Research has been done into the alcohol consumption of James Bond ‘as if he were a real person’. The objective of the research was to create a retrospective literature review quantifying James Bond’s consumption of alcohol as detailed in the series of novels by Ian Fleming. Essentially, the researchers measured the weekly alcohol consumption by Commander Bond.
The research was conducted as follows: all 14 James Bond books were read by two of the authors. Contemporaneous notes were taken detailing every alcoholic drink taken; predefined alcohol unit levels were used to calculate consumption; and days when Bond was unable to consume alcohol (such as through incarceration) were noted.
The results were quite surprising: after exclusion of days when Bond was unable to drink, his weekly alcohol consumption was 92 units a week, over four times the recommended amount in the United Kingdom. His maximum daily consumption was 49.8 units. He had only 12.5 alcohol free days out of 87.5 days on which he was able to drink.
In conclusion, if James Bond were a real person, his level of alcohol intake would put him at high risk of multiple alcohol related diseases and an early death. Bond would be considered a grade 3 drinker, putting him in the highest risk group for malignancies, depression, hypertension, cirrhosis and sexual dysfunction. Researchers estimate death at 56.
“You only live twice:
Once when you’re born
And once when you look death in the face.”
― Ian Fleming, You Only Live Twice
The level of functioning as displayed in the books is inconsistent with the physical, mental, and indeed sexual functioning expected from someone drinking this much alcohol. Bond’s alcohol consumption resembles a pattern that is commonly seen in people suffering from chronic liver disease; although he has enough in his life to be stressed about, his drinking is probably enduced by a cerebellar tremor (also known as an intention tremor, the result of dysfunction of the cerebellum).
Besides the fact that Bond has quite a dangerous job, his heavy alcoholism is not his only danger in his life; a chapter in Casino Royale begins with the line ‘Bond lit his 80th cigarette of the day’. – Ian Fleming, coincidentally, was an ardent smoker.