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Bennett Winch SC Holdall

Casino Royale, Ian Fleming

photo © Peter Harrington
First Edition of Casino Royale, published by Jonathan Cape in 1953
photo © Peter Harrington

photo © misc
Different covers of Casino Royale
photo © misc

photo © The Folio Society
The Folio Society's illustrated edition of Casino Royale
photo © The Folio Society

photo © Random House
The Casino Royale, Bentley Special Edition, limited to 500 pieces, and with 'hidden' card deck and luxurious cover
photo © Random House

If you have never read an Ian Fleming James Bond novel, it's about time that you do! Why not start with the first Bond novel, and one of the best: Casino Royale.

Published in 1953, it is the first James Bond book Fleming wrote 12 Bond novels in total, plus two short story collections. After Fleming's death, numerous continuation Bond novels by other authors were published, up to the most recent one Trigger Mortis in 2015.

Reading a Fleming novel is a great way to learn about the thoughts and habits of James Bond. Read a chapter a day and you will step into his world, feel the 'Bond Lifestyle', hearing Fleming's words in your mind while you are going through your daily routines.

The 2006 movie Casino Royale is a modern version of the book, but basically has the same plot of a high stakes poker game that means all or nothing for Le Chiffre. 

Available in many different versions, the most recent edition can be found on for $10 or on for £11.

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You can also often find vintage copies of the book at your local vintage book shop, or search on eBay. The 1950s hardcovers by publisher Jonathan Cape might be pricey, but the more common PAN paperback books are usually very affordable.

Other special editions include the Casino Royale Bentley Special Edition (2013, still available on eBay) and The Folio Society's illustrated edition of Casino Royale (2015).

If you want to buy and read in the order they were published, here's a list of Ian Fleming's Bond novels, in chronological order:

Casino Royale (1953)
Live and Let Die (1954)
Moonraker (1955)
Diamonds Are Forever (1956)
From Russia with Love (1957)
Dr. No (1958)
Goldfinger (1959)
For Your Eyes Only, a collection of short stories, published in different years but bundled for the first time in 1960: From a View to a Kill, For Your Eyes Only, Quantum of Solace, Risico, The Hildebrand Rarity.
Thunderball (1961)
The Spy Who Loved Me (1962)
On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1963)
You Only Live Twice (1964)
The Man with the Golden Gun (1965)
Octopussy and The Living Daylights: short stories published in different years but bundled together in 1966, and later also including the stories Octopussy, The Living Daylights, The Property of a Lady, 007 in New York.

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Not forgetting the First Edition Library facsimilies from a few years back

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