Fleming, Ian (1908-1964). Doktor No.
Original typescript, 2nd copy. 427pp. Bound in red morocco covered boards, black spine and corners w/ original bookmark. Moskva: 1972.
It’s easy to understand why no James Bond novels were published in Soviet Russia. From the villainous depiction of SMERSH and the later uncomfortable similarities between SPECTRE and the realities of living under Soviet totalitarianism to the pleasure the James Bond character found in blatant decadence there was nothing to recommend the release of such novels to the Soviet public. Part of “The Red Samizdat” collection it is appealing to construe that this samizdat was possibly produced for consumption alongside the movie version of “Doctor No” also the first of the Bond movies. While it’s perhaps true that for a high-ranking official with enough influence to have this samizdat produced the importation of a film might not have been much more of a stretch, the hypothesis is attractive and unprovable. In any case our samizdat of “Doctor No” is an unknown and unpublished translation.
It is very well known that Leonid Brezhnev’s son was an immense fan of American popular and decadent culture, in particular Westerns and Tarzan. Given that he was beyond the grasp of the Secret Services he would have films and books purchased or copied in the West and have them smuggled to him by various means, usually a diplomatic pouch. Literature would also be copied in the embassies abroad to be sent back to Moscow on the premise that they needed to be reviewed. Usually the barely veiled pretence would result in copies being sent to high-ranking officials in the Politburo.