Thursday, 2 July 2009

Casino Royale

Title: Casino Royale

Author: Ian Fleming

Number of pages: 135

Started: 30 June 2009

Finished: 2 July 2009

Opening words:

The scent and smoke and sweat of a casino are nauseating at three in the morning. Then the soul-erosion produced by high gambling—a compost of greed and fear and nervous tension—becomes unbearable and the senses awake and revolt from it.

James Bond suddenly knew that he was tired. He always knew when his body or his mind had had enough and he always acted on the knowledge. This helped him to avoid staleness and the sensual bluntness that breeds mistakes.

Read the first chapter here

Plot summary:

Introducing James Bond: charming, sophisticated, handsome; chillingly ruthless and very deadly. This, the first of Fleming's tales of agent 007, finds Bond on a mission to neutralize a lethal, high-rolling Russian operative called simply 'Le Chiffre' - by ruining him at the baccarat table and forcing his Soviet spymasters to 'retire' him. It seems that lady luck is taken with James - Le Chiffre has hit 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 an unexpected saviour.

What I thought:

I am surprised to say that I really enjoyed this book. I am not a fan of James Bond and don’t really like the films, but I really liked him in written form. I thought the story was very readable, whilst not entirely believable, and I found parts of the story totally engrossing.

This was the first Bond story that Ian Fleming wrote and it was an interesting take on the spy thriller, including getting a small insight into some of the sexual peccadilloes for which the author is known! It was a good story and even though a fair bit of it was based around gambling, something which I don’t know much about, Fleming managed to weave an explanation of how the game was played, so that it wasn’t just a tedious bit of page-turning to get the story to move on.

I really enjoyed the story and it had a bit of everything in it. If you haven’t read any Ian Fleming then I would recommend starting with Casino Royale.

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