The Thirty-Nine Steps – John Buchan

Just like I mentioned with Twilight not only do I like to read things before they come out at the cinema, or I get the DVD, I also like to read them before they come on the television. One of the adaptations for the forthcoming festive season that the Beeb are doing this year is ‘The Thirty-Nine Steps’ having had it on my TBR pile for almost two years it gave me the final push I had been needing to read it.

I really, really enjoyed it. I can completely understand why it has become on of the great modern classic (is that a contradiction in terms) thrillers of all time. Richard Hannay has just come back from a long stay in Africa. He finds everything back in London mundane and boring. That is of course until he becomes involved in a plot to precipitate a pan-European war.

After befriending and hiding a neighbour who says he knows of this plot he comes home one day to find his neighbour dead in his flat. From then on he not only has to flee the men who killed his neighbour, he also has to flee the police who want him for suspected murder. What follows is a fantastic chase and man hunt through the highlands of Scotland. Gripping train rides, plane chases, captures and escapes ensue with mighty foe’s following him as he tries to uncover the truth and find ‘The Thirty Nine-Steps’.

Like the book, I shall keep this review short. The book is short at only 160 pages and could be read in an afternoon curled up on the sofa. I took a few days over it to relish it and also to not get to confused in all the chases and the many plots and twists along the way and also to savour the adventure. I haven’t read an adventure novel in ages and it took me back to my youth and endless reading of Arthur Conan Doyle. I am going to definitely track down the rest of the Hannay adventures which I never knew existed until I looked him up on Wikipedia.

All in all a thoroughly enjoyable and definitely worth a few hours of any readers time, well we all like a good old fashioned adventure now and again don’t we?

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Books of 2008, Books To Film, John Buchan, Penguin Classics, Review

2 responses to “The Thirty-Nine Steps – John Buchan

  1. The Shadow

    If you haven’t already, I’d suggest the other Hannay books (GREENMANTLE/MR. STANDFAST/ THE THREE HOSTAGES/ THE ISLAND OF SHEEP) and also the three Dickson McCunn stories (HUNTINGTOWER/ CASTLE GAY/ HOUSE OF THE FOUR WINDS). If you like those, then I’d definitely try some of the historical stuff. THE FREE FISHERS is excellent.

    • savidgereads

      Thanks for the advice with those. I have actually seen both Greenmantle and The Island of Sheep (bizarre title) at my charity shop recently and been tempted… now I will have to grab them!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s