I remember well the film based in this novel. I ever thought it was the best film about James Bond, but it's clear time has passed for everybody, not only for Sean Connery, but for me also.
And now I rarely taste films or books of spies if not very good, but now the novels of agent 007 are easily accessible, not as in my youth in Spain, so, I had the curiosity to read this, and "Casino Royale", and I think Casino Royale is best conceived.
This is in the rare case in "From Russia with love" that the film is better than the novel. It's only my idea, but the screenplay I find is better structured.
Here, Fleming commits an error in the structure so, the action seems to be sharply cut in three visible parts as a play, but it's a novel.
We see, the novel begins with a long -too long- presentation of the Soviet machinations so, the reader feels Bond arrives too late. The SMERSH personages and plans, no matter how sinister, and they exceed in that, are not so interesting. Half of the most important in the SMERSH are madmen and madwomen.
The second part show us basically the long voyage to return in the Orient Express, not very believable instead of an airplane, but romantic. This is more interesting with the personage of Kerim, the man who wants to die for living too much and full.
The final it's basically the terrible confrontation between Bond and Granit, the criminal SMERSH mad killer, and with the evil Rosa Klebb.
All the parts are recognizable in the movie, but as I say, that's better easily conceived than the book. It's only my opinion but Casino Royale seems to me a more logical novel without disruptions.
And a touch of humor in this novel, from the 1950's decade, is the remark of the SMERSH about the high quality of Spanish police against communist agents, this is, Franco's police I knew. Few Spaniards today should agree with that as these was effectively a corps as a little Spanish SMERSH.
At last both British and Spanish police and his secret agents seem to have been in close collaboration until now and it follows owing today's new class of terrorism. Life has these paradoxes as the relations seemed by 1954 much more cold but you don't have to believe to the politicians.