Casino Royale by Ian Fleming

The first James Bond book that Ian Fleming wrote and I recognised some of the details from the 2006 film of the same name.

Le Chiffre is a nearly bankrupt member of the secretive SMERSH organisation (SMERSH is a conjunction of two Russian words: ‘Smyert Shpionam’ meaning roughly ‘Death to Spies’.

Le Chiffre and Bond play an increasingly high stakes game of baccarat (all the rules are explained so the book is educational too) and put it this way, Le Chiffre doesn’t take losing the game too well. The game is played at the casino in Royale-les-Eaux in France (not in Montenegro). Bond is tortured by Le Chiffre but is rescued by an unlikely source. Bond gets a tattoo from his rescuer. His recuperation from having his manhood repeatedly squashed by a carpet beater takes a few weeks.

Bond is accompanied on his adventures by Vesper Lynd who is working for the French Deuxieme Bureau. After the baccarat game, she is kidnapped and Bond chases after her, but his car is ambushed and the torture begins. After his recuperation, Vesper and Bond go to the French coast for a few days, but Vesper has a secret…

Vesper is the name Bond gives to his drink of choice: A dry martini, three measures of Gordon’s, one measure of vodka (preferably made from grain), and a half measure of Kina Lillet. This should be shaken along with a large thin slice of lemon peel until it’s ice cold. Kina Lillet is a liqueur made with white wine mixed with fruit liqueurs and flavored with quinine. The “Kina” in its name is derived from quinine’s main ingredient: the bark of the kina-kina (or cinchona) tree. Kina Lillet was discontinued in 1986.

We’re briefly introduced to ‘M’, Miss Moneypenny, and Felix Leiter in this book. Indeed, without Leiter Bond’s mission would have failed but I’ll let you find out why that is.

Published by Julian Worker

Julian was born in Leicester, attended school in Yorkshire, and university in Liverpool. He has been to 94 countries and territories and intends to make the 100 when travel is easier. He writes travel books, murder / mysteries and absurd fiction. His sense of humour is distilled from The Marx Brothers, Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, and Midsomer Murders. His latest book is about a Buddhist cat who tries to help his squirrel friend fly further from a children's slide.

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