7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Bond Ruins a Good Thing,
This review is from: From Russia with Love (James Bond Novels) (Paperback)
I'm surprised that so many people mark this novel down for how long it takes for Bond to appear (90 pages or so). I actually thought it went downhill fast the moment Bond showed up. Until then, it was an interesting reversal, reading like a typical Bond novel, but focused on his foes including mission briefings and so forth.
Once introduced to the plot, Bond basically blunders through, oblivious to anything resembling tradecraft or even common sense, and comes across as an arrogant amateur. And his admiration of Darko Kerim seems ill-placed given that the man laughingly admits to kidnapping and rape in his misspent youth. Haha, what a rake...
The writing is generally lazy. Every character who encounters Tatiana has to compare her to a young Greta Garbo (including herself admiring her reflection in a mirror!). Nash constantly calls Bond "old man" until it's as tiresome to the reader as it is for 007 himself.
All said, don't get me wrong. It's not a bad book, not even a bad Bond novel, but it's hardly the best in the series. The Orient Express and Turkey sequences are suitably exotic and the ending is not to be missed, so it's worth a look at least.