Interesting that I was (and still am) a big fan of Bond movies, but the first and only Bond book I read was "The spy who loved me" and it disappointed me. Of course that was about 2 decades ago. But I have watched most (all?) Bond movies. I would rate Brosnan as 2nd (though distant) after Connery.
It was an odd novel. Someone (I think it was Mark Steyn) pointed out that Fleming dropped James Bond into all sorts of non-Bond fiction, and if he could have worked 007 into Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, he would have. I'm not sure if this was in an effort to increase sales, or if Fleming got bored on occasion writing conventional spy novels, but figured he could drop Bond in to something that wasn't a spy novel and thus fulfill his latest contract.
For those who don't know, the Spy Who Loved Me is mostly about a woman living at an isolated resort (I think she's the only employee during the off season, or some such) who's brutally abused by a couple of thugs. Bond shows up in the last chapter or two by chance, beats up the bad guys, and then, if I recall correctly, sleeps with the grateful woman. (Nothing like several days of torture and sexual assault to get one in the mood...)
By the way, I've been thinking about the quotation in the passage above -- I should probably say that I'm not endorsing the author's point of view entirely, and that I think the parallels between Soviet Communism and Islamist terror and terror supporting states can only be drawn in the broadest sense (but still can be drawn, because the bottom line is that tyranny is tyranny).
Maybe that's the subject for a later post...
One other oddity though -- I wonder why Fleming eventually dropped the Cold War theme and had Bond square off against SPECTRE instead, and why the movies dropped the Smersh angle altogether (it briefly appeared in one of the Timothy Dalton installments in the Bond series, "The Living Daylights").
Oh, and by the way, I think Brosnan did a fine job reenergizing the series, and I thought it was shabby that he was dumped -- he should have been given one last film (he doesn't look that old!).