I tried to read Casino Royale some time after seeing the movie-I enjoyed the movie but not the book. But I decided to give Fleming another chance and I chose Diamonds Are Forever mostly based on the cover.
Summary: James Bond is sent to investigate the smuggling of diamonds from South Africa to America.
I really liked the description of the airplane on page 50 of my copy: the passengers are served cocktails and caviar on the two hour flight from London to Ireland. I feel lucky to get two drinks and a bag of pretzels on a US cross-country flight.
Perhaps because Casino Royale is the only Bond film I've seen, I kept picturing Daniel Craig as Bond. This works. Bond is cool and efficient whether knocking out some baddies or seducing Miss Tiffany Case (who has a horrific backstory).
I was offended by some passages regarding race and gender but I kept in mind that this book was written 1956 by an Englishman with a vastly different perspective than me. I also felt the ending was somewhat rushed but in the end it's only important to know that Bond completed his mission.
Overall: I would rate this 4 out 5. The chapters were short and suspenseful so I could move through the book quickly. I am definitely planning to read some more Bond books.