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The Return of John MacNab
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The Return of John MacNab

4.04  ·  Rating Details  ·  150 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews

An adventure, a poacher's handbook, a romance and a moving story of loss and renewal.

When three friends decide to revive the challenge of the legendary poacher John Macnab (to take a grouse, salmon and deer from three Royal Estates), they plan for everything - except an unstoppable young woman with a past and time on her hands. Bold,
Paperback, 320 pages
Published May 6th 2002 by Faber and Faber (first published 1996)
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Ian Brydon
Apr 30, 2015 Ian Brydon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The judgement of history has not been entirely kind to the First Baron Tweedsmuir, as John Buchan became known following the ennoblement that accompanied his appointment in 1935 as Governor general of Canada. Now remembered principally for his thriller [The Thirty-Nine Steps], a classic rollicking spy story that has been brought to the cinema or television screen many times (though never once in a version that does justice to the original), Buchan is often pilloried as the embodiment of the wors ...more
Vikas Datta
Apr 24, 2015 Vikas Datta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic re-telling of Buchan's classic for the modern day.... Mr Greig is a dab, deft hand at conjuring up images of the Scottish countryside, the people, and their lingo in his masterful prose, and skillfully refashioning the characters and working in new elements that modernise the story and make it an irresistible read...
Mar 29, 2015 Gillian rated it liked it
I love love love the original Buchan. First read the copy that was my dad's 10th birthday present from his granny as a precocious 8 year old child, and probably didn't understand half the vocabulary or sentiments, but have re read several times since. Still great as an adult, although I don't have to say Scotland has moved on from the 1920s. Grieg obviously loved it too - it was a great idea to try and modernize it, and his plot and land descriptions are very good, but I personally found somethi ...more
David Kintore
Jul 05, 2014 David Kintore rated it it was amazing
Neil, the main character in The Return of John Macnab, is a terrific laidback half-dreamer half-cynic. He has been emotionally numb since the sudden unexpected death of his wife Helen four years earlier. Although he hasn’t sunk into a cold and misanthropic retreat from the world, he has not been really alive until the mid-life crisis escapade that he hatches with three of his old climbing buddies. ”Neil walked towards the Atholl through the end of the gloaming. The hills were black humps against ...more
Jessica Gagné
Mar 15, 2013 Jessica Gagné rated it it was amazing
One of my favourite all time books - a kind of adventure story for grown ups with bonus left wing overtones
Monthly Book Group
Jan 18, 2014 Monthly Book Group rated it liked it
On the positive side, it is a bright idea to update the Buchan novel, and Greig has cleverly brought it into a modern setting. It has more of a political edge, but remains a page-turner. He has a real feel for the modern Scottish Highlands, and a deep knowledge of mountains and mountain sports.

Some of the descriptive writing is good, reflecting his background as a poet. His philosophical reflection on metaphors for life – not like the sand disappearing through an hour-glass, but like a tree put
May 19, 2012 Diana rated it really liked it
This is a modern day version of John Buchan's hugely enjoyable 1930s novel John Macnab, in which three London gentlemen attempt to dispel their summer ennui by adding a bit of spice to their comfortable, privileged lives. They present themselves as John Macnab and issue a challenge to three Scottish landowners: that they will poach a salmon and two deer from their estates and then deliver the ill-gotten gains back to their owners without being caught. Andrew Greig's version manages to retain all ...more
Rog Harrison
Aug 07, 2014 Rog Harrison rated it liked it
I enjoyed the John Buchan novel so I thought I would try this modern (1996) version. It was an exciting read though I was a little disappointed with the ending. I doubt I will read any more of this author's books.
Feb 16, 2015 Catherine rated it really liked it
A proper yarn with lovely lovely writing to be enjoyed from start to finish. Complex characters and great plot and if you're a John Buchan fan too like I am… :-) got another Andrew Greig lined up right here :-)
David Campton
A rollicking, rip-roaring Highland adventure story that isn't just a boys' own adventure. I haven't read the original Buchan book, but that didn't diminish my enjoyment, indeed, much as I love Buchan, this book carefully avoids, if not subverts many of the conservative attitudes and values in Buchan that I frequently have difficulties with. All the characters are well drawn, the plot is inventive (not having read the original I am not sure whether that is down to Buchan or Greig), and I could se ...more
Steve M
Jun 21, 2015 Steve M rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A most enjoyable yarn written by a master wordsmith.
Peter Jowers
Mar 15, 2015 Peter Jowers rated it it was amazing
An entertaining read. Must look for the original John Buchan tale!
May 04, 2011 Andria rated it really liked it
A brilliant Scottish caper.
Feb 21, 2013 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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