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  • Casino Royale (with Interview)

  • By: Ian Fleming
  • Narrated by: Dan Stevens
  • Length: 5 hrs and 2 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (2,318 ratings)

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Casino Royale (with Interview) cover art

Casino Royale (with Interview)

By: Ian Fleming
Narrated by: Dan Stevens
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Summary

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, 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.

Includes an exclusive bonus interview with Dan Stevens.

Ian Fleming was born in London in 1908. He was educated at Eton and worked as a journalist in Moscow and a banker and stockbroker in London before becoming personal assistant to the Director of Naval Intelligence during the Second World War. He wrote his first Bond novel, Casino Royale, in 1952 at Goldeneye, his home in Jamaica. Since then James Bond has gone on to become a global phenomenon.

Dan Stevens is internationally known for his role as Matthew Crawley in the hit television drama Downton Abbey, and more recently he has starred in films including Summer In February, The Fifth Estate, A Walk Among the Tombstones, The Guest, The Cobbler and Night At The Museum 3. Dan’s other screen work includes Vamps, Hilde, Sense & Sensibility, Maxwell and The Line of Beauty, and his theatre work includes The Heiress on Broadway, and Arcadia, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, The Vortex and Hay Fever in London.

©1953 Ian Fleming Publications Ltd (P)2013 Ian Fleming Publications Ltd. © AudioGO Ltd, 2012. James Bond and 007 are registered trademarks of Danjaq LLC, used under licence by Ian Fleming Publications Ltd.

Critic reviews

"Ian Fleming writes with a kind of pushing, bloodcurdling elegance. His thrillers are models of fastidious murder." ( New York Times)
"From the first evocative words to the last savagely ironic sentence, this is a novel with its own flavour." ( Sunday Times)
"Hums with tension." ( Time Magazine)
"A superb gambling scene, a torture scene which still haunts me, and, of course, a beautiful girl." (Raymond Chandler)
"A first-rate thriller…with a breathtaking plot." ( Manchester Guardian)

What listeners say about Casino Royale (with Interview)

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

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14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

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13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 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.

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8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

What does this story tell us about Ian Fleming?

I think this story needs to be considered in the light of its author's own life story. During WW2, Ian Fleming was fairly high up in the back rooms of the British intelligence services and was closely involved in the management of some of the more clandestine activities of the war (including the development of special forces such as the SAS). So far as I know, he never took part in front line activities.

After the war, it is said, he badly wanted to tell what he knew but was prevented from doing so by the need for ongoing secrecy. A lot of the details of Bond's London-based organisation are said to be very similar to Fleming's WW2 outfit and a lot of the James Bond story lines are said to be based on real events.

I was surprised by the 'philosophical' content of Casino Royale which raises questions about right and wrong, manhood, love and the role of women. The story seemed to reveal Fleming's personality as being more than a little conflicted by his experiences in WW2. I even wonder if he was wracked by feelings of guilt about some of the things he had seen and done (or not done).

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6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable

Would you try another book written by Ian Fleming or narrated by Dan Stevens?

Most certainly!

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

It was not my favourite book but there is nothing I can criticise with the performance. A good book with a fantastic narrator

Was Casino Royale worth the listening time?

Yes, an easy listen and an unequivocal modern classic

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5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

First Bond

That is, the first book, not my first Bond via Audible.
I have listened to some others, and must say that was the only reason it didnt get a five star, Bill Nighy and David Tennant were just superb!
The story is great, Stevens does a good job, but it isnt all that captivating as the others, so much depend on the narrator. I have bought some others, and will likely go through all Bond stories

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4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Spy classic. Classic Audible Recording!

what an unusual book. the big set piece is a card game. Bond falls in love and there's little car chases or gun play.

well written and well recorded. bring on the next 007 take!

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Mr Bond?

Best audio narration I've ever heard, and what a novel: Ian Fleming is better than Le Carre..

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Good for Bond fans

If you're a fan of the Bond films and fancy the books then this is quite enjoyable however as a spy/thriller if it hadn't been Bond I'd probably be a bit more critical about the story and characters.

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2 people found this helpful