TITLE: Casino Royale
AUTHOR: Ian Fleming
PUBLISHER: Thomas & Mercer
Quote: “Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it's ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?"
Overview: The first in the James Bond series, Casino Royale is the story of the British secret agent who must defeat Le Chiffre, a member of the Russian secret service, at a high stakes game of baccarat at the Royale-les-Eaux casino. Le Chiffre has made a failed investment in a string of brothels with money belonging to the Russian Secret Service and is using the game to win it all back. MI6, along with the CIA and the Deuxieme Bureau, plan to bankrupt Le Chiffre and force him to seek refuge with the British government and inform on the Russian Secret Service, however, the best laid plans...
Analysis: I wasn’t sure what to expect with the first Bond novel having watched the majority of the films. Casino Royale began a bit slow and at first it felt as if the reader needed further background about post-WWII Europe, however, about 40 pages in that all changed. The pace of the book picked up and the characters came to life. The reader learns about Bond’s idiosyncrasies as the action and adventure picks up. The book is a fairly quick read but is also a jam packed story. It is the perfect length for what it conveys. Not to mention, the ending was A++. Definitely read this if you haven’t read any Bond novels, and as it is the first one, it’s the perfect place to start.
Conclusion: Pick this up for a classic spy novel about one of literature’s greatest spies.