No two persons ever read the same book. --Edmund Wilson

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

REREAD: Casino Royale -- Ian Fleming

Reread after watching the recent movie version starring Daniel Craig. I read all Fleming's Bond novels as a teenager, when they impressed and excited me rather more than they do now. The world that Fleming writes about seems very distant to my own, now, in a way that it didn't back then. Perhaps, growing up during the Cold War on a diet of black-and-white war films and thrillers on TV, with parents who spoke often of their wartime experiences, the decades between the end of WW2 and my childhood were compressed.

Now it reads like ancient history. Part of that's the evolution of technology: more than anything, this can date a novel, and because it's a relevant aspect of the plot there's no avoiding it here. Part of it's Bond's attitudes: his patriotism, his chauvinism, his alienation. His repression, too.

And another thing: compared to most contemporary novels, this was a very short, quick read.In fact, I suspect I could have read it in less time than it took to watch the 2006 film ...

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