The Best Novels About the World of Casinos

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Because the casino is a universe that allows you to set up the best intrigues, ultra gripping stories where twists and turns follow one another, or which can immerse you in unscrupulous environments, such as that of the mafia.

Casino Royale, Ian Fleming

We start this top slowly with a classic featuring the most famous secret agent: James Bond. If the film adaptation with Daniel Craig only arrived in 2006, the novel Casino Royale was published in 1953! This is the first work written by Ian Fleming featuring Agent 007. It was an immediate success and thus paved the way for a long series of books recounting the adventures of Bond.

In this first mission, the British secret agent is sent to the Royale-les-Eaux casino. He has to confront Le Chiffre, a Soviet agent who acts as treasurer of a French communist union. An inveterate gambler, he lost the money entrusted to him by SMERSH and seeks to recover it as quickly as possible during a game of baccarat. James Bond will not only have to mobilize his talents as a spy, but also as a player to try to stop him!

If the novel was adapted for the screen in 2006, this is not the first, but the third adaptation! The novel was first adapted for American television in 1954, then into a parody film in 1967. Finally it became the action film that we all know, the 21st opus of the official film series produced by EON Productions.

Void Moon, Michael Connelly

The most reading among you, and in particular fans of detective novels, know full well who Michael Connelly is. The American is one of the most popular authors when it comes to noir thrillers. Some of his works have also been adapted for cinema, such as Créance de Sang, directed by the great Clint Eastwood.

But with Void Moon, published in 2000, Connelly moved away from the characters who made his success, to highlight a female main character and a criminal one at that! Here, we follow the daily life of Cassie, a young woman on parole, who is trying to sort herself out. She works in a dealership in Los Angeles, a legal job, but one that bores her terribly. As a result, it doesn’t take long before his troubled past resurfaces. At the same time, an old acquaintance suggests that he set up a plan to rob a Las Vegas casino. The problem is that the target is none other than the casino that brought him down five years ago.

With Void Moon, Michael Connelly shows that he does not need to rely on his key characters to offer a very high-quality and ultra-engaging book. The character of Cassie is deep and very endearing. It also appears via allusions in other books by the author.

The Gambler, Fyodor Dostoyevsky

As we said, here he is, the famous Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky! And if The Player is not the writer’s best-known work, it is still significant of the Russian’s writing talent.

The story tells of Alexei Ivanovich, a young tutor, working for the children of a retired general. He travels to Germany to Roulettenburg, a fictional town known for its thermal baths and high society leisure activities. It is in this city that he crosses paths with Paulina Alexandrovna, the general’s daughter-in-law, and with whom he is desperately in love. The general’s family is desperately in debt to the Marquis De Grieux, with whom Paulina is in love. Alexei, out of love for her, will start gambling to try to repay debts and thus obtain the favors of his beautiful one. But she will only have contempt for him, while he gradually falls into addiction.

As said previously, The Gambler is not the author’s most important work, but it is very interesting, as it contains almost autobiographical elements, notably the fact that Dostoyevsky was a real fan of games of chance, in which he left a lot of money. The book nevertheless enjoyed a certain popularity, having been adapted seven times for cinema and television.

Bad News, Donald Westlake

Like Michael Connelly, Donald Westlake spent the majority of his career with detective novels, combining violence and humor, and featuring characters who have become cult, such as Alan Grofield, Parker and John Dortmunder. It is also the latter which is highlighted in Bad News.

Here, the famous Dortmunder sets out in search of a long-dead, but nevertheless kidnapped, Indian. It all started on the Internet, thanks to his lifelong friend Andy Kelp, who met a certain Fitzroy Guilderpost, who turns out to be more dishonest than he seems. He and his associates, Irwin Gabel, a failed professor, and Little Feather, a Las Vegas showgirl, have set up a completely crazy plan to rob a casino in northern New York. Dortmunder will therefore find himself, against all odds, helping these crooks assert the rights of the supposed last descendant of an Indian tribe to the profits of a casino.

Donald Westlake, winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Prize for best detective novel, is a writer with an unexpected pen, and shows it once again here. He approaches the game with humor, all with the help of a clumsy and hapless anti-hero. The writer, who later won a Masters Award, inspired many directors, including Costa-Gavras, Yves Robert and Stephen Frears. He died on December 31, 2008, at the age of 75.


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