Thursday, 3 September 2009

Casino Royale by Ian Fleming

I spotted this in the Shoe Lane library the other day and with the blog in mind I thought I’d give it a go. I’d never read any of the 007 novels before and rather enjoyed it, although I’d probably not disagree too much with the theory that the novel goes downhill a bit after the Baccarat game.

Published in 1953, Casino Royale seems very much of its time; Bond is a hard living womaniser with a faint whiff of prejudice about him... There’s an amusing moment with Fleming notes as an aside that he has just lit his seventieth cigarette of the day. Naturally, a man who refuses to do anything by halves will have a corresponding appetite for drinking as well. There’s certainly a panache about how he asks for a martini:

Bond insisted on ordering Leiter’s Haig-and-Haig ‘on the rocks’ and then he looked carefully at the barman. “A dry martini,” he said. “One. In a deep champagne goblet. 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?”

Bond is, of course, a complete professional. He’s doing this for his country and knows when it’s time to stop:

He called for the bill and took a last mouthful of champagne. It tasted bitter, as the first glass too many always does.

Almost makes we want to dig out my dinner jacket...

1 comment:

  1. Christ on a bike Charles. I'm going to have hideous nightmares about what a Bond movie would be like if you were licensed to kill. Actually now I come to think of it The last one would have been greatly improved by the inclusion of knitting....