>> Friday, July 13, 2012
Casino Royale by Ian Fleming
Series: #1 in James Bond Series
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Publication Date: 2000 by Blackstone (Book originally published 1954)
Length: 4 hours, 41 minutes
Read by: Simon Vance
The Short Version:
A quick fun book that has made me understand why so many people I know adore Simon Vance as an audiobook narrator.
Why I Read It:
Earlier this year after reading several discussions on Twitter I decided that the James Bond books might be good road trip books for The Hubster and I.
From the publisher:
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 in 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.
Well that was a heck of a lot of fun!
No I haven't seen the movie. I've seen several Bond movies but not this one. A group of bloggers I know had been listening to the audio versions of this series and then watching and discussing the movies. Their chatter about the audiobooks sparked my interest. I'm always on the lookout for audiobooks that are a good length for The Hubster and I to listen to on various road trips. I figured we'd give this one a try and if we liked it we could continue with the series.
As far as the book itself goes, it was fun. Sure some of it is dated and unrealistic but it's such fun we don't care. That's why James Bond movies are still so successful. The story in this one was interesting and had an equal amount of surprises and predictability.
As for the audio production, I now 'get' the Simon Vance love. So many of the audiobook listeners I know just adore him as a narrator but I had never listened to a book he'd done. I can assure you that this one won't be my last. He is just excellent. His voice characterizations are spot on throughout the book despite having to tackle a variety of accents. His delivery conveys the right tone at the right time and makes the story enjoyable even in the places you'd think it shouldn't be. I never thought I could feel the tension of a high stakes card game by simply hearing it but Vance had us on edge and hesitating to turn off the ipod when we stopped the car.
Now we'll have to watch the movie.
Rating 3.5/5 for the book
Rating 4/5 for the narration
SoundBytes is a weekly roundup of audio book reviews hosted by Jen at Devourer of Books.