These are the fifth and sixth books in the order that they were written, but the first and second in the order they were filmed. Hence the cliffhanger ending in From Russia with Love does not make it into the film, and it is Quarrel’s son that appears in the film of Live and Let Die, the eighth film but surprisingly the second of the books.
In the main the books stand up well, Fleming was an accomplished writer, there are countless passages that anyone would be proud to have written. The plots are intriguing and varied. In the first Bond does not appear until well into the story, and blunders into the trap the reader has seen being prepared. In the second the reader knows no more than Bond, as he is sent to recuperate with a supposedly straightforward mission.
It is interesting to see how the books diverge from the films, the film makers altered certain elements that would strike us as racist now, and the female characters in the books are far more than just generic loves interests. Vast chunks of the books did not appear in the films, but many telling details did.
I read all the Bond books as a teenager, and these are two of the very best.
I first read From Russia with love back in 1965 and the story is still as good the first time I read it. It was the first Bond novel that I read, and I went on to purchase the rest in paperback. It was a good idea of someones to put these two together as they follow on, and the reader can solve the mystery of the "cliff hanger " from From Russia. I have also purchased Goldfinger, and hope that other Bond novels will become available at reasonable prices
Good "blast from the past" spy writing from Ian Fleming. It is quite close to the Connery films and is interesting as a historical drama of the cold war period. It is quite compelling writing but not great literature. I enjoyed both stories but really not much plot to either of them, and quite predictable in the way the story flows. Otherwise good fun reading if you don't want too much intellectual stimulation