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helenliz

helenliz

Casino Royale: A James Bond Novel (James Bond Novels, Book 1)

Casino Royale - Ian Fleming It's difficult to put aside a lifetime of watching James Bond movies and remember that the entire thing had to start somewhere - and this is it. Bond springs fully formed as a double 0 agent and walks into the casino to play baquerat - a game I now understand the rules of. He's somewhat darker on the page than in the movies - no jokey references or asides in the film style. It's fair to say that his attitude to women is pretty awful - but the book is 50+years old, and he strikes me as a product of his time. That being said, he shows a far more emotional side in the book than I imagined - wanting to ask Vesper to marry him, but he doesn't when there begins to be a wall of lies & mistrust built between them. And he's right to be reserved, she isn't what she seems. And so, having opened himself up[ emotionally, it gets slapped right back in his face, so no wonder he doesn't open up. I realise it's slightly unfashionable, but my favourite Bond film is OHMSS (the one with Lazenby as Bond) And it's because it's one of the few where there's any real emotion, he steps outside the facade and is human. And that's what you see in this book - he is human and does venture out from behind the facade he projects, only to be hurt & retreat further. The torture was really quite unpleasant, takes a really fiendish mind to think of that, but the really scary thing here is Smersh - a Communist organisation with a ridiculous name who's aim is to hunt down their own people who have worked against the state. It would make no sense in the current political environment, but they're horribly efficient. It whizzes along at pace, and the characters, while not being fully formed people, are different enough to stand separately. They seem to be described by their cigarette choice - another things that makes little sense to a modern mind. the only thing I can't quite get straight in my head was Bond's choice of car - he doesn't seem a pre-war Bentley boy to me - but is that just because I've been brainwashed by the association with Aston in the film franchise. yes, it's dated, and in places very much so, but that doesn't make it a bad book - treat it as a relic of a bygone era. you don;t read Dickens wanting everyone to be contemporary - why should this be any different.BTW - I'd still not throw him out of bed for eating crisps...