It’s been nearly 4 weeks since my last review. I have been reading most of the time, but I’m working through two very dense books (Children of God by Mary Doria Russell and House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende) during a very busy time for me at work (Ah, summer camp season). So in order to get back on the reviewing bandwagon, I decided a quick audiobook was the ticket, and clocking in at just over 5 hours, Casino Royale fit the bill.
In 2014 a new set of James Bond audiobooks, the Celebrity Performances, were released. Casino Royale is narrated by Dan Stevens of Downton Abbey fame. He delivers a great Bond. Although I admit wholeheartedly that in my mind, I was imagining this:
The story of Casino Royale is broken into three basic acts (which Stevens talks about after the book on the audio), the mission at the casino, the kidnap/chase/torture, and then recovery/denouement. I hadn’t necessarily thought about it while I was listening, but it made sense upon some thought. The first third of the book introduces some of the classic Bond characters which will populate the rest of the series (Felix Lighter and M notably) but also serves as a primer on baccarat and the kind of man Bond is, and the importance or lack thereof, of his work.
The middle of the book heads away from the quieter spy stuff, and into the more car chase style spy thriller stuff we’ve come to expect. The final third presents Bond, the romantic hero. I had an instinct that it was coming, as I’ve seen all the Bond movies, including this one:
(Reminder for those who care, Casino Royale with hotties Daniel Craig and Eva Green is 10 years old this year… a perfectly lovely excuse to give it a watch.)
But I was still a little surprised to hear what sounded to me like all the kissing books I also read. It was good stuff.
While this was not a perfect book, it was clever and enjoyable and only shows its 60+ year age a handful of times. I was pleased and book two, Live and Let Die is read by Rory Kinnear and its already on my Audible bookshelf.
This book was read and reviewed as part of the charitable Cannonball Read.