A novel’s protagonist only becomes a truly unique character (‘character’ meaning something like ‘the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual’) when he has (like we all do) small, peculiar personal details or quirks
What follows is a list of excerpts featuring James Bond’s personal tastes and preferences as written down in Live and Let Die, Ian Fleming’s second James Bond-novel.
James Bond’s apartment’s location
Bond slit open a fresh pack of King Size Chesterfields with his thumb-nail and, as he settled back in his comfortable chair in the warm luxurious room, his mind went back two weeks to the bitter raw day in early January when he had walked out of his Chelsea flat into the dreary half-light of a London fog.p. 12
How Bond likes his breakfast
Bond shrugged his shoulders and walked quickly to the telephone.p. 28-9
‘St Regis Hotel. Good morning,’ said a voice.
‘Room Service, please,’ said Bond. ‘Room Service? I’d like to order breakfast. Half a pint of orange juice, three eggs, lightly scrambled, with bacon, a double portion of Café Espresso with cream. Toast. Marmalade. Got it?’
His morning routine and how James Bond looks
Bond (…) stripped off his pyjamas for the last time (…) and gave himself a sizzling cold shower. As he shaved he examined his face in the glass. The thick comma of black hair above his right eyebrow had lost some of its tail and his hair was trimmed close across the temples. Nothing could be done about the thin vertical scar down his right cheek, although the FBI had experimented with Cover-Mark, or about the coldness and hint of anger in his grey-blue eyes, but there was the mixed blood of America in the black hair and high cheek-bones and Bond thought he might get by — except, perhaps, with women.p. 30-1
How Bond likes his breakfast (2)
‘Breakfast, please,’ said Bond. ‘Pineapple juice, double. Cornflakes and cream. Stirred eggs with bacon. Double portion of Café Espresso. Toast and marmalade.’p. 110-1
Bond’s smoking habit (brand number of cigarettes smoked)
He dug in his pocket for his cigarettes and lighter. It was a new pack of Chesterfields and with his right hand he scrabbled at the Cellophane wrapper.p. 116
She reached over and took the pack from him. She slit it with her thumb-nail, took out a cigarette, lit it and handed it to him. Bond took it from her and smiled into her eyes, tasting the hint of lipstick from her mouth.
‘I smoke about three packs a day,’ he said. ‘You’re going to be busy.’
Before sleep foods
Bond ordered Old Fashioneds, and stipulated Old Grandad Bourbon, chicken sandwiches, and decaffeined Sanka coffee so that their sleep would not be spoilt.p. 119
James Bond’s love for trains
Bond turned to the window and watched the pretty clapboard houses slip by as they approached Trenton. He loved trains and he looked forward with excitement to the rest of the journey.p. 120
Some drinks and a meal
He ordered dry Martinis and when the two little ‘personalized’ bottles appeared with the glasses and the ice they seemed so inadequate that he at once ordered four more.p. 128
They argued over the menu. The fish was described as being ‘Made From Flaky Tender Boneless Filets’ and the chicken as ‘Delicious French Fried to a Golden Brown, Served Disjointed.’
‘Eyewash,’ said Bond, and they finally ordered scrambled eggs and bacon and sausages, a salad, and some of the domestic Camembert that is one of the most welcome surprises on American menus.
Bond apparently like to wear a Stetson now and then, according to this spy
Wid a man ‘n a blue suit, grey Stetson. Seemed like a scar down his face.p. 150
Then he had the biggest steak, rare, with French fries, he had ever seen. It was a small grill called Pete’s, dark and friendly. He drank a quarter of a pint of Old Grandad with the steak and had two cups of very strong coffee. With all this under his belt he began to feel more sanguine.p. 186
How Bond likes his breakfast (3)
Paw-paw with a slice of green lime, a dish piled with red bananas, purple star-apples and tangerines, scrambled eggs and bacon, Blue Mountain coffee — the most delicious in the world — Jamaican marmalade, almost black, and guava jelly.p. 220
As Bond, wearing shorts and sandals, had his breakfast on the veranda and gazed down on the sunlit panorama of Kingston and Port Royal, he thought how lucky he was and what wonderful moments of consolation there were for the darkness and danger of his profession.
When the job asks for it, Bond cuts back on his bad habits
By the end of the week, Bond was sunburned and hard. He had cut his cigarettes down to ten a day and had not had a single drink. He could swim two miles without tiring, his hand was completely healed and all the scales of big city life had fallen from him.p. 231-2
He looked at the Rolex watch on his wrist.p. 254
The color of his eyes
The first tears since his childhood came into James Bond’s blue-grey eyes and ran down his drawn cheeks into the blood-stained sea.p. 296
She stood up and smoothed back the comma of black hair that had fallen down over his forehead.p. 298
Live and let Die. Vintage: London (2019). ISBN: 9780099576860.