Casino Royale - guest book review by @jesscscott

The following is a guest book review.

Casino Royale

Synopsis: 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.

Book Review

Casino Royale (the first James Bond novel) was written by Ian Fleming, largely from his own experiences and imagination; he also devised the artwork for the original cover.

One of the first things I liked about Casino Royale was the fast pace, and simple but eloquent language. There’s also a lot of dry wit and Ian Fleming’s attention to detail is astounding! I think a lot of these details were lost in the movie version starring Daniel Craig (not because of Craig’s acting, but because of radical story and character changes).

“You must forgive me,” he said. “I take ridiculous pleasure in what I eat and drink. It comes partly from being a bachelor, but mostly from a habit of taking a lot of trouble over details. It’s very pernickety and old maidish really, but then when I’m working I generally have to eat my meals alone and it makes them more interesting when one takes trouble.”

There's a core difference between book-Bond and movie-Bond, which is one of perception. It’s assumed that Bond is a snob about clothes, food, drink…everything. Actually, he’s a planner and works things out to the finest detail--in both his work and private life.

The interactions between Bond and Vesper Lynd (the "Bond girl") contain a range of emotional nuances that were kind of lost in the film version (the 2006 movie version of Casino Royale). The character of Bond is in no way compromised in Ian Fleming's original.

P.S. My copy of Casino Royale is an old copy which shows a James Bond silhouette on a simple navy blue background with red and yellow text. It's a relatively plain-looking cover, though I do subscribe to the idiom “don’t judge a book by its cover.” A long-lasting type of satisfaction can be derived from valuing substance over image.

Maturity Disclaimer: One torture scene towards the end (non-explicit).

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