Review: Casino Royale

Casino Royale by Ian Fleming (1953)

Series: James Bond #1

SummaryIn the first of Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels, 007 declares war on Le Chiffre, French communist and paymaster of the Soviet murder organization SMERSH.  The battle begins with a fifty-million-franc game of baccarat, gains momentum during Bond’s fiery love affair with a sensuous lady spy, and reaches a chilling climax with fiendish torture at the hands of a master sadist. For incredible suspense, unexpected thrills, and extraordinary danger, nothing can beat James Bond in his inaugural adventure.

I’ve been watching James Bond films ever since I can remember.  When I first learned they were based on books, I thought it’d be a good idea to see where Bond had originated. So I’ve had this series on my radar for quite some time.  Recently I got a copy of the first book in the series and started reading it.  Unfortunately, it didn’t grip me as much as I had hoped.  Then I read somewhere that the books were really good on audio, so I got the audiobook version, read by Robert Whitfield.

Things picked up after that as I listened and I quite enjoyed it.  The story was good and pretty suspenseful at times.  It definitely isn’t the typical witty, debonair James Bond with a bunch of gadgets at his disposal.  But I loved the character development of Bond throughout the book and that has made me want to keep reading the series.

After finishing the book I decided to watch the movie which I’d never seen.  It was definitely different from the book in that it’d been updated and certain pieces added or removed.  But I the overall adaptation of the book was kept in that this was a different James Bond, much darker and grittier.  So it was interesting to see how the books originated the character and how he changed to be what many people think of when they hear the name James Bond.

I haven’t seen any of the other films starring Daniel Craig so I don’t know if this character will continue to evolve and eventually become the Bond that many people are familiar with.  Still, I’m eager to read some more of the books and see what happens, as well as watch the rest of the films with a different perspective.

Are you a James Bond fan?  Have you considered reading the books?  What do you think of the new “reboot” of the Bond franchise?

My rating: ★★★☆☆

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