If you were going to introduce a friend to Ian Fleming's Bond, what work would you suggest?
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I'd start from the beginning. I know I read them once in order and have to admit I was dragging by the end.
Now, to your point, From Russia with Love is a cliffhanger. If you picked up Dr. No without having previously read FRWL, you wouldn't understand why M is forcing Bond to change from his Baretta to the Walther. In addition, the Blofield series starting with Thunderball would need to be read consecutively. There is plot continuity as well as references to previous novels like Moonraker. Therefore, I'll rule out Thunderball forward as an intro.
Last, The short stories encompassed in For Your Eyes Only & Octopussy & The Living Daylights are all separate. Actually, these works would probably be a good intro to Bond, as you get an idea of Fleming's writing style, without being comitted to a full novel (not that they're long).
I usually tell people that OHMSS is the bast of the novels, with the only caveat being that the two which follow (the Blofeld Trilogy, as they are sometimes dubbed) are nothing like as good.