CommanderBond.net
  1. James Bond hosts Saturday Night Live

    “The Huffington Post” has these news for you: DANIEL CRAIG will host the legendary “Saturday Night Live” on October 6. Musical guest is “Muse”. Coincidence or a hint at the possible performer of the “Skyfall” title song? Well, the Adele rumors seem to remain pretty insistent. In any event, this is Craig´s first time as SNL-host. Surely, he will show his funny bone. And poke fun at 007? Steve Martin did it before in the famous sketch with Sting. Who will join Craig as a secret surprise guest?

    Source: www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/29/seth-macfarlane-host-snl-season-premiere-frank-ocean_n_1839097.html

     

    Stefan Rogall @ 2012-08-29
  2. Vintage’s second part of ‘There is only one Bond’ revealed

    Today The Book Bond exclusively provides a look at the second stint of contemporary Fleming covers, once more with the now-established b/w photography approach. The seven books will be released October 4th, 2012.

    Take a look at them at The Book Bond’s story here

    Discuss the covers in this thread

     

    Helmut Schierer @ 2012-07-17
  3. SKYFALL EXCLUSIVE COMING TO COMIC CON

    An update from the IMAX Twitter feed has announced that a never before seen preview of Skyfall will showcase at this years San Diego Comic Con.

    More news to follow…

    Matthew Harkin @ 2012-07-10
  4. James Bond's Art of Living, an introduction

    Martinis, girls, and guns.

    It’s almost become a cliché.

    What it describes are three elements of James Bond’s art of living. And Bond’s art of living is something important to the series – for without it he would be yet another unmemorable action hero.

    With such importance in mind, CommanderBond.net has dedicated this section to the discussion of Bond’s art of living, something rarely done before.

    The Finer Details

    The Finer Details delves into the art of living, analysing and critiquing the way the world dresses and how one can take a leaf out of Bond’s book.

    Latest Article

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    In Transit

    In Transit deals with the world travels of Bond and also some of the rare known international elements.

    Latest Article

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    JQ

    JQ examines at the finer points of the double-0 life from a female perspective.

    Latest Article

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    The CBn Team @ 2003-11-12
  5. The Fleming Blueprint: Casino Royale

    2003. The fiftieth anniversary of the birth of James Bond.

    And if the birth date of the character of James Bond was 1953 than its conception occurred in January 1952 when Lieutenant-Commander Ian Fleming wrote the first paragraph for Casino Royale.

    The scent of smoke and sweat of a casino are nauseating at three in the morning. Then the soul-erosion produced by high gambling—a compost of greed and fear and nervous tension—becomes unbearable and the senses awake and revolt from it.

    007 Days Of Casino RoyaleEven within this prose of the seeds of the future are laid. The juxtaposition of grime and luxury, excitement and tension, are themes that have carried with Bond to this day. As Fleming continued his story, he filled it with action, sex, alcohol, high-stakes gambling, and even—believe it or not—romance. All elements that make up the Bond of past fifty years were spelled out. Within two months of starting Casino Royale was completed and the blueprint was set.

    At first the novel then sat. Fleming, as he would later recall, was not sure of his work. ‘I did nothing with the manuscript. I was too ashamed of it. No publisher would want it, and, if one did, I would not have the face to see it in print’. His comments, however, were unlikely to been a true reflection of how Fleming felt of this new creation. More likely, it was the nerves of releasing a radical form of story that had roots in what some would call the lower-class pulp fiction to world. And it was also likely that Fleming was to be moving to counter the likely criticism of such a novel.

    If he had ever intended to keep Casino Royale’s manuscript private, it was a thought that did not last long. Over lunch at London’s The Ivy Fleming revealed to friend William Plomer that he had written a book. Plomer encouraged Fleming and used his influence at Jonathan Cape, where he served as both author and part-time reader, to ensure a publication for Fleming’s book.

    On April 13 1953 Casino Royale was published in Great Britain. The novel had a print run of 4750 copies in the country, a figure that puts James Bond of 1953 into perspective compared with that of later books, Moonraker, for instance, had a print run of 9900 copies despite being published only two years later.


    The Man

    Casino Royale inarguably set the tone for future Bond adventures, whether they are literary or cinematic. For starters, foundation of the character of James Bond was created. While some Bond enthusiasts will comment that there is little in the way of characterisation of Bond in Casino Royale (an issue to be addressed in the previous article of ‘The 007 Days of Casino Royale’), the major elements of the character are present. Casino’s Bond is the hard-smoking, hard-drinking, cold, calculating, epicurean, misogynistic, woman-loving, gambling, self-doubting, loyal, independent secret agent that we still see today. The only thing that is actually missing is evidence of his extraordinary skill as a secret agent. Fleming tells us that Bond was ‘a compound of all the secret agents and commandos’ he met during his time within His Majesty’s Royal Navy, but it was Fleming himself that the pieces of these other men were!
    grafted to create his hero. In fact, there exists an item that Fleming gave to a dear friend as a gift on which Fleming refers to himself as ‘OO7’. Fleming inscribed the gift prior to the publication of Casino Royale. So while huge details of Bond’s world did not abound from the pages of Casino Royale, the basis for Bond was there and much of it based on Fleming himself. Even today the elements that Fleming moulded can be seen in Pierce Brosnan’s interpretation of the role, as they have been seen in all of the actors who have portrayed James Bond.


    The Villian

    There is nothing grand about the novel’s villain Le Chiffre. He is, perhaps, the most normal of all the villains. While he still has his ties with SMERSH, he lacks the power of subsequent villains who would steal nuclear missiles and command private armies. He is simply a man in trouble, a floundering fish whom Bond is sent to put out of its misery. The more powerful villain would become an archetype for both following Bond novels and, more influentially, the cinematic Bond series. Le Chiffre, however, did still possess the seeds of what is to follow. There are the oddities of the classic Bond villain, such as the wide-face, the false teeth, and the eyes ‘with whites showing all round iris’. Le Chiffre does have the aura of power present in nearly all Bond villains. Lastly, Le Chiffre possess the strange polite evil of Drax, Kananga, or even Graves.


    The Girl

    Vesper Lynd, who maybe the least known of Bond women (save perhaps Moonraker’s Gala Brand), serves as the template for the women who would follow. She has the strange, poetic name, although it lacks the overt sexual meaning that would later become infamous. (Vesper means ‘evening star’.) Vesper is a woman of strengths and vulnerabilities. She has methodical control, yet exerts a raw sexuality. The standard of the thawing ice-princess has been repeated many times through the books and films, most recently with Miranda Frost in Die Another Day. Similarly Bond’s melting from misogynist to romantic for the woman has been used to different degrees in nearly every one of his adventures.


    The Allies

    The side characters are an important part of a Bond Story. In Casino Royale, we see in Mathis and Leiter the two who set the standards. Mathis is the friendly, almost-fatherly advisor. This type is spread sporadically through the books and films with characters such as Kerim Bey, Colombo, and was recently resurrected in Raoul. Felix Leiter, the jovial friend in the business, serves as the mould for the likes of Niko Litsas, Lt. Hip, Vijay, Chandra, Wade, and… well, Felix Leiter. These allies serve an important a role in the Bond story. For one, they move the plot along by explaining things to Bond rather than having Bond have to go find these facts themselves. Plus, they add an important element of colour and familiarity; we see these men as further evidence that Bond is fighting on the right side.


    The Car

    The battleship-grey, supercharged Bentley 41/2-Litre convertible coupe set a standard for Bond cars that is often overlooked and misunderstood, particularly by those who later attempting to imitate Bond. Most think that the Bond car is about flash, and they couldn’t be farther from the truth. You often see the want-a-be-Bonds in the likes of red Ferraris or black Porsches, but the Bond car if not about flash—the battleship-grey proves that—rather it is about power and performance. The Bond car, starting with the Bentley, is more elegant than sexy; more about the Amherst Villiars supercharger than the gull-wing doors. The silver Aston Martin DB5 and more recently the Vanquish are perfect examples of this. These cars do not have the frilly protuberances found on the overly exotic sports cars that some think the world’s top spy would drive. Instead they are gracefully beautiful and, more importantly, a highly honed machine. Just !
    as the original Bentley was.


    The Story Arc

    The blueprint laid out in Casino Royale is arguably incomplete, despite the establishment of key elements Fleming had yet to lock down his true formula. However, Fleming’s formula is more complex than film series’ formula. A major element in the Fleming formula is mixing up the order. Casino Royale starts in what could be chapter 5 and then proceeds to backtrack to catch the reader up. The mixed continuity is used often in the literary series, but would never have worked well in the films. Continuity is not the only way Fleming mixed-up the story; Casino hits its climax near the middle of the book and then continues on as what seems to be an odd love story. While this was exact technique was not repeated, Fleming did have similar experiments with his story arc. The Spy Who Loved Me is most obvious experiment, leaving all of the action (and the series’ main character) until the end. While Spy was not widely regarded as a!
    success, You Only Live Twice was nearly as—and in some ways more—experimental and is considered one of Fleming’s best works. Future Bond authors, John Gardner and Raymond Benson would create story arc experiments of their own. Cold and DoubleShot being the best examples of this.

     
    Casino Royale initially was by no means the huge success that the book’s hero was destined to become, but nonetheless Fleming continued with what he termed the ‘next instalment’ of his life and built upon this initial blueprint set in his first book. Within a year Jonathan Cape had published the second of Fleming’s novels Live And Let Die, this time the print run had increased to 7500 copies. Fleming’s Bond books, of which there would be fourteen including two short story collections, continued to be published annually through to 1966 and continued to build upon and expand the layout set in his first book.

    Casino Royale may be somewhat lost in today’s world. James Bond is now best known as a cinematic series as opposed to a literary one. However, as people become fans of the cinematic series they from time to time turn to the literary series and enjoy the original exploits of James Bond. After all, it is with Casino Royale that James Bond began and the blueprint was laid. The Bond films acknowledge this every time when Eon Productions presents Ian Fleming’s James Bond.

    And no one else’s.

    David Winter @ 2003-04-12
  6. The Royale Treatment: Casino Royale As Literature

    “My contribution to the art of thriller-writing has been to attempt the total stimulation of the reader all the way through, even to his taste buds.”

    –Ian Fleming, 1962

    During the winter of 1952, the pregnant Anne Rothermere puttered about 007 Days Of Casino Royaleher garden on the north shore of Jamaica, but it was her soon-to-be-husband, Ian Fleming, who was about to give birth. The third week of that January, Fleming had begun to bring back to life the type of hero he’d enjoyed reading as a boy and young man. He succeeded on a scale that would exceed even his own grand expectations.

    But who were the literary forefathers of James Bond, and how did Fleming come to put a personal stamp on the British thriller so distinctive that almost all modern spy authors still follow in his footsteps?



    SECTION ONE


    Fleming Before And Before Fleming

    There exists much conjecture about why Fleming decided to write Casino Royale, and his various, and often-contradictory explanations, have done little to clarify matters. Did he write to keep his mind off of the “shock” of his impending marriage, or was it just a calculated economic hand to help pay for his finance’s expensive tastes and his unborn son, was it wish fulfilment, living vicariously the adventures he’d been denied during his desk duty in the Second World War, or was it the need to establish his own unique legacy separate from his famous family’s? Ian Fleming’s responses to these questions usually depended upon who was asking, and what stage of life he was in.

    “Ian Fleming is probably the most forceful and driving writer of what I suppose still must be called thrillers in England.”

    –Raymond Chandler, 1955

    Aside from historical non-fiction, and the classics, both of which young Ian was well versed in; there seem to be two main literary influences in the creation of “the spy story to end all spy stories.”

    The first was the long-standing tradition of English “thriller” writing. There are too many deserving authors to be named, so this writer will attempt to stay with some obvious examples that well illustrate the style of the “gentlemen heroes’ that would have captivated the young Fleming in his youth, and between the First and Second World Wars.

    The first, and most obvious, example would be H. C. MacNeile’s Captain Hugh “Bulldog” Drummond. Sapper was one of the novels read to young Fleming and his classmates at Durnford by the headmaster’s wife. MacNeile’s novels helped define the British thriller for a generation of schoolboys during the 1920’s, and through Drummond, its quintessential hero. Bulldog Drummond was a WWI veteran who found civilian life too boring, so he privately assisted people in need. Oh, yes, by the way, he drove a Bentley.

    The first great modern secret agent was certainly John Buchan’s Richard Hannay. Tall, dark, and handsome, he too was bored with civilian life and while working for a grumpy, old admiral in the service of England, he foiled outlandish international conspiracies. Oh, yes, by the way, Richard Hannay was Scottish.

    Then there was Leslie Charteris’ Simon Templar, also know as The Saint. Another handsome devil, Templar was a modern day Robin Hood who lived a four-star lifestyle out of an ever-changing array of the best hotels, in the most exotic of locations, eating in the finest restaurants, and enjoying the company of the most beautiful women, and all of this, while defeating a gallery of rich, megalomaniac villains. Oh, yes, by the way, Charteris’ character spawned a hugely successful movie franchise, not to mention magazines, comic books, daily serials, and television and radio shows.

    To those readers who will surely be upset at the lack of mention of some early thriller writers one cannot deny the obvious influences of Edwy Searles Brooks (Berkeley Gray), Arthur Henry Ward (Sax Rohmer), Eric Ambler, Georges Simenon (a Frenchman, but writing in the classic English thriller style all the same), Graham Greene, Somerset Maugham, and scores of others.

    The second literary element that influenced Fleming’s creation of Casino Royale was his unabashed, and unembarrassed, appreciation of American pulp fiction. Where the British thriller may have given Fleming much of inspiration for the character of Bond, the more flashy aspects of his prose owed much to the new school of writing that had sprung up in the United States between the World Wars.

    These stories were mostly published in inexpensive magazines on low-grade paper (hence the word “pulp”) and featured eye-catching, and often lurid, covers. The writing was hectically paced with action sequences segueing directly into one another. For the most part, the literary quality matched that of the paper they were published on, but from this muck emerged some original artistic voices that were strong influences on Fleming, helping him to hone the colourful and descriptive language that would become known as the Fleming sweep.

    In addition, some of the less literary aspects of the pulps came to be cornerstones of the James Bond formula. These included Fleming’s penchant for outrageous names (Pussy Galore, anyone?), the diabolical torture/death from which there is no escape, and the gadgets and innovative weapons of the fictional spy trade.

    The magazine often best representing the genre was Black Mask which gave birth to the Holy Trinity of pulp fiction; Earl Stanley Gardner, Dashiell Hammett, and Raymond Chandler, the latter of which was a great influence on Fleming’s writing, and later in life, a good friend and ambassador of the Bond novels to the American public. All three men specialised in the jaded hero.

    The jaded hero is pessimistic in nature, expecting the worst from people, and rarely being disappointed. They approach action in a disinterested manner, even to the point of ignoring personal injuries, and are seldom surprised by even the most gruesome of crimes. In short, tough guys, whose concerns and allegiances were tied to a personal moral code as opposed to that of a society.

    What Fleming took from Chandler was the man’s ability to write descriptive and easy flowing passages. Both men could take an ordinary setting from everyday life and present it as something beautiful and unique just by using original perspective and prose.

    “It is surely more stimulating to the reader’s senses if, instead of writing ‘He made a hurried meal off the Plat du Jour – excellent cottage pie and vegetables, followed by home-made trifle’, you write ‘Being instinctively mistrustful of all Plats du Jour, he ordered four fried eggs cooked on both sides, hot buttered toast and a large cup of black coffee.’ The following points should be noted: first, we all prefer breakfast foods to the sort of food one usually gets at luncheon and dinner; secondly, this is an independent character who knows what he wants and gets it; thirdly, four fried eggs has the sound of a real man’s meal and, in our imagination, a large cup of black coffee sits well on our taste buds after the rich, buttery sound of the fried eggs and the hot buttered toast.”

    –Ian Fleming, 1962

    There were also less beautiful things in the later American pulps that inspired Fleming. No one ever confused the writing of Mickey Spillane and Raymond Chandler. Where Chandler’s prose was surrealistically beautiful, Spillane’s was gritty and laced with realistic violence, and graphic descriptions of sex and brutality. After reading a Spillane novel, one feels a sense of exhilaration, but also the unwavering desire to take a James Bond shower; scalding hot to remove the dirt and grime left in the reader’s mind, and then freezing cold to remove the feelings left in other parts of the body. Mike Hammer, and other Spillane heroes, were capable of doing and saying things, that the gentlemanly detectives of the British thrillers would view as abhorrent and slovenly.

    These two distinctive, but similar, genres were the parents that Ian Fleming introduced that winter at Goldeneye.



    SECTION TWO


    Fleming During

    “If you look at British fiction in the 50s, most of it has aged really badly. Anthony Powell, Ivy Compton-Burnett and Angus Wilson – nobody really cares about them any more. It’s rather the writers of unconventional fiction, such as Fleming and Tolkien, who have held up well. Their works have a real resonance now, whereas Colin Wilson, CP Snow and Cyril Connolly do not. Tolkien and Fleming created new genres: the fighting-fantasy genre and the super spy genre that now have large sections in our bookshops. In Fleming’s case, he has the advantage of writing well.”

    –Simon Wender, editor for Penguin Books, 2003

    Bond’s good looks could be attributed to any of the classic British thriller heroes (with the exception of Bulldog Drummond whose appearance was so ugly that he would have had more in common cosmetically with one of Bond’s villains), and yet the language used to describe these looks was pure Chandler. His taste for the high life rang of Leslie Charteris, but his finicky eating habits would have made Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe proud. His sullen attitude and undying pessimism was that of the jaded hero, and yet his driving force was a selfless patriotism that left him willing to lay down his own life for his country at a moment’s notice. He was an errant knight who rescued the damsels in distress, but then he bedded them with little aplomb and much eroticism.

    But much of this character complexity came later. When Fleming began to write Casino Royale his objectives were a little different. He wanted the plots to stand out and define the books, rather than the hero. It was his initial intention that James Bond be bland. He even chose the name for its plainness. He wanted people to be able to identify with his protagonist by substituting his face with their own, and he hoped to achieve this by making him as featureless as possible. He knew at the time his story was going to be wish fulfilment for a post war Britain, where the extravagant surroundings of the casino, and the trappings of a wealthy lifestyle, would fulfil a longing in a general public distraught from years of rationing on even the most basic of goods.

    Like his friend, Rex Stout, Fleming wrote easily and quickly, and his prose benefited from it, flowing from scene to scene, and making Casino Royale a natural page-turner. But unlike Stout, Fleming poured over his finished manuscript making numerous and detailed corrections.

    Fleming often rebuffed his own work’s literary merit. His assessment of his first draft of Casino Royale (a “horrible story”) was as follows:

    “The dialogue, a lot of the description and the main characters are dreadfully banal and three-quarters of the writing is informed with what I can only describe as vulgarity. Such good action moments as there are in the story have been more or less thrown away and so far as I can see the element of suspense is completely absent.”

    And then there is the classic Fleming quote from later in his life, where he states that true classic literature is aimed at the head or the heart, while his aim “…lay somewhere between the solar plexus and, well, the upper thigh.”

    Was Fleming really so dismissive of his own work? The physical evidence would appear to say otherwise. Although most of Casino Royale’s plot came from real experiences that had either occurred to the author, or that he had been directly party to in the war, the later novels were intensely researched to provide the kind of background accuracy that was necessary to maintain the previously mentioned sense of hyper-reality. Why would he spend so much time researching to get the details right if he held his work in such low esteem?

    In addition, before Fleming shipped off the manuscript of Casino Royale to his friend, William Plomer, for a professional reading, he had already made meticulous corrections to the first draft, covering every page with handwritten notes, and doing entire revisions on some sections. With the exception of From Russia with Love, it would be his most corrected first draft. Why extend so much effort into something that was of such low quality?

    There may be a reason for the feigned humility in the following excerpt from a letter that Fleming wrote to Raymond Chandler:

    “Probably the fault with my books is that I don’t take them seriously enough and meekly accept having my head ragged off about them in the family circle. You (Chandler) after all write ‘novels of suspense’—if not sociological studies—whereas my books are straight pillow fantasies of the bang-bang, kiss-kiss variety.”

    Anne Fleming partied in very high circles, and both she and Ian came from blue-blooded families. The fact that Ian wrote his “pillow fantasies” was always something of an embarrassment to Anne, or at least she made such pretences in front of her friends and family. She also made no qualms about her dislike of the character of Bond. In treating his creations as something of a lark, Fleming allowed himself, and his wife to some degree, to deflect the brunt of these social criticisms.

    “His (Fleming’s) observation is extraordinary and his talent for description vivid. I wish he would try a non-thriller for a change; I would so love him to triumph over the sneers of Annie’s intellectual friends.”

    –Noël Coward, 1955

    But there is further evidence Fleming took Casino Royale very seriously, and had already envisioned the future of Bond as he packed up his manuscript to take back to England.



    SECTION THREE


    Fleming After And After Fleming

    Did Fleming know he was creating a series from the start? Before the manuscript to Casino Royale had even been handed over to Plomer for its first reading, Fleming had special ordered a golden typewriter from the Royal Typewriter Company to bang out his submittal draft of the manuscript. It cost $174.00 and was not the type of item one would buy without extensive further use in mind.

    Fleming had long envisioned his entry into the literary world. The quote cited earlier regarding his desire to write “the spy story to end all spy stories” came from his war years, long before he’d purchased Goldeneye, or re-entered the field of journalism.

    Even pre-dating World War II, he had always been drawn to friendships with literary figures such as William Plomer, Noël Coward, and even his future publisher, Jonathan Cape. When the time came to pitch his own novel, he utilized these friendships to their fullest. Plomer, a house reader for Cape, was the first to be presented with Royale. Using his previously established relationship with Cape (who was already his brother, Peter’s, publisher) as a crowbar, Fleming worked out a lucrative deal for a first time author without a literary agent.

    Fleming had sold the rights to the novel to his recently purchased company, Glidrose Productions, and it was with this company that Cape entered Fleming’s first publication contract. It was obvious with his new company, that Fleming was creating a base for a literary franchise.

    According to Andrew Lycett’s biography of Fleming, he also used his old journalistic friendships to help sell the novel to Hollywood, as well as to the American market. Fleming had even secured the support of W.H. Smith’s chain of bookstores, the owners of which were also family friends.

    If there were any doubts about Ian’s intentions of continuing on in the literary world, his written comments in accepting Cape’s amendments to his contract left little doubt. “At least in the case of the second book, you will temper the wind to the shorn author.”

    Looking forward again, Fleming had his eyes on the movies even before publication. In addition to having his friend, Paul Gallico, pitch Casino Royale to his Hollywood agent, he also enquired to his current employer’s (Kemsley Papers) correspondent in Hollywood, “What sort of sums do the big studios pay for a novel by a writer who is not yet established?”

    There is a tendency in some modern Bond fans to dismiss Fleming and his work as dated, and not as representative of the James Bond persona and phenomenon as the movies, but what these fans fail to recognize is that Fleming developed both, and in that lies some of his genius. His vision for the series was established from the beginning, and his marketing for the vision was nothing less than masterful.

    By 1958, the Bond books had still not solidly established themselves in America, and yet they were selling well over a million copies of each new volume. By the time of his death in 1964, there were more than 30 million Bond novels in print, and the films were well on their way to unbridled success.

    When I was first approached with the idea of writing an article about the literary impact of Casino Royale, I was first struck with the idea of naming off a long list of the modern authors that have benefited directly from Fleming’s style and success. All too soon, I realised that to do so adequately, one would have to walk into their local bookstore, seek out the Thriller/Adventure section, and beginning with the “A’s” read the names.

     
     

    The author would like to thank the following people and institutions whose work contributed greatly to this article:

    The BBC, Hardyboy and Willie Garvin at ABJ007, the UK Guardian, Andrew Lycett (Ian Fleming: The Man behind James Bond), Donald McCormick (17F: The Life of Ian Fleming), Raymond Benson (The James Bond Bedside Companion), John Pearson (Alias James Bond – The Life of Ian Fleming), Kingsley Amis (The James Bond Dossier), John Cork of the IFF, Ian Fleming Publications (formerly Glidrose), and David Morefield at MKKBB.


    Thomas Clink posts in the CommanderBond.net forums under the screen-name of clinkeroo.

    The CBn Team @ 2003-04-11
  7. Casino Royale: Who is this guy?

    A look at the character of James Bond in his first adventure

    Who is James Bond? He’s seemingly the main character as the novel opens, but what do we know let alone learn about him in this first adventure?

    007 Days Of Casino Royale

    The story opens and we are quickly, yet vaguely, brought up to speed on this man Bond who is gambling for high stakes in a casino in the south of France and it is very late.

    We learn, through the narrative, that Bond works in London yet has established himself as a representative for a Jamaican newspaper and that he receives cables and monies from there, yet his true superior in London is a man with the monogram “M”.

    Bond is clearly an operative of some sort but on which side of the law is unclear. He’s also suspicious and experienced enough to know that elevators can be dangerous late at night or in the wee hours of the morning and, presently, he would not be surprised to discover his room has been searched. In fact, he has set small “tells” throughout his room to detect just that – a random strand of hair, talcum powder on handles and locks and then it is established:

     

    “He was a secret agent, and still alive thanks to his exact attention to the detail of his profession.”

     

    So, we know his profession and that it is in the service of the United Kingdom and that it has the potential to be dangerous. He is using his name but under the guise of a high stakes gambler from Jamaica… and he sleeps with a gun under his pillow.

    Aside from the job, number 007 is Bond’s apparent rank in the service and “double-0’s” are very highly regarded, he (like anyone) does have some particular likes and sense of both style and taste. The first of these (which will continue to be a staple of the character’s personality in subsequent adventures) is that he enjoys a good breakfast and that he smokes custom made cigarettes. It is the details of such things that make the man real and intriguing.

    Bond takes his work seriously. His conversation with Mathis establishes this as they go through the motions of putting on a show for the benefit of the transmitter in Bond’s room. Bond expresses no apparent anger at the situation but takes it in stride. However, when Mathis reveals that London is sending a woman to work with him, Bond reveals his chauvinism. It’s not that he dislikes the company of ladies (far from it) but within his profession, they are best and only suited for office work or as a distraction, either for himself or his opponents in the “secret world”.

    We then discover Bond’s other personal passion: His car. A 1933 4.5 litre Bentley convertible which he has had since before the War and it soon appears to be one his favorite personal possessions and he truly seems to enjoy driving it.

    His first meeting with Vesper Lynd finally reveals how he viewed by others. Mathis mentions the fact after Bond leaves that Bond is serious and does not have a habit or reputation of being easily “melted” by a woman but seems to sense that Vesper has the potential to do so. Vesper, in turn, finds Bond to be “very good looking” but notices something cruel about him.

    Before she can continue, the attempt on Bond’s life occurs with a devastating blast from an explosive charge which he survives but only through luck. Later, after a few solid drinks and lunch, he seems hardly phased by the attempt, once again taking it in stride as a part of the job. It is however important to note that Bond’s first reaction is to vomit after the blast, not from shock, but rather from the stench of roasted flesh. He is human and that again lends itself to the reality of the character. Details such as these are what Fleming created for just this effect.

    The next detail of Bond is destined to be his trademark. The martini of his “own invention”. Bond explains to another new character, Felix Leiter, why he prefers it made to the exact specifications:

     

    “I never have more than one drink before dinner.
    But I do like that one to be large and very
    strong and very cold and very well-made.”

     

    And hence, another personal detail is revealed and later to become perhaps the first element of Bond to make it’s way into popular culture throughout the world and the world’s bartenders.

    During his dinner with Vesper, Bond’s rank as a Double-O is very flatly laid out as basically being an assassin and that in the world they both operate in, one simply follows orders. He is not proud but conveys a sense of duty in his fulfilling his assignment by taking the required actions. Vesper herself recalls her briefing on Bond, which warns her of becoming involved in anything but the job at hand. He’s an expert and there are not many in the field as dedicated as himself. The Head of S. even admits that Bond’s “good looking” but probably doesn’t have much heart for emotion.

    Bond’s understanding of gambling is first class, yet is unclear as to how he became such an expert. It is established through the events at “High Table”, that he does take risks and even failure as part of the task. Such dedication does establish again that he is a professional with his life on the line. Literally. So when he finds a barrel in his back and countdown to ten unless he removes his bet. He does manage to escape this through a highly risky move by toppling himself and his chair thus wrenching the “deadly tube” from the hands of his assailant. Upon regaining his composure, he is soaked with “the sweat of fear” again being quite human. He is by no means anything but an experienced operative who is willing to take a chance in a given situation. Part luck, part skill but all human.

    The game plays out and ultimately (although not naturally as we later come to expect of Bond) he manages to clean out Le Chiffre in an incredibly suspenseful sequence which is engrossing to the end. The stakes are then “upped” by Vesper’s kidnapping and Bond’s pursuit ending with his beloved Bentley wrecked and himself at the mercy of Le Chiffre.

    We now have Bond in a most vulnerable situation of being tortured in perhaps the cruelest manner a man can be. The villain wants information (the location of the cashier’s check for the winnings) and Bond will not give it. Bond knows how torture works, but this by no means promises survival. He actually knows he won’t reveal anything and likely will be killed. He will win by sacrifice and that (given all options he has – those being slim & none) this is once again, a part of his job. Amidst all the ensuing beating of his genitals his only concern is for Vesper. Once again though, fate (with simple luck) saves Bond from death and he does survive although certainly injured and having not had the requisite satisfaction of dispatching Le Chiffre himself and through luck, not being killed by the SMERSH assassin sent to kill Le Chiffre. It seems that spies the world over do (at this point in time) have a code of only following the specific orders given them.

    Bond awakes in the hospital and we then get a glimpse into his outlook at his chosen path during his debriefing with Mathis. Bond has concluded that he is not certain if he is in the service of good or evil and therefore will resign upon his return to London. We finally learn the specifics of how Bond earned his Double-O in an almost confessional manner yet with no trace of particular emotion. He and Mathis debate the issue of good and evil in their work but it does again prove that Bond is a human and has his doubts as any of us do from time to time.

    We then see the “secret agent” truly humanized by the strongest emotion of all. Love. His recovery and holiday with Vesper shows us a very different side to Bond. He is romantic, doting and looking to a future with this girl. A far cry from the man who does not “melt easily”. Given the extreme events and torture that he has survived he becomes grateful and respectful of life and the ability to live it. He’s even ready to both love and commit (he plans to propose to Vesper after their first night at the inn) which are hardly qualities that he would have expressed in his initial introduction to us and based on his reputation within the service and among those he has worked with.

    It is with Vesper’s suicide that Bond seems to suddenly abandon his vulnerable side and realize that he is a professional and in being one, he can never truly live a normal existence but he does now understand the evil in his profession and that he must strive to do battle against it.

    So to go back and restate my original question “Who is this guy?” it’s almost simple to answer but with a certain degree of understanding now that we have seen him go almost a full emotional circle. He’s what he started out as. A secret agent but only in title. He is a man that can love, hate and is capable of living his life by his own standards yet is accepting of the world around him and that he chooses to be a part of in his profession. We’re also intrigued by this world of his such that we want to learn more about him and be involved with it, if only as spectators.

    We now know that “James Bond will return”, but with this first novel we don’t know for certain, but we do know we’d like him to.

    And so did Ian Fleming.


    Charles Axworthy posts in the CommanderBond.net forums under the screen-name of Bryce (003).

    Charlie Axworthy @ 2003-04-09
  8. Translations Royale

    A travelogue of Fleming’s French in Casino Royale

    We at CommanderBond.net offer to you a list of translations of the French words and phrases that pepper the novel Casino Royale. We say pepper because they add flavour to an already wonderful text without 007 Days Of Casino Royaleoverburdening the text (and the reader) with the extra work of having to figure out the translations. Fleming constructed sentences that did not depend on the reader understanding what the word meant in French to get the full meaning. On the contrary, the reader can get the meaning of the word in French from the context of the sentence.

    Nevertheless, it is curious to see what the literal and every day meanings of these words and phrases are. You will note that some words do not have any translations. Those words have become part of the English language wholesale, without translation, but with correct meaning attached to them.


    salle privée

    private room

    Le Chiffre

    The figure / The number / The cypher

    caisse

    cashier’s desk

    caissier

    cashier

    chef de partie

    chief of the game

    soirée

    party

    concierge

    caretaker

    merci

    thank you

    monsieur

    mister

    vestiaire

    cloakroom

    Deuxième Bureau

    Second office (The French office of military intellegence)

    Royale les Eaux

    Royal Water

    maisons de passe

    a house you need a pass for

    Inferieure

    lower

    Loi tendant a la Ferméture des Maisons de Tolerance et au Renforcement de la Lutte
    contre la Proxénitisme

    Law tending to the Closing of the Brothels and ot the Reinforcement of the Fight against
    Pimping

    the Société des Bains de Mers de Royale

    the Society of Baths of the Sea of Royale

    en brosse

    crewcut

    trente-et-quarante

    thirty-and-forty: A popular French casino card game in which the dealer deals rows of cards, one red, one black. The player bets on which row will be closest to a total of thirty-one after both rows total greater than thirty.

    cagnotte

    kitty (as in gambling)

    L’Ennemi Écoute

    The Enemy Listens

    Suivi

    follow-up

    grippe

    seize up

    Mairie

    Town Hall

    Vieux-port

    Old port

    Vitrines

    Windows / Displays

    couturiers

    fashion designers

    plage

    beach

    route nationale

    truck road / national route

    heure de aperitif

    Drink hour / Cocktail hour

    Moi, j’adore le “dry”

    Me, I like the “dry”

    fait avec du Gordon’s bien entendu

    With Gordon’s of course

    D’accord Daisy, Mais tu sais un zeste de citron…

    I agree Daisy. But you know a piece of lemon peel…

    fine a l’eau

    an aged brandy and water

    soie sauvage

    wild silk

    sabretache

    A type of leather case once used by cavalrymen

    porte cochère

    carriage door

    alors

    then

    bonne chance

    good luck

    merde

    shit

    Sacre

    damned

    Mademoiselle

    Miss

    Rouge Et Noir

    Red And Black

    huissier

    usher

    Oui, monsieur

    Yes, sir

    pate de foie gras

    liver pate

    Langouste

    Lobster

    Mais n’enculons pas des mouches

    But let us not nit pick / But we won’t split hairs

    Maitre d’hotel

    Matron of the hotel

    rogon de veau

    beef kidney

    pommes soufflés

    apple souffles

    fraises des bois

    wild strawberries

    tournedos

    a small, round steak slice taken from the heart of the tenderloin

    sause Bearnaise

    Bearnaise sauce

    coeur d’artichaut

    artichoke heart

    sommelier

    wine waiter or steward

    parfait

    perfect

    vendeuse

    saleswoman

    vingt-et-un

    twenty-one / blackjack

    Messieurs mesdames, les jeuz sont faits. Un banco de cinq mille

    Gentleman, ladies, the bets are made. A bank value of five thousand.

    Le banco est fait

    The bank value is made.

    Non

    No

    Neuf à la banque

    Nine for the bank

    Et le sept

    And seven

    Un banco d’un million

    A bank value of one million

    Un banco de deux millions

    A bank value of two million

    Banco

    Bank (accept the bank value)

    Un banco de quatre millions

    A bank value of four million

    Sept à la banque

    Seven for the bank

    Et cinq

    And five

    Un banco de huit millions

    A bank value of eight million

    Le jeu est fait

    The play is made

    Un banco de trente-duex millions

    A bank value of thirty-two million

    Excusez moi, monsieur. La mise?

    Excuse me, sir. The bet?

    Mes excuses, Monsieur Bond

    My apologies, Mr. Bond

    Un
    Deux
    Trois
    Quatre
    Cinq
    Six
    Sept

    One
    Two
    Three
    Four
    Five
    Six
    Seven

    La partie continue

    The game continues

    Neuf. Le rouge gagne, impair et manqué

    Nine. The red gains, odd and misses

    Huit à la banque

    Eight for the bank

    Et le neuf

    And the nine

    Un banco de dix millions

    A bank of ten million

    Le neuf

    The nine

    Et le baccarat

    And a count of zero

    La Vie en Rose

    Life in Pink / Life Through Rose Coloured Glasses
    A french song performed most notably by Edith Piaf. English versions were recorded by Louis Armstrong and Paula Cole

    pour épater la bourgeoisie

    To impress the middle-class

    banquettes

    benches / wall seats

    allez

    go

    coupez

    cross

    Les Noctambules

    The Night Birds
    (The phrase can also mean The Insomniacs or The Party Animals)

    Sonnez SVP

    Ring the bell please

    art nouveau

    new art

    vite

    quickly

    belotte

    a popular French card game that is a variant of bridge and played with 2, 3, or 4 players

    mise en scène

    setting in scene

    trou sur mer

    hole on sea

    L’Auberge du Fruit Défendu, crustaces, fritures

    The Inn of the Forbidden Fruit, seafood (shellfish), fried fish

    Madame la patronne

    The lady owner

    Fruit Défendu

    Forbidden Fruit

    vin triste

    an alcohol-induced melancholy

    auberge

    inn

    Pour lui

    For him

    You will note that some words are rather curious, both in their French origins and in the English translations. For example, there is the phrase “mais n’enculons pas des mouches,” which Bond tells us is a vulgar way of saying “But we won’t split hairs.” Its literal translation is “But let us not nit pick.” What is vulgar about that? Has Bond picked one too many nits out of a Bond girl’s hair? Of course, by vulgar Bond may just have meant “not proper French”.

    Other phrases are simply curious to watch as they go through the process of translation. Maisons de passé literally means “houses of the past,” but in every day conversation would be “houses of prostitution.” If you think about it, the literal phrase makes sense. Houses of the Past makes for an interesting literal translation since Prostitution is frequently referred to as the world’s oldest profession, so yes, the past is happily and passionately acknowledged in such a place. Also, in these brothels men can recapture their youthful past where they were free to have sex with whatever woman they wanted, whenever they wanted. The only modern intrusion is in these masions, they must pay for the privledge of reclaiming their past.

    And then there is this curious quote from M., which comes in chapter two of Casino Royale. M. has just read a small passage of the dossier written by the Head of S., where said head of section S uses a little too much French for M.’s liking:


    This is not the Berlitz School of Languages, Head of S. If you want to show off your knowledge of foreign jaw-breakers, be good enough to provide a crib. Better still, write in English.

    Casino Royale Chapter
    Two

    Fleming had to know that his audience would probably not have much more than an elementary understanding of French. Moreover, that understanding was probably forgotten as soon as the reader was done with his (and I won’t write her, because I don’t think Fleming was thinking of persons such as myself when he was writing), schooling. So why would Mr. Fleming put us through a refresher course in French?

    Simply put, we the readers were being introduced to something that Fleming would reveal later on—Bond’s flawless capacity to speak French. As we learn in Fleming’s novels and in Pearson’s “biography” of Bond, Bond can speak perfect French and German. If Bond can communicate in the native language, why wouldn’t he give himself the ease and advantage of speaking in that language? Indeed speaking in the native tongue would help him to blend in more, to slip into the shadows more easily.

    Also, in writing it is always better to show rather than to tell the reader something. After watching Bond speak in colloquial or every day French, we get a greater understanding of who the man is and how he operates.

    Bond and Fleming were well-traveled men. Why shouldn’t they use what they know, and then teach it to us? We could only be the better for the lesson.

    The CBn Team @ 2003-04-08
  9. Royale Mission: S-Branch Debriefing

    A reader of Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale is presented the story of one of agent James Bond’s earliest missions. But, at the fiftieth anniversary of the novel’s publication it can be asked, is Fleming’s take to this story the only one? To answer, we present this recently released document which gives an overview of this mission from 007 Days Of Casino Royalethe files of the Secret Service’s lesser-known S-Branch. The S-Branch—among other tasks—is charged with the debriefing of agents and the chronicling the various missions carried out by the members of the United Kingdom’s Secret Intelligence Service. This document covers agent 007’s mission at Royale-les-Eaux.

    It must be noted that this document will tell the reader details of the story that he or she may not want to know before reading Fleming’s novel. We recommend that you read the novel Casino Royale before reading this document.

    His Majesty's Secret Service

     
    CONFIDENTIAL
     
     

    2Oth July, l95l.

    to: M
    from: Chief of S-Branch
    cc: Head of Section S., Head of Section F.
     

    Subject:
    Debriefing of agents and assessment of Royale-les-Eaux mission. Mission introduced by Head of Station S. (Soviet Union).

    Plot:
    To discredit a Soviet agent of SMERSH and who had embezzled funds from Communist controlled Trade Union. See Brief of Head of Station S for more details.

    Mission Success: Moderately Successful. (see comments.)

    Locations: (see map)
     

    Agents interviewed: 6th July, l95l and 18th July, l95l.
     
     


    Map: France: Royale-les-Eaux
    click to access map
    from SIS archives

    -2-

    HMSS-
    Agents involved:


    Agent 007

    OO7 – James Bond

    Section:
      Double-O
    Description:
      Height: 6″O’ – Weight: l65 pounds – Hair: Black, thick – Eyes: Grey – Distinguishing characteristic: 3 inch scar on right cheek
    Cover:
      Jamaican millionaire
    Medical condition:
      Agent OO7 performance on this mission was marginal. Originally chosen because of his skill at cards and gambling, OO7 managed to lose the entire bankroll provided by His Majesty. Only through the
    intervention of the C.I.A. and a stroke of good fortune did OO7 manage to win back this money. Agent OO7 also failed to notice that the opposition might have penetrated his ranks, further jeopardising the mission. The damage
    done to this agent’s genitalia is likely to leave him with no sex drive and possibly impotent. The “marking” on his hand may also make OO7 impotent as a field agent and surely as a double-O.

    -3-


    Agent 3030

    3O3O – Vesper Lynd DECEASED

    Section:
      Station S (Soviet) – Personal assistant to Head of Station S.
    Mission:
      Assigned to assist OO7 and organise communications. Fluent in French.
    Description:
      Hair: Black – Eyes: Blue
    Cover:
      Radio salesman’s assistant
    Medical condition:
      Deceased – apparent suicide
    Assessment:
      It appears–at least upon first examination–that agent 3O3O had been compromised


    Agent 1860

    l860 – Name Need-to-know

    Section:
      Station F (France)
    Undercover Agent – Eurasian female.
    Cover:
      Mistress of Le Chiffre.
    Assessment:
      l86O performed flawlessly. She has remained undercover and is currently seeking new opportunities to gather intelligence.


    – Unnamed double agent in Strausbourg

    -4-

    Additional Personnel Used:
    Fawcett – Stationed in Jamaica. Used to relay information to OO7. Alias used: Charles Dasilva

    Two nurses from Medical Branch dispersed to scene to tend to agent OO7

    Staff involved:
    M
    Bill Tanner – Chief Of Staff
    Clements – Head of Double-0 section
    Miss Moneypenny – secretary to M
    Miss Trueblood – secretary of Double-0 section
    Head of Station S
    Station S second-in-command
    The Archivist

    Friendly Agents:


    CIA Agent Felix Leiter
    U.S.A. – Combined Intelligence Agency:
    Felix Leiter
    – Ex-U.S. Marine – Stationed in Fontainebleau, France
    Description: Height: approx. 6″3′ – Hair: Dirty blonde – Eyes: Grey


    Deuxième Bureau: René Mathis
    France – Deuxième Bureau:
    René Mathis
    Mathis has worked this agent OO7 on past missions
    (see file ll4-54123-OO7-a).
    Description already on file.

    Two other agents under Mathis’ command participated in the operation

    Doctor dispatched from Paris to tend to OO7

    -5-

    Opposition Agents:


    Le Chiffre
    Target:
    Le Chiffre
      AKA The Number, Herr Nummer, Herr Ziffer etc. Christian name unknown.
    Deceased
    Russian agent (Leningrad Section III) and paymaster of communist controlled trade union
    Description: Height: approx. 5″8′ – Weight: approx. 250 pounds – Hair: Red-Brown cut in crew-cut

    Targets subordinates:
    Gunman #1: “Basil”
    Identity unknown. Deceased.
    Description: Height: approx. 6″2′ – Weight: approx. 140 pounds
    Only clue to identity is OO7 overhearing Le Chiffre calling this man Basil.

    Gunman #2: “The Corsican”
    Identity unknown. Deceased.
    Description: Height: approx. 5″7′ – Wears a black moustache – Teeth are in poor condition.
    Most probably an expert in ju-jitsu.

    The Muntz Family. Mr. Muntz is German. Mrs. Muntz is possibly Czechoslovakian

    Bulgar
assassinThree Bulgarian assassins. These men were to be paid 2 million Francs to kill agent 007. Their failure resulted in the death of two of the men. The third man is in custody of the Deuxième Bureau.

    -6-

    SMERSH:


    (?) Oborin
    Agent 007 describes an Agent of SMERSH with a hard, wrinkled face. Carries a silenced pistol and a stiletto. This agent to be believed to be a SMERSH operative named Oborin (based on possible photographic identification by
    Agent 007).


    Adolph Gettler
    SMERSH Agent using the name Adolph Gettler
    Cover as a Swiss watchmaker
    Description: Age: 35 to 45 – Hair: dark brown hair brushed back – Wears monocle-like black patch over eye. Has large, white teeth.

     
     
     

    -7-

    TIMELINE
    c. 12th May, l95l……

     
    Agent provides Target’s plan to Station F.
    Station F. relays intel to Station S.


    31st May, l95l………

     
    Head of Station S. presents mission to M.
    Agent OO7 Assigned.


    2nd June, l95l………

     
    Head of Station F. recommends agent 3O3O for assignment.


    3rd June, l95l………

     
    M approves assignment of agent 3O3O.


    11th June, l951……..

     
    Agent OO7 arrives at Royale-les-Eaux.


    15th June, 1951……..

     
    Agent OO7 meets with Mathis of Deuxième Bureau.
    Agent OO7 meets with Agent 3O3O.
    Bulgarian assassins attempt hit on Agent OO7. Two die in bungled attempt.
    Agent 007 meets with Leiter of the C.I.A.
    Third Bulgar arrested at roadblock.
    Agent OO7 engages Le Chiffre in Baccarat.
    “The Corsican” attempts to coerce agent OO7 to drop out of Baccarat game.
    Full Moon in June.


    16th June, 1951……..

     
    Agent 3O3O taken by Le Chiffre and his gunmen.
    Agent OO7 pursues Le Chiffre’s car and falls in to tack carpet trap.
    Agent OO7 captured by Le Chiffre
    Agent OO7 tortured by Le Chiffre.
    SMERSH agent Oborin(?) kills Le Chiffre and his two gunmen.
    SMERSH agent Oborin(?) marks Agent OO7.
    Deuxième Bureau finds agent OO7’s wrecked automobile.
    Deuxième Bureau finds agents OO7 and 3O3O and bodies of Le Chiffre and his men.
    Agent OO7 placed in nursing home for treatment of his injuries.

    -8-

    TIMELINE cont.
    17th June, 1951……..

     
    Deuxième Bureau Doctor and two service nurses arrive at Royale-les-Eaux to treat agent OO7.


    19th June, 1951……..

     
    Agent OO7 wakes from unconsciousness.


    7th July, 1951……..

     
    Agent OO7 released from nursing home.
    Agents OO7 and 3O3O travel to an inn south of Royale to relax and recover.


    16th July, 1951……..

     
    Agent 3O3O found dead of apparent suicide with note confessing that she had supplied intelligence to the Soviets.


    EQUIPMENT
    OO7:
    Gun(s):
      .25 Beretta with Skeleton Grip
      .38 Colt Police Positive with sawn barrel
      .45 Colt Army Special
      Personal:
        Grey Supercharged Bentley Convertible Coupé.
        Cigarette case- flat gunmetal.
        Ronson lighter – oxidised.

    OPPOSITION EQUIPMENT
    Automobile(s):
    Le Chiffre: black Citroën with front-wheel drive. Equipped with “tack carpet”
    Bulgarians: Citroën
    Adolph Gettler: Black Peugeot

    Other Equipment:
    2 square camera cases packed with explosives – one red, one blue.
    Macalla Cane with hidden .45 gun
    Carpet-beater made from twisted cane – 3-feet long approx.
    Carving knife
    Stiletto (Oborin(?))
    Silenced Russian pistol (Oborin(?))

    -9-

    BUDGET
    (see the Treasurer’s report for detailed budget information.)
    Ten million francs issued to agent OO7 in London.
    An additional ten million was forwarded to agent OO7 through Jamaican contact.
    Agent OO7 reports increasing these stake to twenty-four million francs before the baccarat game with Le Chiffre.
    The agent lost all of this stake in the game with Le Chiffre.
    The C.I.A. then provided agent OO7 with thirty-two million francs.
    Agent OO7 won the game after this and ended with a total of seventy-two million francs.
    The agent returned thirty-two million francs to the C.I.A. (note: The C.I.A.
    would have had every right to demand all seventy-two million francs that agent OO7 possessed as he had won that money
    using the C.I.A.’s moneys. It is only through grace of the U.S. agent that His Majesty is not out all of the money
    provided to agent OO7.)

    The invoice for work on agent OO7 has yet to be submitted, but it is known that the agent insisted on very high-priced garage services.

    It is notable that agent OO7 took every advantage of his cover as a Jamaican millionaire taking the
    opportunity to use the moneys provided to dine on cavier and lobster. The agent even seemed to make
    a habit of leaving double gratuities to waiters and hotel staff.

    -10-

    COMMENTS
    While this mission can be categorised as a success, its success cannot definitively be laid at the feet of this service. The primary goal of the mission–to stop Le Chiffre from being able to win back the union funds that he had embezzled at the gambling tables of Royale-les-Eaux–was acheived only because of the intervention of U.S. Intelligence. In fact, had agent OO7’s estimations been correct, Le Chiffre could have very nearly achieved his goal of fifty million francs before agent Lieter of the C.I.A. stepped in with additional funds.

    After completion of the primary goal, agent OO7 failed to keep up his guard, allowing agent 3O3O to be taken by Le Chiffre. Agent OO7 fell into what by his own description was clearly a trap. The point of whether agent 3O3O was turned or not is moot. Agent OO7 should not have pursued her. His recklessness very nearly toar defeat from the arms of victory.

    By agent OO7’s account, he did not crack under the most brutal torture. This however cannot be corroborated as all present at the interigation except agent 007 are now dead.

    The rescue of agents OO7 and 3O3O can only be creditted to the mysterious agent of SMERSH, who shot and killed Le Chiffre and his two gunmen. Had this agent decided to he could have most easily shot our agents as well.

    -11-

    COMMENTS cont.
    In addition, I must make a personal protest about the plan to allow Commander Fleming to “fictionalise” the exploits of this mission. Surely, it cannot seam a sane idea to air the service’s dirty linens–as this mission can only be classified–to the general citizenry. This servant of His Majesty, does not feel that any of the service’s dealing should be presented in this format. However, should we wish to procede with this farce, it should be suggested that the adventures of an agent other than number OO7 be used. Agent OOll seems to be a better choice. His recent mission which took him to Siberia and the Artic Sea would be better suited for this treatment than would the Royale-les-Eaux mission.

    I implore those making this decision to re-examine the current plan.

     
     
    St. John Stillman
    Chief of S-Branch
     
     

    Evan Willnow @ 2003-04-07
  10. The 007 Days Of Casino Royale

    Some sources say the eleventh of November 1920, some late November of 1924; the day James Bond was born is shrouded in the ever-changing cloud of 007’s world. But the day the character—not the man—was born to this world is solid – 13 April, 1953. It was exactly fifty years ago this Sunday that Ian Fleming’s creation was introduced to us in the novel Casino Royale.

    Starting today, CommanderBond.net will spend the week looking at Mr. Fleming’s first masterpiece of fiction. We will examine the book from many angles and hopefully give the fans of Number 007 new ways to appreciate the story that started it all.

    And you can join in the discussion; the Blades Library Book Club is currently reading and discussing Casino Royale. A discussion you can join if you sign up. Even if you don’t, we hope you will enjoy CommanderBond.net’s week celebrating 50 years of the first adventure of world’s greatest spy.

    Evan Willnow @ 2003-04-07
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