Who Is James Bond?

That’s the question your diarist poses in this new Splice Today piece. The answer Ian Fleming’s books suggest is that there are really two James Bonds: the Bond of Casino Royale and the more popularized Bond of the rest of the series and most of the movies.

Daniel Craig’s turn as Bond, the piece argues, is a return to a less comic book, more interesting Bond. To help make that point, it quotes the opening of Fleming’s first novel, which has to rank as one of the better set-ups of all time:

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

James Bond suddenly knew that he was tired.

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