Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Casino Royale, by Ian Fleming

  • Title:  Casino Royale
  • Author:  Ian Fleming
  • Borrowed from Amazon.com (via Kindle Lending Library)
  • Started:  4/7/2013
  • Finished:  4/111/2013
Over the years I've read 3 or 4 of the Bond books, but they were just random finds at the library or a book store.  So when I noticed Amazon now has the Bond books available for free through their Kindle lending library (you are limited to just one book a month though) I figured I would read them all in order.
I knew, from the earlier Bond books, that this was not the Bond of the movies but rather a darker, more introspective Bond.  Well those earlier books were just that, and so was Casino Royale.  But the Bond in CR was also such a pompus jerk (maybe that's why I like him so much). 
Seriously, check out this passage of Bond ordering his signature drink (not the one you're expecting):
"A dry martini," [Bond] said. "One. In a deep champagne goblet."
"Oui, monsieur."
"Just a moment. Three measures of Gordon's, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it's ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?"
"Certainly, monsieur." The barman seemed pleased with the idea.
"Gosh, that's certainly a drink," said Leiter.
Bond laughed. "When I'm...er...concentrating," he explained, "I never have more than one drink before dinner. But I do like that one to be large and very strong and very cold and very well-made. I hate small portions of anything, particularly when they taste bad. This drink's my own invention. I'm going to patent it when I can think of a good name."
(from this Wikipedia entry)
Imagine going to a bar on the old Vegas strip today and trying that (in the book, the Casino Royale is a past-its-prime spot) and telling the bartender how to make a jumbo martini.  You'd be lucky not to get an extra 2 parts saliva in your drink.
CR was a fun book, a good intro to Bond and the combo of luck and skill he has as a spy.  I'm going to persevere and read them all, in order, with the aid of the local library so I'm not stuck reading just one book a month.

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