Greenmantle (Richard Hannay #2)
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 ...more
Greenmantle is an odd kind of historical novel about WWI, a spy story about a team of heroes trying to solve a mystery and foil plots. What makes it unusual is that John Buchan wrote it *during* WWI, while serving in France and in British intelligence. Through the novel he reimagines the war, especially in the east, and ends up creating something of an alternate history.
But don't let my analysis distract you. To begin with, Greenmantle is a grand adventure. The ...more
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.
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 ...more
Reader was decent. He's done some professional stuff as well as volunteering for LibriVox. But let's hope his pronunciation is more accurate when he's being paid for it.
My copy of Greenmantle, now tattered, its spine weak from years of rereading, and its faded red cloth cover falling apart at the hinges, still has the book plate of my school library. I borrowed the book and loved it so much, I never returned it. More than fifty years later, I still cherish it too much to part with.
Over the years my habit has ...more
Historical accuracy and prescie ...more
Curious about the author and whether he was writing from personal experience, I found he was friends with someone who shares many experiences with the protagonist, but he himself wrote propaganda material for the British Government. (He went on to do some great things as the Governor General of Canada.)
Part 'boys own adventure ...more
Then I considered, not that it justifies those attitudes, that he was writing a century ago. Also, the hero ha ...more
In this adventure, Richard is seconded to become a spy. He, and a number of other agents, are tasked with discovering what the Germans have planned for the a ...more
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 ...more
As in The Thirty-Nine Steps, Hannay is a bit bored as Greenmantle begins. He has been injured fighting in WWI, and is convalescing in hospital with his friend, Sandy. But as soon as Hannay is summoned to meet Sir Walter Bullivant, a man he assisted in The Thirty-Nine Steps, things begin to move quickly. Bullivant asks Hannay to go on an intelligen ...more
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, ...more
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
Buchan was born in Scotland and educated at Glasgow and Oxford Universities. After a brief career in law he went to So ...more