I recently read a “modern Bond” novel (Jeffrey Deaver’s “Carte Blanche”) and enjoyed it. So i was curious how it stacked up to the original James Bond novels by Ian Fleming. Thanks to my local library, i was able to pick up “Casino Royale.” I just finished it the other day, and my thoughts are…hmm.
I loved the film. Daniel Craig is my favorite Bond, a more human and mortal Bond rather than an indestructible superhero, and I have always found his portrayal to be more compelling than his predecessors.
Here’s what’s bothering me. You always hear about the implicit and/or explicit misogyny of James Bond, how he casually uses women. And this is true. (Let me repeat, so I’m not misunderstood: I recognize and agree that Bond uses women. This is his great flaw.)
But the literary character is much, much worse than the film character. In 1952’s “Casino Royale,” you get inside his head. And in his head, women are practically subhuman. Easily dismissed with a profane slur. Described in uncomfortable physical detail as if he (Bond, as well as Fleming) were taking inventory of their composite parts.
And at the end of the story (SPOILER) it’s revealed that his fellow agent and recent lover Vesper Lynd has been a double agent. She kills herself rather than risk being caught and executed by her Soviet superiors, but she also doesn’t want to risk putting Bond in danger if she stays. How does he react to this news? He’s furious at this woman whom he had actually considered marrying. He dismissively calls her a derogatory slur, and writes her off in his memory. That’s the end of the book.
Take note, reader. You may have everyone around you fooled into thinking you’re Daniel Craig. But God sees the darkness you hide. And the Judge of all the earth shall do justice.
Consider this a word of caution, friend: check your heart. You may not suffer the same sinful impulses that 007 does, but your secret sins are just as deadly. Your pride, or your selfishness, or your jealousy, or your faithlessness–they’re all just as damning. They are just as deserving of God’s wrath, and all need to be cleansed by the only source of our healing: the blood of Jesus, spilled as a sacrifice for all who will repent and believe. Call out to him for mercy.
It’s the only way to have a quantum of solace before the sky falls.
(I’m sorry. I just couldn’t resist.)