Ian FLEMING ... Casino Royale (1953)
DANIEL CRAIG, the new James Bond, doesn’t really give a damn whether his vodka martini is shaken or stirred. And that’s my kind of Bond hero. Good to know that the new Bond movie has gone back to basics without too much of the gimmickry and gadgetry that suffused the previous Bond movies. For once, less is more.
You somehow realise that you are growing old when 38-year-old Liverpudlian Daniel Craig is the first Bond who’s much younger than you. The last five Bonds, Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan, were very much older than me by many years.
Of course, before Casino Royale the movie, there was Casino Royale (Penguin, 1953) the book, Ian Fleming’s first James Bond novel published in 1953, the beginning of a series of action-packed thrillers. Some consider it to be his best book. Casino Royale is not just pure escapism; surprisingly, its themes are quite contemporary despite the passage of over half a century.
I remember devouring my father’s tattered copy of the novel back in the early 1970s. I’m not sure where it is now. Lost in the mist of time, I guess. So I decided to get a copy of the new edition for old times’ sake. There’s an interesting introduction by Jeffery Deaver in the new edition.