Casino Royale

by

Author: Ian Fleming

Title: Casino Royale

Genre: Adrenaline, adventure

Publication date: 1953

Number of pages: NA (read Kindle edition)

Geographical setting: Northern France

Time period: 1950s

Plot summary: This is Ian Flemings classic that started the Great 007 Odyssey. British Secret Service operative Bond, James Bond, is a suave spy tracking Le Chiffre, a treasurer of a Russian-backed trade union, in Northern France. Le Chiffre is running a gambling racket at the posh Casino Royale to recover money he stole from the union. An expert gambler himself, Bond is sent to beat Le Chiffre, thus prompting Soviet spy group, SMERSH, to assassinate Le Chiffre, leading Bond and the Secret Service to SMERSH. Bond is assigned the beautiful Vespa as his aid, and he soon falls for her. After a thrilling all-night baccarat game against Le Chiffre, Bond encounters more than he bargained for. After being captured and tortured, Bond manages to escape, but more questions remain about SMERSH, his lover, and his own future.

Subject headings: Bond, James; Spies — British; International intrigue

Appeal: compelling, engrossing, intriguing, vivid characters, action-packed, straightforward

Three terms that best describe the book: Suspenseful, hard-edged, and stylish

Similar authors and works:

Nonfiction

James Chapman, in License to Thrill: A Cultural History of the James Bond Films, examines what impact the Bond films have had on our society and politics. Covering every film from 1962’s Dr. No to 2008’s Casino Royale, Chapman even looks at the actors who have played the iconic spy.

Bond Girls are Forever looks at the female characters in the Bond novels and movies and the actresses portraying them. Sometimes lauded as strong, self-confident role models or as sex objects, author Maryam D’abo investigates these icons from both sides of the debate.

Want to be James Bond? Sure we all do. And Jack Barth’s International Spy Museum’s Handbook of Practical Spying can help. This is practical guide that demonstrates how techniques from the international spy world can be applied to your every day life of avoiding carjacking and other petty crimes. No passport required!

Fiction

John Le Carré’s The Spy Who Came in from the Cold follows Alec Leamas, a Bristish agent in Cold War Berlin. Made to look the fool in order to go deep under cover, Leamas learns that there is no clear line between the bad guys and the good guys.

Our Man in Havanna represents author Graham Greene well — even though it was published over forty years ago. Darkly comic and satirical, we laugh and cry with a vacuum-salesman-turned-spy as he files reports he’s made up from Havanna, Cuba. Then his stories come true.

Another Berlin thriller, Ian McEwan’s The Innocent shows us that the world of espionage is more than fancy clothes and fast cars. Young Agent Marnham finds affairs, murder, and betrayal as he fights for his sanity and his life.

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