Hello Cannonball friends, did you miss me? It’s been nearly 4 weeks since my last review. Being gone so long as left me feeling a bit like this:
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, but if I’m being perfectly honest I imagined this voice was actually reading it to me:
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. I feel prepared to play a game I have zero intention of every playing. Besides that we have a quiet game of cat and mouse and the establishing of our heroes and their villains.
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. Seriously, there was swooning, and longing, and kissing, and funky bass line. 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.