From Russia With Love (1957)

Author: Ian Fleming
Published: 8th April 1957
MI6 Rating:

Data Stream
Villains: Red Grant, Rosa Klebb, Kronsteen, Krilencu, General G
Plot: Setting a trap to assasinate and discredit 007.
Bond Girls: Tatiana Romanova
Allies: Darko Kerim, Vavra, Rene Mathis
Locations: USSR; London, UK; Istanbul, Turkey; Orient Express; Paris, France
Highlights: Planning the assassination, shooting Krilencu, fight with Grant, and Klebb

Capsule Synopsis
SMERSH selects the British Secret Service as the target for a 'konspiratsia' - their agent James Bond is to be implicated in a scandal, and then killed. M hears of a Russian woman wishing to defect, and the trap is set.
Above: 1st edition Jonathan Cape hardback (UK)

Official Blurb (Penguin 2002 Edition)
Every major foreign government has a file on James Bond, British secret agent. Now, Russia’s deadly SMERSH organization has targeted him for elimination – they have the perfect bait in ravishing agent Tatiana Romanova. Her mission is to lure Bond to Istanbul and seduce him while her superiors handle the rest. But when Bond walks willingly into the trap, a game of cross and double cross ensues – with Bond both the stakes and the prize …

Official Blurb (Penguin 2004 Edition)
James Bond is a marked man. SMERSH – the Russian organization dedicated to wiping out foreign spies – has targeted him for elimination. Fiendish Colonel Rosa Klebb and her top assassin lay a sting for Bond in Istanbul – and they have the perfect bait in the irresistible Tatiana Romanova, whose orders are to seduce 007 and leave the rest to her superiors. But when the trap is sprung, Bond and Tatiana become pawns in a deadly game of cross and double-cross…

Chapter Listing

Part 1 / The Plan

  1. Roseland
  2. The Slaughterer
  3. Post-graduate Studies
  4. The Moguls of Death
  5. Konspiratsia
  6. Death Warrant
  7. The Wizard of Ice
  8. The Beautiful Lure
  9. A Labour of Love
  10. The Fuse Burns

Part 2 / The Execution

  1. The Soft Life
  2. A Piece of Cake
  3. 'BEA Takes You There...'
  4. Darko Kerim
  5. Background to a Spy
  6. The Tunnel of Rats
  7. Killing Time
  8. Strong Sensations
  9. The Mouth of Marilyn Monroe
  10. Black on Pink
Above: British Pan paperback 1st-9th editions (1959 onwards)

Name: Bond, James. Height: 183 cm, weight: 76 kg; slim build; eyes: blue; hair: black; scar down right cheek & on left shoulder; all-round athlete; expert pistol shot, boxer, knife-thrower; does not use disguises. Languages: French and German. Smokes heavily (NB: special cigarettes with three gold bands); vices: drink, but not to excess, and women.

Above: British Pan paperback 10thth-12th editions (1963 onwards); American Signet paperback 1st edition (1958); British Pan paperback 22nd edition (1970)

In the first third of the book, the planning of Bond’s assassination and humiliation takes place. The Russian Secret Service wants a real intelligence coup, and hands this task to Bond’s inseparable enemy, SMERSH. SMERSH decide that their chief assassin, the brilliant and evil Donovan ‘Red’ Grant will carry out the killing, but only before Bond has slept with a Russian agent while on tape, the bait for which was the prized SPEKTOR decoder. The idea is that Grant will kill Bond and the girl, Tatiana Romanova, before releasing the tape, making it seem like Bond killed himself and Tatiana following some kind of sordid sexual tangle.

Everything goes pretty much to plan, as Bond and Tatiana seduce each in Istanbul other before making love in front of a hidden camera. Bond and Tatiana take the SPEKTOR (which is booby-trapped to explode on inspection by MI6's top scientists) and board the Orient Express to Europe, pursued by various KGB operatives. Bond, and his new friend Darko Kerim, head of Station Turkey, kill all but one of the KGB men, but Kerim and the remaining man kill each other. Grant then makes contact with Bond, misling into his trust by posing as a British agent, and explains the whole plan to Bond after subduing him and Tatiana. As Grant finally shoots Bond, 007 deflects the bullet with a book and a cigarette case, and Grant is shot dead by Bond in the ensuing fight.

In Paris, Bond attempts to apprehend SMERSH’s Rosa Klebb, but is tricked by her and stabbed with a poison-coated blade. Bond topples to the floor as he loses consciousness. Only in Dr No do we learn that Bond survived, thanks to a fortuitously nearby doctor who dealt with the Fugu poisoning. Rosa Klebb was eliminated shortly after, and the tape had been destroyed.

"M gestured to the chair opposite him across the red leather desk. Bond sat down and looked across into the tranquil, lined sailor's face that he loved, honoured and obeyed"

M: "Doesn't do to get mixed up with neurotic women in this business. They hang on to your gun-arm, if you know what I mean."

"Bond sat down beside her. 'Tania,' he said, 'If there was a bit more room I'd put you across my knee and spank you'"

"Kerim shook his head. ‘These Russians are great chess players. When they wish to execute a plot, they execute it brilliantly. The game is planned minutely, the gambits of the enemy are provided for."

"What a shambles! The place looked like a butcher's shop. How much blood did a body contain? He remembered. Ten pints. Well, it would soon all be there."

Above: British Pan paperback 24th edition (1973)

Above: British Pan paperback 14th edition (1964); British Coronet paperback 4th edition (1988); British Penguin paperback edition (2002)

"The minute precision with which this outrageous operation is described is a good example of the skill which has made Mr. Fleming the most readable and highly polished writer of adventure stories to have appeared since the war."
- The Sunday Times

"Ian Fleming is the most exciting new writer of thrillers to appear since the war, and the phenomenal success of his first four books suggests that a great many other people agree... he combines the more sensational features of american gangster fiction with a high degree of literacy and genuine sophistication; then he presents his whole sleek creation with a cosmopolitan flourish"
- Tablet

"At least neither Mr. Fleming or his hero shares the twentieth century characteristic vice of cant. They are both carnivorous to the back-teeth and like their meat well hung. this, coming in the age of the murderous vegetarian, is rather pleasant than otherwise. for myself I am inclined to wish Bond many years and quick promotion in the order of St. Michael and St. George"
- Spectator

"One of the most outrageously entertaining thrillers ever contrived"
- Daily Telegraph

Above: Penguin USA paperback 1st edition (2003)