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Greenmantle (Richard Hannay #2)

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  1,968 ratings  ·  181 reviews
Richard Hannay goes undercover against WW1 Nazi Stumm, Turk Rasta, and blonde beauty Frau von Einem. With aide Sandy, Afrikaan mentor old Peter Pienaar, and bluff big American Blenkiron, he journeys perilously to Constantinople. Can they thwart prophet Greenmantle from a Muslim uprising, climaxing at the battle of Erzurum?
Paperback, 220 pages
Published January 1st 1998 by Wordsworth Classics (first published 1916)
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Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
I first read this book when I was 10 or 11. It was a library copy, borrowed from the Kodaikanal Club in Kodaikanal, a hill station in south India. It used to be the local English club and the contents of the library still include a large number of old hardbound editions of authors who were popular in the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Early on in this novel, Hannay remarks on the ability of the English for 'getting inside the skin' of distant races. He goes on to say: 'Perhaps the Scots are bette ...more
Kay
The Ripping-est of Ripping Yarns

I've got a special shelf, "Ripping Yarns," set up here at Goodreads devoted to this sort of tale. The salient feature of a ripping yarn is that once you're well into the book, despite whatever flaws there might be in plot, plausibility, or characterization, it's damn near impossible to put down.

John Buchan's four tales featuring hero Richard Hannay fall squarely in the ripping yarn tradition, and they're particularly remarkable as examples of early spy novels. He
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Dagny
A great read of high adventure with a good bit of humor, especially in the early part. Book two in Buchan's Richard Hannay series. A special treat is getting to met Peter Pienaar who helped Hannay survive the ordeal of The Thirty-Nine Steps without even being present. He's definitely present in this one.
Nancy Oakes
Greenmantle follows Buchan's "Thirty-nine Steps" not as a sequel so much (imho), but rather as something along the line of the further adventures of Richard Hannay, the main protagonist and overall hero of the Thirty-nine Steps. Hannay has since been a soldier in WWI, in which he was injured at Loos. Now he is called into action once again, this time by the Foreign Office. Sir Walter Bullivant, the senior man at the FO, explains to Hannay that there is a German plot to drag Turkey into the war. ...more
Elizabeth
This is great work--the writing is personal and emotional, and yet it's formula is spy novel, Conan DOyle in the mystery but with added depth because it's about Turkey and the East and will give you insight into World War I in Europe. It's also remarkably prescient, written before the end of that war, about a band of Allied sympathizers who are spies impersonating at one point or another virtually every possible brand German and German sympathizer. This material and the exciting and well drawn b ...more
Jemidar

I didn't like this as much as Buchan's more famous The 39 Steps as it felt clunkier and more contrived but it was still a reasonable page turner with an exciting finish. While many of the characters appear as caricatures to us today, Buchan saw this novel as part of the war effort and apparently based a couple of said characters on well known figures of the day. It is also believed that in 1915/16 rumours were rife of a German conspiracy in Cental Asia similar to the one portrayed in this book.

A
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F.R.
In fairly recent times I have read John Buchan's The 39 Steps, seen the West End play, rewatched the Hitchcock film and watched the not very good BBC version at Christmas - so I guessed it was time to hit the John Buchan's own follow-up.

The problems The 39 Steps had were largely compensated for by its brevity, the book does rush by at a fair old pace after all. It's sequel however takes more time, which is a shame as it doesn't have substantially more plot. In this the problems of driving a stol
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Frankie
Buchan's Hannay is a clear precursor to Fleming's Bond, with the one major exception forced by a more innocent time and readership - Hannay is no womanizer. As an espionage novel it's quite good and an enjoyable read. It's written broadly for all ages, certainly simple enough to be understood by an entire generation of British boys who would probably later serve in WWII. Buchan wrote five Hannay books (the first is The Thirty-Nine Steps and this is the second) as what he called 'his contribution ...more
Scott
Compared to the hectic pace and implausible coincidences of The Thirty-nine Steps, Greenmantle (1916), the second volume of the Richard Hannay trilogy, is more than a Boy's Own adventure tale. Buchan, it turns out, can really write. I was entertained by his deft turns of phrase. Even when the plot whirled away in yet another chase scene, Buchan's language ... part old school jargon, part Rider Haggard, a dash of Sax Rohmer ... surprised me and held my interest. Stylistically, Greenmantle is sort ...more
Djdeedle
I believe "Greenmantle" falls squarely into that elusive genre, the "ripping good yarn." This tale of a top secret spy mission during World War I is all adventure and utter fun. "Greenmantle" is actually the second in a series of such yarns following the adventures of British officer and colonial engineer Richard Hannay. Though, it isn't necessary to have read "The Thirty-nine Steps" to jump into the second installment, you may want to brush up on your World War I history a little bit so you und ...more
dragonhelmuk
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Johnny Waco
Buchan's follow-up to The 39 Steps is his take on the "Great Game," the struggle for influence and control in central Asia, played for decades by the Russians, British, French, and Turkish. Richard Hannay is pulled from the trenches in WWI and given the assignment of tracking down the German plot to forment jihad in the Islamic world in order to send the British reeling in many of their colonies, including their crown jewel, India. Buchan's racial fixation (racism?) rears its head, as the German ...more
Kimmo Sinivuori
I know that I've said this before but a classic is a classic. I got interested of this book through reading Peter Hopkirk's magnificent studies of the Great Game, esp. "On Secret Service East of Constantinople: The Great Game and the Great War, 1994" which covers the same events that the protagonists in the Greenmantle partake in. I think it was great to read this book while knowing the real events that took place in Turkey and the Middle East during the Great War.

Historical accuracy and prescie
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Pravesh Bhardwaj
Fast paced spy thriller published way back in 1916 works beautifully even today. The writing is simple and story keeps moving at a pace that leaves you breathless. A thoroughly entertaining book set in winter of 1915-16 travels from British countryside through Germany and ends in east of Constantinople as the war goes on. Sometime back I had read a book 'On Secret Service East of Constantinople: The Plot to Bring Down the British Empire' by Peter Hopkirk. Hopkirk was a child when his mother read ...more
Marts  (Thinker)
Are you in the mood for a classic war tale? Then I guess this volume is just for you...

This is the second of five in Buchan's Richard Hannay adventures written in a WWI setting. This time around (November 1915 to be exact), Hannay's mission involves the investigating of rumours regarding plans by the Germans and their Turkish allies to cause a great uprising in the Middle East. He is joined by his friend Sandy, an American John Blenkiron, and Peter Pienaar, a German prison escapee.

Follow Hannay
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Edward Flaherty
John Buchan, the author, lived these times--that gives added credibility in his descriptions of the landscapes and the systems under which people lived.

The plot revolved around a very special woman, Hilda von Einem, whose identity was not revealed until more than 50% of the novel had elapsed. She had physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual abilities that enabled her to convince the Third Reich that she could gain their control of the Muslim world--especially the entire Arabian Peninsula,
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Chris

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

About the Author

John Buchan was born in Perth. His first success as an author came with Prester John in 1910, followed by a series of adventure thrillers, or 'shockers' as he called them, all characterized by their authentically rendered backgrounds, romantic characters, their atmosphere of expectan

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Randal Schmidt
Sequel better than Original

Greenmantle is the sequel to Buchan's novel 39 Steps, and in this case, I would say the sequel is far and away the better of the two. It is also much longer, which is a good thing. Everything that the first book did right, this book expands a hundredfold and improves upon.

The book stars the same hero, Richard Hannay, a South African fighting for the UK in World War I. The plot revolves around a mysterious Eastern conspiracy that the English suspect is being cooked up
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Maggie Craig
I swithered between 4 and 5 stars for this review. I found it a great read, an old-fashioned rattling good yarn. The characters are all engaging and the story moves along at a cracking pace. Now and again I drew my breath in sharply at some of the derogatory names used and attitudes shown towards people of races different to those whom Richard Hannay describes admiringly as "white men".

Then I considered, not that it justifies those attitudes, that he was writing a century ago. Also, the hero ha
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Vis
This British WWI espionage book written by the author of 'The Thirty-nine Steps' is in some ways difficult to rate. It falls somewhere between 2 and 3 stars and is from a modern point of view hampered by racist remarks. I counted 23 separate slights sprinkled across its 264 pages. The book is a product of its time, written in 1915/16 before the Battle of the Somme, and is very much a booster book - it is all about preserving the British empire, the 'better' British way of life, deliberately desi ...more
Jlnpeacock
I really enjoyed reading this and appreciated all the historical information provided. Having read "Like Hidden Fire," I was able to better understand Richard Hannay's adventures and see how much wasn't actually fiction. A fine read for a winter's evening.
Gayle
This is the sequel to The 39 Steps and it does follow on nicely. I am surprised this one hasn't been made into a film - exciting travel through Germany and Asia Minor. I think I may have a breather before reading the remaining 3 Richard Hannay stories.
Alex
I read this book immediately after completing The 39 Steps. As this is how most readers will have found this book, I will point out my impressions and a few comparisons to The 39 Steps. Greenmantle is a much more robust story, with developed settings and characters, whereas The 39 Steps is one big chase scene. The settings and action is enjoyable. The contrast of an American from Kentucky in adventures with Boers, fighting and lying their way through Germany and Turkey, is not your typical setti ...more
Allen
A good WWI spy yarn, published in 1916 but you have to ignore an awful lot. Do NOT expect too much historical accuracy. Not to worry, it didn't hurt the film Casablanca, either. I doubt that Buchan had ever been to Turkey and he exhibits all the 19th century stereotypes of Muslims and Islam about which he also knows little. The battle for Erzurum is fairly accurate as there was lots of material to draw from.
Having said all that, take the book at face value and enjoy Richard Hannay as he sets out
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Laura
I enjoyed much more this book than The Thirty Nine Steps.
Matt
Good cat and mouse spy novel.
Frank
A rather decent if semi dated book. Written during World War I, and about World War I, John Buchan's spy thriller takes the reader into the war that England was currently fighting at the time.

I read the book because of a misunderstanding, I thought Archer was directly inspired by the book, and rather inspired by the genre of books, so I was reading the wrong book, but ended up with a fantastic story and a great journey.

The time period of the book however is crucial, it was written in 1916, Ame
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Jeff
John Buchan's spy thrillers are precursors to Ian Fleming and the James Bond series, and despite a century passing since their original publication, these suspenseful yarns have lost none of their luster and provide page-turning entertainment, and feasts of details with the exotic locales explored. The main protagonist in Greenmantle is Richard Hannay, a Brit both in locutions and loyalty, first introduced to readers in Buchan's most renowned thriller The 39 Steps. In this next novel, Greenmantl ...more
Lobstergirl

First, I am a big fan of John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir, and he would have to become seriously hateful for that to change. There is something so delightful in his books, an innocence, a refusal to see the world as anything other than a place where bachelors cluster in their men's-only clubs (duh!) or their suburban houses or their city bedsits or their country houses and reminisce about times in the kraal (on the kraal?) and war is something oh-so-regrettable but nonetheless character-buildin
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Rebecca
The second of the Richard Hannay stories. Once again Hannay finds himself embroiled in a spy mystery. World War I rages and Britain has caught whispers that Germany intends to wrest Africa out of British control by finding a new holy man of the Islamc faith to stir up the native peoples. Hannay, his friend Sandy and an American named Blenkiron who has a stomach problem, set out to stop this, for if Africa is out of British hands, vital resources and military routes are barred to the British. Han ...more
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John Buchan (1st Baron Tweedsmuir) was a British novelist and public servant who combined a successful career as an author of thrillers, historical novels, histories and biographies with a parallel career in public life. At the time of his death he was Governor-General of Canada.

Buchan was born in Scotland and educated at Glasgow and Oxford Universities. After a brief career in law he went to Sou
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More about John Buchan...

Other Books in the Series

Richard Hannay (5 books)
  • The 39 Steps (Richard Hannay, #1)
  • Mr. Standfast (Richard Hannay, #3)
  • The Three Hostages (Richard Hannay #4)
  • The Island of Sheep (Richard Hannay #5)
The 39 Steps (Richard Hannay, #1) Mr. Standfast (Richard Hannay, #3) The Three Hostages (Richard Hannay #4) Prester John The Island of Sheep (Richard Hannay #5)

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