Casino Royale (James Bond #1)

Casino Royale


In 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.  (Summary and book cover courtesy of


While an avid fan of the Bond movies, I was a little disappointed by reading “Casino Royale”.  This unfortunately was a situation where I could not stop comparing the book to the movie and thinking about differences.  The thing that disappointed me the most was that Bond is just not that much of a badass in the book.  He consistently mentions his shortcomings both mentally and physically (and not in an endearing way).  It was interesting, however, that after reading this I recognized that Daniel Craig’s interpretation of James Bond is probably the most accurate as he does explore the tortured soul aspect to some degree.

My other frustration was that the book felt quite slow for being a spy thriller.  Perhaps this was again due to my expectations from the movies, but having had every little thing described to me in the card game got a little old.  I think I would have enjoyed these books MUCH more had I read them when they were written pre-movies, but in today’s context I found the book just “meh”.

Warning: Contains violence

Rating: 3 stars!

Who should read it? True Bond and adventure aficionados, but not the common fan

Want to read the whole series?

  • Live and Let Die (James Bond #2)
  • Moonraker (James Bond #3)
  • Diamonds Are Forever (James Bond #4)
  • From Russia With Love (James Bond #5)
  • Doctor No (James Bond #6)
  • Goldfinger (James Bond #7)
  • For Your Eyes Only (James Bond #8)
  • Thunderball (James Bond #9)
  • The Spy Who Loved Me (James Bond #10)
  • On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (James Bond #11)
  • You Only Live Twice (James Bond #12)
  • The Man With the Golden Gun (James Bond #13)
  • Octopussy & the Living Daylights (James Bond #14)