Jonathan Mckay's Reviews > From Russia With Love

From Russia With Love by Ian Fleming
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Aug 12, 2011

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I enjoy James Bond films, and while awaiting the debut of Quantum of Solace, found From Russia with Love on the shelves of Kelly’s lake cabin I picked it up, curious to see how Ian Fleming’s character compared to those of the films. One look at the book and it is clear that Ian Flemings novels opposite to the political-military thrillers like Hunt For Red October and the book is marketed as a mystery. Yet the book contains no enigma- the Soviet plot to kill Bond is revealed in the exposition. Perhaps I’m expecting too much out of the 180 or so pages, and it may be that Bond without action scenes is an impossible sell for me. But I found the book underwhelming . The characters other than Kerim are nearly one dimensional, and after the exposition few even get the chance to show personality. The plot seems basic and there is little satisfaction in the way that Bond triumphs over his enemies. Worse, the book is full of the worst offenses era, full of Communist stereotypes, mysoginy, Eurocentrism and homophobia. Perhaps the elements that were once exciting, such as the 4 day ride on the Orient Express now seem banal in a world where Istanbul-London can be little more than a day trip. Whatever the reason, I highly doubt I will ever ponder any element in this book, save when I see the next movie and sigh in relief that I didn’t have to read the book.

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Jack Aubrey How you you mean, "without action scenes"? The book is chockablock with action.


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