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The Thirty-Nine Steps (Immortal Classics)

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The Thirty-Nine Steps (Immortal Classics).pdf | Language: English

The Thirty-Nine Steps is a fast-paced adventure novel by the Scottish author John Buchan. It first appeared as a serial in Blackwood's Magazine in August and September 1915 before being published in book form in October that year by William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh. It is the first of five novels featuring Richard Hannay, an all-action hero with a stiff upper lip and a miraculous knack for getting himself out of sticky situations. The Thirty-Nine Steps is one of the earliest examples of the 'man-on-the-run' thriller archetype subsequently adopted by Hollywood as an often-used plot device. In The Thirty-Nine Steps, Buchan holds up Richard Hannay as an example to his readers of an ordinary man who puts his country’s interests before his own safety. The story was a great success with the men in the First World War trenches. One soldier wrote to Buchan, "The story is greatly appreciated in the midst of mud and rain and shells, and all that could make trench life depressing." The novel formed the basis for a number of film adaptations, notably: Alfred Hitchcock's 1935 version; a 1959 colour remake; a 1978 version which is perhaps most faithful to the novel; and a 2008 version for British television.

John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir GCMG GCVO CH PC (1875–1940) was a Scottish novelist, historian and Unionist politician who served as Governor General of Canada, the 15th since Canadian Confederation. Buchan was in 1927 elected Member of Parliament for the Combined Scottish Universities, but he spent most of his time on his writing career, notably writing The Thirty-Nine Steps and other adventure fiction.

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Book details

  • PDF | 78 pages
  • CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 12, 2015)
  • English
  • 3
  • Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

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Review Text

  • By Acute Observer on August 7, 2016

    The Thirty-Nine StepsRichard Hannay was visiting London in May. He had left Scotland at age six to work and find a small fortune in South Africa. Hannay was tired and bored after a month in London. At his flat a neighbor asked to speak to him in private, and asked for help. This stranger told of his travels in the Balkans and the things he learned about those who stirred up a revolution. Its all due to a conspiracy (money can be made on a falling market). But now Franklin P. Scudder knows too much to be allowed to live. An important foreign leader will visit London. He will be murdered by an Austrian and the evidence will point to Vienna and Berlin. Scudder told how he faked his own death! Hannay believed him, and sheltered him for days. When Hannay returned to his flat he found Scudder stabbed dead. Hannay now believes Scudder's story to be true. But Hannay will either be the next target or be charged and convicted for the murder. Life is no longer dull.Hannay took steps to disguise himself and disappear. He found Scudder's notebook and tried to decipher its coded entries. Hannay must evade the police search and those seeking to kill him. The chapters tell of his flight and the events of his capture by the killers and escape. Buchan describes the country and the characters Hannay met. Some of the words are obscure ("burnside"). Hannay finally meets Sir Walter and learns more. The police will no longer be an inconvenience. There is a new surprise when Hannay returns to Sir Walter's London mansion. Hannay figures out who is the spy, and his method. The next step is to intercept and stop him before he leaves England with the secret information. Of course this story has a happy ending.The 1930s film by Alfred Hitchcock changed very many of the details of this story, so the novel will be fresh and interesting to a reader. Note how a person can simply disguise himself by a complete change of clothes and hat. Dashiell Hammett also mentioned this in his novel "Red Harvest". People remember clothing better than a face.


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