007 Book: From Russia, with Love (1957)June 27, 2014
As with the first four books, From Russia, with Love was generally well received by the critics. The story was written at Fleming’s Goldeneye estate in Jamaica in early 1956. By the time the book was published, he did not know whether he wanted to write another Bond book or not.
The story centres on a plot by SMERSH, the Soviet counterintelligence agency, to assassinate Bond in such a way as to discredit both him and his organisation, the Secret Service. As bait for the plot, the Russians use a beautiful cipher clerk and the Spektor, a Soviet decoding machine. Much of the action takes place in Istanbul and on the Orient Express.
The novel’s sales were aided by an advertising campaign that played upon a visit by British Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden to Fleming’s Goldeneye estate and by the publication of a 1961 Life Magazine article, which listed From Russia, with Love as one of US President John F. Kennedy’s ten favourite books. There have been four adaptations of the book: a serialisation in the Daily Express newspaper, a subsequent daily comic strip by Henry Gammidge and John McLusky in the same paper, the 1963 film version, and a 2012 BBC radio adaptation of the same name, produced by Jarvis & Ayres and starring Toby Stephens.
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