Book Review: From Russia With Love by Ian Fleming

March 2, 2016

From Russia With Love by Ian Fleming is the 5th novel in the series featuring English spy James Bond, 007. The book was published in 1957 and is considered one of the quintessential Cold War novels.


  • 253 pages
  • Publisher: Fine Communications
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1567310532


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My rat­ing for From Russia With Love5
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From Russia With Love by Ian Fleming is considered the best in the series and, after reading it, I have to agree. While the book certainly offends modern sensibilities, it does offer a great story and a nail biting ending.

The story revolves around the Soviets trying to humiliate the British Secret Service by killing their best agent, James Bond, in an embarrassing manner and hence lower morale. The plot was implausible back then, but even more now when people are not embarrassed at all anymore and even post their stupidity online for the ages. Bond is not a very sophisticated spy, sure he’s good at what he does but he rolls along with the thin plot to assassinate him, missing noticeable clues and falling into obvious traps, frankly it’s a wonder he’s still alive.

The characters in the book, while cartoonish, are wonderful and Red Grant makes a very exciting and dangerous villain. Rosa Klebb, who become a somewhat standard of the female Cold War spy, is cold hearted and menacing as one could be. A whole book about Grant and Klebb would actually be a good read even without Bond making an appearance.

The Soviet counterintelligence agency, SMERSH, plans to target James Bond for assassination (due to his role taking down Le Chiffre, Mr. Big and Hugo Drax). Just killing Bond is not enough, SMERSH plans a major sex scandal as well to sully the reputation of the agent and the agency.

SMERSH sends Red Grant, a psychopathic executioner operated by Colonel Rosa Klebb, head of Operations and Executions. The bait is a beautiful clerk named Tatiana Romanova who will claim to defect from her post in Istanbul to hand over a Russian decoding device, but to James Bond only.

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Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer: I got this book as a gift.
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account


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