Casino Royale by Ian Fleming: 52 in 52 Book #23

Casino Royale


Continuing my Bond streak I decided I should head back to the book that started it all: Casino Royale. Set at the beginning of Bond’s double 0 career, this book excited me and provided entertainment and excitement on every page.

As anyone who’s seen the film would know, the plot of the story involves Bond trying to disgrace rich SMERSH supporter Le Chiffre by winning against him at cards. However, in the book the game is baccarat which I found vastly more interesting to Texas Hold’em. Accompanied by French and American agents René Mathis and Felix Leiter and Secret Service agent Vesper Lynd, Bond travels to a French casino to complete this goal.

Vesper Lynd is a particularly intriguing character, not least because of her almost bipolar personality changes. She leads you, and Bond, on through the entire novel right up until the last words of the last chapter. She is the ultimate Bond girl.

This book has all the quintessential points a decent Bond story should: a car chase, a beautiful woman for Bond to seduce, a show down between Bond and the main villain. It grips you with the plot and the twist at the end is both shocking and heart-breaking. The novel also gives ground to Bond’s character development in later novels including why he hates SMERSH and his outlook on the world.

Anyone who even vaguely considers themself a Bond fan needs to read this book. It is the point at which it all began and has been my favourite Bond novel so far!