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The Thirty-Nine Steps (1915)

by John Buchan

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Richard Hannay stories (1)

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4,9141751,855 (3.52)602
In The Thirty-Nine Steps (1915), the best-known of his thrillers (made into a popular movie by Alfred Hitchcock), John Buchan introduces his most enduring hero, Richard Hannay, who, despite claiming to be an "ordinary fellow," is caught up in the dramatic and dangerous race against a plot todevastate the British war effort. In this, the only critical edition available, Christopher Harvie's introduction interweaves the writing of the tale with the equally fascinating story of how John Buchan, publisher and lawyer, came in from the cold and, via The Thirty-Nine Steps, ended the war as spy-master and propagandachief.… (more)
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English (167)  Danish (2)  Spanish (2)  French (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (173)
Showing 1-5 of 167 (next | show all)
An enjoyable yarn about a man on the run.

While this could easily have been a dated pre-War thriller, its self-consciousness ("I say sir, the story you tell sounds like one of those Haggard novels!") endears it to the modern reader. ( )
  mkfs | Aug 13, 2022 |
Loved the book. Action from start to finish. 5 Star book. ( )
  RoSands | Jul 18, 2022 |
32/15-Το είχα ξαναδιαβάσει παλιότερα σε πιο παιδική έκδοση. Ικανοποιητική ιστορία , με γρήγορη πλοκή. υπέροχο σενάριο για αστυνομική ταινία. Μέτριο. ( )
  Will_Trent | Jul 4, 2022 |
Not the first spy story or spy novel, but it was the one that set the template that Bond was later to follow. I read it for a class on the history of espionage, and as my professor said, "He's not a major writer, he's a minor writer. As you can tell he has no idea how to write women so he doesn't bother." Author was also an anti-Semite (apparently one of the many reasons Churchill disliked him.) so take it with many grains of salt, but relax and enjoy the implausible ride. ( )
  suzannekmoses | May 20, 2022 |
I always liked the Hitchcock film, and the book it is based on is fairly similar. It’s a thriller about a man who has to clear his own name by catching the real killer, and in the process he unmasks a ring of spies, with a lot of picturesque running through the Scottish highlands. There’s an extended soliloquy by one of the characters about Jews who control finance and the world (“The Jew is everywhere, but you have to go far down the back stairs to find him... to get to the real boss, ten to one you are brought up against a little white-faced Jew in a bath-chair with an eye like a rattlesnake.”) I’m not sure if the reader is supposed to take that seriously or think it’s ridiculous, but it was rather creepy. ( )
  jollyavis | Dec 14, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 167 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (56 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Buchanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ardizzone, EdwardIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gibson, FloNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gorey, EdwardIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harvie, ChristopherEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hynynen, AnssiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Keegan, JohnEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lutkin, ChrisNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Praetzellis, AdrianNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Puerta Aparicio, FranciscoIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Russ, StephenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thorn, DavidNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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TO
THOMAS ARTHUR NELSON
(LOTHIAN AND BORDER HORSE)

My Dear Tommy,
You and I have long cherished an affection for that elementary type of tale which Americans call the 'dime novel' and which we know as the 'shocker' - the romance where the incidents defy probabilities, and march just inside the borders of the possible. During an illness last winter I exhausted my store of those aids to cheerfulness, and was driven to write one for myself. This little volume is the result, and I should like to put your name on it in memory of our long friendship, in the days when the wildest fictions are so much less improbable than the facts.

J. B.
First words
Richard Hannay is not, on the face of it, the most exciting of adventurers, yet more than any other hero he has come to embody the man of action pitted against the forces of misrule. (Introduction)
I returned from the City about three o'clock on that May afternoon pretty well disgusted with life.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

In The Thirty-Nine Steps (1915), the best-known of his thrillers (made into a popular movie by Alfred Hitchcock), John Buchan introduces his most enduring hero, Richard Hannay, who, despite claiming to be an "ordinary fellow," is caught up in the dramatic and dangerous race against a plot todevastate the British war effort. In this, the only critical edition available, Christopher Harvie's introduction interweaves the writing of the tale with the equally fascinating story of how John Buchan, publisher and lawyer, came in from the cold and, via The Thirty-Nine Steps, ended the war as spy-master and propagandachief.

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Average: (3.52)
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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141441178, 0141031263, 0141194723

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

» Publisher information page

 

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