Ejl's Reviews > From Russia With Love

From Russia With Love by Ian Fleming
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U 50x66
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Dec 15, 2008

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Read in September, 2006

Despite being my favorite Bond film, this novel displays the first solid hints of a formula to the superspy's adventures. It's not because of the structure, as Fleming daringly keeps Bond out of the picture until several chapter into it. Nor is it the setting - Istanbul may be "exotic," but the action scenes there are amongst the most vivid of the series (aided by Fleming's own presence in Istanbul during the riotous times of a couple of years prior to writing this novel). The big issue is that the villian gloats in that ridiculous, overblown style that might work in a cartoonish film, but reads wrong and anticlimatic. There is a genuinely crafty climax to the book that leaves the reader on the edge of their seat, which is a nice touch. But overall there is a whiff of the rote here.
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