Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Review: Casino Royale (A James Bond Novel)

Casino Royale is the first James Bond novel by Ian Fleming. Instead of boring and tedious background stories, readers get to learn about the mysterious spy the way one would when making new acquaintances: We judge him by his actions and beliefs. The outcome was not bad. Even with a negative view, James Bond's emotions were easy to connect with. One can almost feel sentimental about his situations. To conclude, the book is believable and invites the reader to experience the thrill without the danger.

Gathering from the discussions and glimpses of the movies, the double 0 agent has always seemed, to me, to be a the cold-blooded machine that never make mistakes on a mission and his seductive qualities merely material supplied for the purpose of spicing up the plot to suit the taste of audiences. For years, I have refused to read the story believing in, and disgusted by, the amount of male chauvinism involved. But I was surprised to find that, the book is actually action packed with a storyline filled with glorious peaks as well as bitter pitfalls. James Bond is a believable character with many talents. He may misjudge a dire situation, and expresses fear in the face of danger. He is not a superhuman hero but a man good at his job. Although he does hold somewhat offensive views of women, his line of thinking is understandable. Mercifully, the romance never got in the way of the plot, as I had previously assumed it would. Instead, it gives much insight to the making of the man living a dangerous and lonely life. He is far from heartless, although he has a touch too much of manly pride (from my prideful point of view of a lady).

This is the first Bond novel I've read. As popular as the various movie adaptations are, I have watched few and understood less. Spy stories used to be too political and complicated for me. I am thankful that, without plot spoilers from the movies, my experience with this book is completely fresh and exciting.

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