#163; Book Review – Casino Royale / Ian Fleming

Ian Fleming; Casino Royale
Penguin (Non-Classics), 1953. 192 pages. Wikipedia Here.

Summary: (From Amazon) The allure of James Bond was best described by Raymond Chandler, who insisted that 007 is “what every man would like to be and what every woman would like to have between her sheets.” Who can argue with that? This month marks the 40th anniversary of the film release of Dr. No, which was the first Bond adventure to make the big screen (2002). These stories were racy for the nifty Fifties but are quite tame by today’s standards. Still, they can be fun.

My comments on the book as well as the details after the jump…

Comments: I love Vesper Lynd. I can’t say that enough. The movie did not do her justice. She is sexy and smart and twisted (and, in a different way, Eva Green is all of those as well – I love my Eva, don’t get me wrong!). Fleming’s original Bond novel takes us to 007’s chase of Le Chiffre, an accountant on behalf of the Soviets and the Nazis who’s in deep with them and needs to come up with $25 million to save his own neck. He’s fat, brilliant, stoic, and despicable in a way that (while I love Mads Mikkleson, he didn’t quite have the same terrifying creepy factor) sends shivers down your back whenever he comes into a scene. Oh yeah, and Felix Lighter, the CIA guy – AWESOME. I like movie!verse Felix a little bit better, but the Texan still rocks my cowboy boots. As for Bond? He’s Bond. He only eats salmon and has very strict rules about when, where, and what to drink regarding alcohol. He trips out his room to be sure no one’s entered. He drives amazing cars in very dangerous situations. He’s James Bond at his most Bondiest, you know?

The writing is sparse and it fits the mood of the novel VERY well; Fleming obviously worked with every word and didn’t ever allow himself to get too verbose. I’m excited to read the others, they’re all short so I try to savor and only allow myself a couple of pages or a chapter a day. Now I just need to get out and pick them up!

I’d suggest this to anyone who likes Bond, mysteries, spy novels and the like… It’s not really something you could just pick up for the hell of it if those things don’t interest you, though.

Notes: hard cover/mine

Subject: Spy novel

Rating: 7.5/10

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