Sunday, August 11, 2013

Casino Royale by Ian Fleming

Casino Royale
by Ian Fleming

 Curiously looking back on my reading particularly when I was a teenager there are a few gaps. One of those are the Fleming Bond books. I do have a vague memory of reading one of the later novels written by someone else. Though I can't remember the title and looking through the list it doesn't really jump out at me. In any event due to a sale of Kindle books I was able to pick up the original series of 14.

This is the first, Bond is sent to a French casino to defeat a French Soviet agent. So that the Soviets would then kill him off for them. The book is plotted strangely at least two modern sensibilities. The storyline ends about half of the way through then we were on to something else dealing with Bond's relationship with a female agent sent to help him. They're such a violent break I almost wonder if this was written as two separate short stories originally but I haven't been able to find any evidence of that.

Unlike the Bond of the films he is frequently outwitted and make some simplistic errors. That if this was being written today I can't see them not being questioned by an editor. I can't decide if this is idiot plodding or more that the plot devices used were fresh and new half a century ago where now they would be tired and hackneyed.

Bond really is a miserable excuse for a human being. Which I was expecting it still a bit jarring. Often criticized for his views towards women it should be noted he doesn't think much of most of the men he comes in contact with as well. With the possible exceptions of M and the American agent.

Recommended as background reading on the genre.

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