Shortlisted for: Audiobook of the Year - Specsavers National Book Awards 2012
For James Bond and the British Secret Service the stakes couldn't be higher. 007's mission is to neutralise the Russian operative Le Chiffre by ruining him at the baccarat table and forcing his Soviet masters to 'retire' him. As Le Chiffre hits a losing streak Bond finds his luck is in - until he meets the glamorous agent Vesper Lynd who might yet prove his downfall.
©1953 Ian Fleming Publications Ltd (P)2012 AudioGO Ltd
"The original and the Best"
To celebrate 50 years of the James Bond films in the cinema, all of Ian Flemings oriiginal books have being recorded by an all star list of narrators. The first book is narrated by Dan Stevens of Downton Abbey fame.
The book is well read and provides a great introduction to the world of Flemings Bond and will also be enjoyed by die-hard Fleming fans as well.
"James Bond will return..."
With the 50th Anniversary of Bond on film just passing, I thought it was time to read the origins of this character, to see what Fleming original intentions were.
I found myself surprised in listening to this book just how jaded and brutal Bond was. Fleming's Bond is a million miles from Roger Moore's interpretation and personally I prefer the tougher more jaded Bond we have in book and that we eventually have with Daniel Craig's Bond. What's more I was surprised to find that one of the most brutal scenes from the latest Casino Royale film was actually taken from the book itself.
I was however not surprised by Bond's or the books attitude to women. Having been written over 60 years ago in a different era it is not surprising, but I don't think you can denying a novel of it's cultural value simply because of the views expressed in it. The book and it's characters represent a time, place and sensibility while today shocking, wasn't out of place then. But then again I think if all fictional characters expressed views that were more morally acceptable the fiction world would be very dull. The audio book is only 5 hours long, as Fleming doesn't waste time in explaining things away. For instance Vespa's arrival and staying at the Casino is glossed over, she is simply there to be kidnapped and to be Bond's love interest and is weakly written.
The reading by Dan Stevens is once again superb and was the reason I went for the audio book instead of reading it myself, his narration is what pushed the overall review to 5 stars.
"Not the Bond you expect"
I was surprised by Casino Royale. It was a more thoughtful Bond than I was used to in the films, but it still had all the excitement and style you have come to expect. The Narrator set the scene and mood of the story excellently. I would recommend this and I'm looking forward to more of the Bond books.
"Great story well read."
A fast paced exciting story well told. The narrator is very good. The casino scene is brilliant a blow by blow (literally) account of a card game doesn't sound very exciting but in the hands of a master story teller is a wonderfully vivid tableau. The perverse torture scene is equally riveting. 10 out of ten.
"Gritty and daring"
I have been a long time fan of the film franchise but not read the books. I cam to this on the back of the Daniel Craig film, not sure it would live up to the film. It did, and then some. Considering when the book was written it is gritty and hard hitting, and the punishment meted out to Bond is as hard hitting as the film. Very well worth the listen.
"A good read"
This is a typical Bond book well written by Ian Fleming as usual. Well read by Dan Stevens and I would recommend it even if you have seen the film (either the original or new version). I really was not sure whether to purchase this book or not but am glad I did. Based on this I will be purchasing more bond books.
"An insight into the real Bond"
If you enjoyed the recent Bond film Skyfall, then this is a book for you. It will illustrate how apt Daniel Craig is as Bond, and how much closer the films are now to the original precept of Bond.
The reviewer who commented that this book was "amazingly dated" and "chauvinistic" doesn't get Bond - He was a Spy and Assassin, not employed for being a nice guy. The book is dated because of when it was set, just because there are no lasers and invisible cars, does not make it an less exciting and believable.
A well narrated page turner that will have you gripped.
"Not a killing in sight!"
Downloaded this having seen all the Bond movies, really like the writing style of Fleming and the attention to detail. Most amazed that unlike the film there was no killing
It is amazing how out of date this book is. The constant references to smoking and the awful chauvinistic attitude of James towards Vesper are quite funny, but get really boring after a few pages. And the plot is completely implausible - why was Vesper sent to help out Bond?
The narration is very good.
I had planned to download the rest of the Ian Fleming series, not now.
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