From Russia with Love was the fifth novel by author Ian Fleming to feature his distinctively British secret agent James Bond. It would be the one that catapulted Bond from regional hero to global phenomenon because one day a reporter from Life Magazine thought it would be a novel idea to have Pres. Pres. John F. Kennedy create a list of his ten favorite books to be published in an upcoming issue. As soon as readers saw the unfamiliar title From Russia with Love and learned the Kennedy was a big fan of some British spy named James Bond, sales of Ian Fleming’s books skyrocketed. Not long after, Fleming inked the deal to sell the movie rights to all his Bond novels except Casino Royale to the production company which would go on to make films out of every Bond novel.
From Russia with Love is generally regarded as the Fleming’s best James Bond adventure, as well as the one that cemented his status as fiction’s foremost fighter of communist threats. Speculation has always maintained that this novel was intended to be Bond’s version of Sherlock’s “The Final Problem.” In both stories the legendary hero appears to have died, but in a way brimming with ambiguity. And, sure enough, just as Sherlock returned from the grave to face “The Empty House” so was Bond resurrected to do battle with the nefarious Dr. No.
The story told in From Russia with Love was inspired by a trip Ian Fleming took to Turkey and his return trip home via the Orient Express. Indeed, some of the action does take place on the legendary train route made famous by another British writer, Agatha Christie.