. He gives each character a voice without it sounding cheap or overdrawn! His voice was perfect James Bond. It's a shame this is the only book in the series that he narrated.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great book!

I have always loved the novel but I really enjoyed Dan Steven's rendering. Very well done!

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Good to listen to

the reader sounded like Daniel Crig, only thing I would caution is there is alot of french words so buy the paperback book and look up the meanings, some of them added to the book.

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Very entertaining!

Being a fan of all the movies this is the first Bond novel I have listened to. It was great following this story while I compared it to the 2006 movie. Definitely going to go through the rest of the novels now.

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Interesting

Mr. Fleming reveals a younger 1960s Bond untouched by the romance of have fallen in love. A Bond who approaches his job professionally but with a caviler outlook while being humbled by his mistakes. Surrounded by well developed supporting characters that the readers interest.

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Clean, masculine prose.

The Bond novels are some of my favorite adventure stories, having read Goldfinger at an early age before seeing the movies. I much prefer the books to the movies, as there is a reality and a personality to Bond which is absent in the majority of the films. This is one of the best, and for anyone who has never read Fleming, an excellent and surprising starting point. Dan Stevens does a wonderfully understated job.