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Mr. Standfast (Richard Hannay #3)

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  937 Ratings  ·  81 Reviews
In this nail-biting adventure story, Hannay must outwit a foe far more intelligent than himself; muster the courage to propose to the lovely, clever Mary Lamington; and survive a brutal war. Although Mr. Standfast is a sequel to The Thirty-Nine Steps, it offers far more characterisation and philosophy than the earlier book. For its pace and suspense, its changes of scenery ...more
Paperback, 348 pages
Published July 1st 2008 by Waking Lion Press (first published 1919)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,791)
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Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
This novel concludes what I think of as the original Hannay trilogy, which sees our hero through the course of the first world war, or the Great War as they used to call it.

There's an interesting change in tone over these three books. 'The Thirty Nine Steps' is stark and intense with Hannay a man pushed to the limit, fighting a battle he barely understands with few allies until the last third of the novel. 'Greenmantle' is an altogether more rollicking and gregarious work with various allies an
Feb 18, 2015 Dagny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015
I enjoyed this book tremendously and it is my favorite Hannay adventure to date. (Or perhaps it is just that I am getting to know the characters better. We'll see with the next book.) The parts where Hannay was spying were exciting and fun reading. There was a bit too much military strategy and action near the end for my taste, but it was minor compared to the rest of the novel.
Feb 16, 2013 Tim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Buchan is a bit of an acquired taste. The book is a bit slow at times, and the values that form its backbone are often foreign. But that is part of his charm.

I love old books that were once popular. They are the window into the soul of an age.

In this one, we have a wonderful view of the tensions between pacifism and patriotism, socialism and class expectations in WWI Britain. Much of this is quite illuminating, and by itself makes the book worth reading. (In order to worm his way into a spy rin
From BBC Radio 4:
Agent Richard Hannay hunts his nemesis, the head of a First World War German spy ring. Stars David Robb and Clive Merrison.

Johnny Waco
The third of the Richard Hannay novels beginning with The 39 Steps, Mr. Standfast may be the weakest of the series. Like the second book, Greenmantle, it is set during WWI, and once again Hannay is pulled off the front lines with orders to infiltrate a German espionage ring. Although Mr. Standfast has some exciting set pieces, like Hannay's tramp over the Isle of Skye, off Scotland's coast, and his breakneck drive and later glacier climb through the Alps, the novel suffers from too many of these ...more
Carol Fenlon
Sep 02, 2016 Carol Fenlon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the kind of book I would never normally read but I was led to it because i read in another book that parts of it were set in the early days of Letchworth Garden City and I have a historical interest in that. I believe the protagonist Richard Hannay features in other of Buchan's books and he is certainly well drawn. The book I suppose is best described as an action thriller, a tale of espionage and battle in World War 1. There are lots of twists and turns and predictably a romance along t ...more
Jan 10, 2015 Jack rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After reading Mr. Standfast, it's clear I should read Pilgrim's Progress, as it plays an important part in the story. Mr. Standfast is a character in Pilgrim's Progress, one to whom a character in Mr. Standfast the book aspires. Confusing until you've read a mile in their shoes. Or something.

Mr. Standfast appears to be the third book in a series set before and during World War I. The previous two books are THE THIRTY-NINE STEPS and Greenmantle, and subsequent ones are The Three Hostages and The
Sep 01, 2011 Dfordoom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spy-fiction
Mr Standfast, published in 1919, was the third of John Buchan’s Richard Hannay espionage novels.

The success of The Thirty-Nine Steps had taken Buchan by surprise. Buchan was himself an interesting character who wrote some great weird fiction as well as works of serious history. He was created Baron Tweedsmuir in 1935 and ended up as Governor-General of Canada.

Richard Hannay is commanding an infantry brigade on the Western Front when he finds himself once again, somewhat against his will, assigne
What is it with series? I just don't like them, that's what. This third Richard Hannay book was a bit of a letdown, but I couldn't bring myself to rate it two stars. Really, I'd say 2-1/2.

There were some exciting passages in this book, but overall I found that the faults exhibited in the two earlier Hannay tales, namely a tendency to pontificate on character, fate, and philosophy plus a heavy reliance on coincidence to advance the plot were more pronounced here. Buchan also makes frequent refer
Jun 20, 2015 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: war, spy, adventure, thriller
Mr Standfast is the third book in the John Hannay thriller/ spy series written by John Buchan. The first two, The 39 Steps and Greenmantle, were both excellent and this third story follows easily with another excellent, well-paced, thriller. In this story, John Hannay, now a General in the British Army is called back from the front (WWI) to help find an old adversary. The Germans are infiltrating pacifist factions and using these people to help their ends, as a conduit for passing information, a ...more
May 22, 2015 Joshua rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Read aloud. My favourite Buchan, well, at least, my favourite Hannay Buchan (Greenmantle is a close second).

"A man's courage is like a horse that refuses a fence; you have got to take him by the head and cram him at it again. If you don't, he will funk worse next time. I hadn't enough courage to be able to take chances with it, though I was afraid of many things, the thing I feared most mortally was being afraid."

Chesterton said that a good soldier fights not so much because he hates the enemy,
Sadie Slater
Apr 17, 2016 Sadie Slater rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think I've only read this book once before, when I was eleven, but there were two bits in particular which left a lasting enough impression that thirty years later I felt as though I could have read them just yesterday. One was the moment, right at the beginning, where Hannay, pulled out of the trenches and sent off to go undercover among pacifists, suddenly realises that the war isn't just a game and that he's fighting for something greater, namely peace.

The other bit that stuck with me was t
Sam Reaves
John Buchan wrote thrillers in the early decades of the twentieth century; his best-known book is probably The Thirty-Nine Steps, which spawned several film versions, including an early Hitchcock effort. This is the third of five novels featuring Richard Hannay, a stalwart soldier/adventurer embodying the best (and worst) of the old British Empire values.
This one was written just after the First World War, and it is not the strongest entry in the series; Buchan could not make up his mind what k
Jack Trotter
Jan 13, 2016 Jack Trotter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As other reviewers have noted, Buchan's Mr. Standfast is part of the Richard Hannay triology, of which the best known is 39 Steps, the basis of Hitchcock's classic film. Buchan was a prolific writer and his books vary a good deal. Some of them, like Witchwood, are first-rate literary achievements and should command more critical attention. Mr. Standfast is not quite on that level, but it is a fine adventure / thriller which contains elements of espionage during WW1. It isn't a quick read and it ...more
Marts  (Thinker)
Another thrilling, fast-paced, WWI novel by Buchan featuring the adventures of Richard Hannay and his associates Pieter Pienaar, John Blenkiron and Mary Lamington. This time Hannay tracks down German spies and his main opponent is a master of disguise called Ivery who pursues him through Europe... With, as a bit of an unusual backdrop, 'The Pilgrim's Progress'...

Though a bit overly descriptive at times, this classic war adventure novel is loaded with action, adventure and excitmement on every pa
Aug 31, 2013 Leslie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Leslie by: Joan Garland
I found this 3rd installment of the Richard Hannay story gripping! Although it could probably be read as a stand-alone, it does refer to the first two books of the series: The Thirty-nine Steps and Greenmantle, and I would strongly recommend starting with the first book.
Russell Olson
Aug 26, 2009 Russell Olson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Buchan really lets his politics show through in this one. There are passages in this book where Dick Hannay takes a back seat and Buchan steps into the lead role, damning socialism, labor unions, and especially pacifists. Once Hannay slips back into the book, the narrative regains it strength and the plot surpasses that of Greenmantle, and at times the pace resembles the breakneck chase of 39 steps. All in all, good book...just don't take Buchan too seriously.
Feb 21, 2014 Stephen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very suspenseful. This book's strong point is the suspense, although I like the character of Richard Hannay. Overall, very worth reading, and probably you'll have to read it all at once, but it's not as good as the first book, the 39 Steps, partly because the ending was slightly drawn out and then suddenly cut off. I guess it was permissible, but I didn't prefer it.
An Odd1
Feb 04, 2014 An Odd1 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"It's easy enough to be brave if you're feeling well and have food inside you .. But the big courage is the cold-blooded kind, the kind that never lets go even when you're feeling empty inside, and your blood's thin, and there's no kind of fun or profit to be had, and the trouble's not over in an hour or two but lasts for months and years .. 'Fortitude' is the biggest thing a man can have - just to go on enduring when there's no guts or heart left in you. " p 157

Free online http://www.gutenberg
Ches Torrants
Jul 06, 2016 Ches Torrants rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Richard Hannay, the hero of Greenmantle and The Thirty-Nine Steps, has further adventures. The Great War rages and he has risen to the rank of Brigadier-General, but he leaves the ranks to carry out espionage work. He is the same old Hannay. Associating with traitors, travelling and trekking, fighting hand-to-hand, he is exhausted but never defeated.
He speaks warmly of his troops, but when he returns to his command he thinks in the ways of a century ago. Troops are killed and he needs "reserves"
Nina Jon
Written in a style typical of its time. Despite its length, this is a very fast-paced adventure, full of derring do's with a heroic protagonist and a happy, although somewhat convoluted ending. Classic good versus evil, in a wartime setting, with a leading man who is always a gentleman, yet can fire a gun when he has to.
This would make an excellent film. I'd love to see this story set in another time, with different enemies, but the same goodies.

Nina Jon is the author of the newly released Magpi
Rog Harrison
This is the third book in the Hannay series and was published in 1919. It's about three times as long as "The thirty-nine steps" and is a much better read. Hannay finds himself up against the Black Stone again and the first part of the book is reminiscent of "The thirty-nine steps" only set in the Highlands rather than the south west of Scotland. The plot is implausible with too many unbelievable coincidences but Hannay is an interesting character who can see both sides of an argument. Indeed th ...more
May 23, 2016 Julia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
First published in 1919, this is an exciting wartime story, set during World War I. It is full of heroic battle scenes, and suspenseful espionage. The horror and relentlessness of battle is pounded into the story. The spy team, coming from different war philosophies, are able to work together for the sake of the Allies. The narrator serves both as a General on the battlefield, as well as a British spy. He admits his blunders and weaknesses to the readers, which is a nice balance to the near supe ...more
Alasdair Peterson
Another thrilling yarn by John Buchan!
Jan 21, 2014 Allen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
The 3rd in John Buchan's Richard Hannay series. Set in the last two years of WWI, Hannay, who previously appeared in The Thirty-Nine Steps and Greenmantle must outwit the cleverest German spy ever in time to prevent the German offensive of March 1918 across the Somme. At least this time there is a beautiful girl in the story, whom Hannay falls in love with. His old fiends Blenkiron and Peter Pienaar from Greenmantle figure largely in the story and the master-spy is none other than one of the tri ...more
Jun 10, 2016 Sharon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know I'm in the minority here, but I thoroughly enjoy the Hannay books. They're fun spy adventures, the precursor to the modern spy novel, and I'm always a sucker for people who have to craft new identities throughout the book. I liked Standfast more than Greenmantle, but Greenmantle was helpful to have read for context and character introduction. The final part of the book was my only wrinkle - while it made a satisfying conclusion, I felt that the book could have held up without it.

As a sid
A fine book of the olden day spy genre. Brigadier General Richard Hannay is once again drafted into the British Secret Service to foil a plot of dastardly proportions! The most secret British troop movements are being leaked to the enemy and it's up to Hannay and his old friend Blenkiron to find out where the leak is and to stop it. Hannay follows a lead into the conscientious objectors camp and finds an old enemy from the first book: a Graf who is Germany's best spy and has caused untold deaths ...more
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Aug 04, 2013 Neil rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review of Mr Standfast

This the third book written by John Buchan featuring his most famous character, Richard Hannay. The book starts with Hannay in the thick of the fighting in the trenches of World War 1 and returning to what he now thinks of his true calling of soldiering. In very short order he is pulled out of the trenches by the British secret service and given possibly the vaguest mission ever given to spy catcher. The “intelligence” services believe the Germans are up to something involv
John Pendergraft
Jan 07, 2013 John Pendergraft rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is book three of Buchan's Richard Hannay novels. Buchan writes about common men who simply and cheerfully go about their business of saving the West from evil no matter the cost. Buchan wants his readers to understand that it is not the actions of the enlightened few or the avante garde that build, sustain, and protect civilization but every day decisions and actions of the common folk. Thus, in Mr. Standfast, it is the actions of the common soldier, farmer, and laborer that give comfort an ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Correct and combine 2 9 Nov 02, 2015 07:27AM  
  • The Thirty-Nine Steps (Oxford Bookworms Stage 4)
  • The Pirate
  • Doctor Syn
  • Whispers in the Dark
  • Harm's Way (Inspector Sloan #11)
  • Enderby's Dark Lady
  • The Three Button Trick and Other Stories
  • The Little Nugget
  • The Riddle of the Sands
  • Journey Into Fear
  • The Roses of No Man's Land
  • Rupert of Hentzau
  • I Say No
  • Long Lankin
  • Spider Dance (Irene Adler, #8)
  • Hour of Need (The Laws of Magic, #6)
  • Billion Dollar Brain
  • An Experiment In Treason (Sir John Fielding, #9)
John Buchan (1st Baron Tweedsmuir) was a Scottish 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 So
More about John Buchan...

Other Books in the Series

Richard Hannay (5 books)
  • The 39 Steps (Richard Hannay, #1)
  • Greenmantle (Richard Hannay #2)
  • The Three Hostages (Richard Hannay #4)
  • The Island of Sheep (Richard Hannay #5)

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“An old woman with a mutch sat in an arm-chair behind the counter. She looked up at me over her spectacles and smiled, and I took to her on the instant. She had the kind of old wise face that God loves.” 3 likes
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