19 August 2011

Review: Casino Royale by Ian Fleming

Casino RoyaleCasino Royale by Ian Fleming

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In the first of Ian Fleming's James Bond novels, 007 declares war on Le Chiffre, French communist and paymaster of the Soviet murder organization SMERSH.

The battle begins with a fifty-million-franc game of baccarat, gains momentum during Bond's fiery love affair with a sensuous lady spy, and reaches a chilling climax with fiendish torture at the hands of a master sadist. For incredible suspense, unexpected thrills, and extraordinary danger, nothing can beat James Bond in his inaugural adventure.

We all know James Bond. How can't you? Tall, handsome, sexy, brilliant, and an agent for the British Secret Service. Oh, yes, if you have been around in media at all for the past several decades, James Bond is no mystery name to you.

So, since I am a fan of Mr. Bond, what harm would come in reading the book from which he sprang? Nothing, I tell you! I buckled in for a wild ride, sat down and just... dug right into the first James Bond book...

And then I realized how bad the book is and why I'd rather watch the movies.

Honestly? Yes. Ian Fleming, the man who created James Bond, makes him lame. Really, really lame. I read a book about a man that was not special int he least and didn't invoke the least bit of shock or awe. Most of the book centered around a single poker game, a poker game that had no excitement at all and just created a large section of book in which I felt I might fall asleep. Wasn't Bond more fun than this? Had media made him exciting when Fleming, his creator could not?

And is it just me, or was Bond a pig? He put down women, when he wasn't thinking about having sex with them, and honestly didn't care whether or not Vesper lived or died. Beyond that, he didn't do much secret-agent stuff. He just looked like a fellow at the wrong place at the wrong time, who somehow struck it lucky in a few events, and then had to have a Russian bloke swoop in to save his life, and his man-jewels. He just didn't do anything that made me sit back and admire him.

I suggest this book for fans of Bond. If you can dedicate a day to him, then all the better. I read this book in a span of a few hours and was glad it didn't last much longer than that. I'm pretty sure there are more secret agent man books out there that would better satisfy me.

I'll end with a picture of Daniel Craig, though, being sexeh Bond...


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  1. He IS the sexiest Bond so far IMO! I've never read any of these but I did see a documentary about the films in which they explained that they chose to give the films a tongue in cheek tone because the script that stuck to the tone of the book was too boring and didn't test well!

  2. @ mummazappa - I completely agree, he is the sexiest Bond. And I understand why they had to write a script that ran so far from the original plot of the book. And not to mention the character. Bond in the book is nothing like the agent we all adore in the movies. The books are just so mediocre.

  3. I always feared that in this case, the movies would be better than the book.

  4. @ theecleticreader - I HATE saying that, because as a lover of books, I always want to boast about the book being better than the movies. Sadly, this is not the case with the Bond novels.


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