16 October, 2013

2013 Book Review - October: Casino Royale

mystringaling casino royale
Casino Royale by Ian Fleming

Firstly, how good are the Casino Royale book covers? There were so many to choose from! Top left is my favourite...

Anywho! On to the review. So this month's book is another book I read for my book club. Despite James Bond being such a huge phenomenon over the last 60 years, none of our group had ever read a 007 book -- seen the films, of course, but not actually picked up Fleming's original text. I'm a huge James Bond fan (read: all Bond films since Daniel Craig took up the protagonist's role), with Casino Royale being my absolute favourite, so I was really excited to read the book; in particular to see how the film & novella compared.

I wasn't disappointed. From where the film picks up at the Casino in Montenegro (Royale, France in the book) the adaptation is fairly close. A lot less tech in the 1953 book, however still just as fun & action-packed. At times the book did show its age, namely the ridiculously misogynistic thought process Bond goes through when Vesper is kidnapped: 'This was just what he had been afraid of. These blithering women who thought they could do a man's work. Why the hell couldn't they stay at home and mind their pots & pans and stick to their frocks and gossip and leave men's work to the men. [...] The silly bitch.' Umm... wow. Right OK, James... *awkward pause*. However, the plot twist at the end, revealing Vesper isn't exactly who she says she is, does make this statement seem all the more ridiculous; perhaps Mr Bond will give us gals some more credit in the next installment?

Despite that aside, Casino Royale was exactly what I wanted it to be: fun, exciting, and exotic. I was also pleasantly surprised that Fleming explored Bond's thought-process regarding "good" & "bad"; it was nice to know that this trained killer didn't think he was some kind of white knight coming to save us all from the "baddies". I really enjoyed every 200-odd page of this book & would recommend it to anyone wanting a bit of fun & escapism on their morning commute or pre-bedtime wind down.

Have you read Casino Royale or any of Ian Fleming's other James Bond books?
What did you think?


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2013 Reading Challenge

2013 Reading Challenge
Charlee has read 18 books toward her goal of 25 books.

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