Which book should you read first?

Sometimes people ask me what book they should start with in the Bond series. My answer?

It depends.

Ideally I’d say get hold of a copy of Casino Royale and work your way through the rest in chronological order. But that’s not how I read the books the first time.

I did start at the beginning, with Casino Royale.

But after that I read whatever I could get my hands on from friends, the library and the second hand paperback stall at our local market. It didn’t spoil anything for me I don’t think.

So, another way to approach it is like me.

Whatever is available.

And there is a third approach, especially good if you’re not an avid reader I think, or if English isn’t your first language and you don’t feel up to reading a novel yet.

There are two books of short stories, For Your Eyes Only and Octopussy & The Living Daylights.

From the first I particularly like From a View to a Kill and For Your Eyes Only. From the second I recommend The Living Daylights. It is gripping and contains just about everything you could want from 007.

David Leigh founded The James Bond Dossier in 2002. A fan of 007 since the age of 8, he is also author of The Complete Guide to the Drinks of James Bond. You can order a copy here if you don't own it already.