Review by Richard Welsh
In Casino Royale, Ian Fleming’s most successful franchise gets rebooted, establishing a new timeline and narrative that are not meant to precede or follow any previous Bond film. That’s why Casino Royale features a Bond that is less experienced and more vulnerable to enemy traps and conspiracies. It is also in this film where Bond gets his title as Agent 007, meaning the start of his license to kill.
In this Bond audiobook that is narrated by Dan Stevens, Agent 007 is dispatched to a French Casino in Royale-les-Eaux, and his mission is to defeat a deadly Russian Agent named Le Chiffre at the Baccarat tables. Baccarat has always been “a game that is associated with the elite class,” according to international casino gaming provider InterCasino, and perhaps it is this particular reason why the film used it instead of Pai Gow or Craps. Le Chiffre has been a high-profile target of the British Secret Service for years, and he would be terminated by his bosses in Moscow if Bond can bankrupt him. Le Chiffre is as shrewd as a snake and Bond must never lose this chance or else M16 would have to wait for years for another opportunity.
Of course, Baccarat is a game of luck and Bond isn’t exactly an expert who participates in the World Series of Baccarat. After his first round against Le Chiffre, Bond finds himself evading assassins, escaping brutal tortures, and surviving poisoned drinks. He also finds himself in a pinch after the lovely treasury agent that was sent to provide the money he needs to get a seat at the Baccarat tournament, Vesper Lynd, got abducted by the enemy.
Intense, action-packed, but effortlessly trendy, James Bond’s Casino Royale has all the traits that made Ian Fleming’s most popular novel a benchmark for all the books under the spy genre.
The audio version of Casino Royale is available at Amazon for $15.57.
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