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Casino Royale by Ian Fleming

Casino Royale (James Bond) - Ian Fleming

 I've watched a few James Bond movies over the years, although not any of the Casino Royale films. I recall a trailer for the one with Daniel Craig as 007, which forewarned of certain unpleasantness that our poor James was to suffer in this story. Without that image in my mind, I'm not sure how well that scene would have worked just from the reading. But then, I'm not a man, either. So your mileage may vary on that score.


Although this book was first published in 1953, it doesn't feel dated. Technology has advanced significantly, of course, but the feel of the story is quite contemporary. In this first of the 007 books, Bond's character hasn't been developed extensively. What little is revealed shows a deeply conflicted man. I wouldn't say that he likes himself and he tries hard not to think beyond what his job requires in the moment or his sensual pleasures after business is concluded. He is a clever spy and good at what he does, but, in this installment, he is merely human and hasn't acquired the trappings or expectations of a super spy. When he is afraid, he sweats fear all over the pages. I don't know whether the super spy thing is only a feature of the films or if later books turn him into something more elevated. 


I look forward to reading the next 007 adventure to see how James Bond develops. I hope that he doesn't become the suave super spy of the movies. This was an enjoyable book and, I think, well written. Not what I expected and the experience was the better for it.