This is the first in the James Bond series by Fleming and I thought it was quite entertaining. I read several Bond books back in the 60s and 70s and remember enjoying them all but I don't think I ever read Casino Royale. In this book, Fleming defines his Bond character along with the Soviet SMERSH organization, the British secret service (including M and Q) and the rules of baccarat. The plot of the story is pretty straight forward: Bond is sent to play baccarat with a soviet agent, Le Chiffre, who is in financial trouble. If Bond can outlast Le Chiffre and take his money, Le Chiffre will be in trouble with the Soviets and SMERSH. Along the way Bond is captured and brutally tortured in a way that could affect his manhood and of course he falls in love. I would recommend this one.