Joseph's Reviews > Casino Royale

Casino Royale by Ian Fleming
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's review
Aug 04, 2015

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction
Read from August 01 to 04, 2015

This is a bizarre book. It reaches its climax about halfway through, and then spends the remaining half with Bond worrying about his balls and moping about a girl. And sweet Christ, the misogyny! I can't tell if it's just a product of the times, or the genre, or if Fleming just really hates women, but it's almost cartoonish. It makes the movies look documentaries about progressive feminism.

Despite all that, I liked it. A lot of that is probably just residual enthusiasm for the films, but I enjoy the lunacy of the plot, with all the world's major spy organizations trying to bankrupt the bad guys in a card game. And I like the way it puts its hero through the wringer. Bond starts out as a boring professional, obsessed with the technical details of his job, but halfway through the book, he's practically waxing poetic about the meaning of life and the nature of evil, before Vesper pulls the rug out from under him, and turns him into a thug, crazed by his desire for vengeance. In its way, the book is just a strange way for Fleming to get to the next book in the series.

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08/02/2015 page 82

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