From Russia with Love (novel)

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From Russia, with Love,[1] published in 1957, is the fifth James Bond novel written by Ian Fleming and is considered one of the best in the series, as voted by its readers. The 1963 film version has been cited by several critics as the best of the film series.[2][3] Initially, the novel was not a bestseller in the United States of America, but sales quickly jumped when an article in Life Magazine on March 17, 1961, listed From Russia, with Love as one of U.S. President John F. Kennedy's ten favorite books.[4][5]


Plot summary

From Russia, with Love differs from Fleming's previous Bond novels in that the first third of the novel revolves around SMERSH executioner Red Grant, as well as the organization, SMERSH itself. (Bond himself is not mentioned by name until the end of Chapter 5, and does not actually make an appearance until Part 2 of the novel commences with Chapter 11.)

The novel is a series of elaborate plots and counterplots between the British and the Russian intelligence agencies. It begins with SMERSH, the Soviet counterintelligence agency, seeking to redeem itself from a series of failures that have raised the ire of the Soviet government. SMERSH plans to commit a grand act of terrorism in the intelligence field. For this, SMERSH has targeted British secret service agent, Commander James Bond. Due in part to his role in the defeat of Le Chiffre, Mr. Big, and Hugo Drax, Bond has been listed as an enemy of the Soviet state and a "death warrant" has been issued for him. He is to be not just killed, but "killed with ignominy", his death precipitating a major sex scandal which will run through the world press for months and leave his reputation and that of his entire service in tatters.

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