Friday, May 25, 2007

Summer Reading: Casino Royale

Casino Royale ~ Ian Fleming
Bond's first appearance, he comes off here as a cold misogynistic asshole babbling about the "sweet tang of rape," untempered by any hint of the slightly goofy pun-inflicted chauvinistic Bond we get in the films up til Daniel Craig. Bond must defeat the baddie Le Chiffre in high-stakes gambling to prevent him from paying off some very important debts, and in the process gets smacked around and nearly blown up, comes face-to-face with Commies, and saves the free world. The beginning is a little choppy and slow, but things begin to pick up with the first explosion, and the action is fairly relentless after that. Also nonstop is the ride on the Bond Rollercoaster of Love, which after riding along a trippy dippy view of the ladies that is characterized by James hating on them then suddenly not minding them (hard to keep up with!), climaxes inexplicably with dreams of marriage that swan dive straight into a more logical frame of mind that allows the novel to end with what might be one of my favorite ending lines, if only for the perfect coldness that the reader can't quite endorse but can allow.

The film runs the same course of the book, with a bit more punch, and takes about as long to watch as the book does to read. I'd like to read Dr No, which I recently decided was my favorite Bond film.

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