Musings on Casino Royale in the 21st century

Note that the following reveals spoilers both for the 1953 novel Casino Royale, and the 2006 Movie starring Daniel Craig. CW for sexualized violence. I am using the Kindle Locations for citation purposes.

When I first started out in my desire to read the James Bond novels, my husband asked if I wouldn’t find them annoying. “Aren’t they sexist?”

In a way, he was right, but I find myself surprised in other ways. (Note I will not be touching on the racism in these books, because it’s not my lane, plus others have done it better.) I was pleasantly surprised by the heroine in Moonraker who was way more competent than Bond, and it’s only her smarts that gets them out of the impossible situation (see my live tweet of that book here).

But today we’re going to talk about Casino Royale. I had recently binge watched the Daniel Craig Bond movies at the request of a friend. (which, in the opposite of the traditional ‘only the even numbered’ Star Trek movies are good’, is better on the odds. The first and third are far superior to the second and the mess that is the fourth movie.)

My friend had asked the question – why does Bond do what he does? Why is he loyal to the Crown? He doesn’t have any reasons to be especially patriotic, not that we can see. In fact, he seems to be downright mistreated by the service (specifically talking the Craig iteration here).

I believe the novel Casino Royale answers a lot of these questions.
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