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The Power-House (Sir Edward Leithen #1)

3.42  ·  Rating details ·  282 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
The Power-House
John BUCHAN (1875 - 1940)
The Power-House is a novel by John Buchan, a thriller set in London, England. It was written in 1913, when it was serialised in Blackwood's Magazine, and it was published in book form in 1916. The narrator is the barrister and Tory MP Edward Leithen, who features in a number of Buchan's novels. The urban setting contrasts with that o
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Paperback
Published February 1st 2007 by Echo Library (first published 1916)
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Cathy
Find all my book reviews, plus fascinating author interviews, exclusive guest posts and book extracts, on my blog: https://whatcathyreadnext.wordpress.com/

Our narrator is Sir Edward Leithen, in his first appearance in a Buchan adventure. A barrister and Member of Parliament, he describes himself as ‘a placid, sedentary soul’. In fact, his friend Tommy Deloraine observes acutely, ‘Life goes roaring by and you only hear the echo in your stuffy rooms.’ This all changes when, by a series of seemingl
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Eleanor
Reminiscent of Hitchcock: The Power House of the title is definitely a McGuffin as it really isn't at all clear what evil deeds its members are cooking up. But it's a good chase story.
Marts  (Thinker)
A good yet rather short suspense and adventure tale from Buchan...
Tony
THE POWER HOUSE. (1913). John Buchan. **.
When you mention the name John Buchan, most readers will give you a blank stare. He was a prodigious writer from Scotland who wrote over thirty novels and sixty non-fiction books. If you begin reading off a list of his books, you will continue to get a stare until you mention, “The Thirty-Nine Steps,” his big hit, written in 1915, and later adapted for a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. This novel, “The Power House,” was written just after his hit novel
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بسام عبد العزيز
قصة بوليسية أخرى من بوكان.. بطلها عضو برلمان يكتشف وجود منظمة سرية يتزعمها شخص ما و من خلالها يسيطر هذا الشخص على انجلترا بأكملها.. و يحاول البطل كشف تلك المنظمة..

الأحداث سريعة لم أشعر بالملل منها.. و لو ان فكرة "عضو البرلمان" الذي يقوم بدور "جيمس بوند" تبدو فكرة غريبة قليلا بالنسبة لي.. لكن على أي حال تقبلتها و استمتعت بمحاولات البطل لكشف المنظمة الإجرامية..

لكن أهم ما لاحظته في الرواية هو تركيز جون بوكان على فكرة "الحضارة الهشة" .. ففي النقاش بين البطل و بين زعبم المنظمة الإجرامية يحاول الزعيم
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Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
Apr 16, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jayaprakash by: jayaprakash@gmail.com
Shelves: espionage
Edward Leithen is a very different character from Richard Hannay: he's well settled in his urban life as a lawyer and MP, doesn't crave travel and isn't an adventurer. However, like Hannay, he has a knack for finding himself in the midst of perilous conspiracies, and he rises to the occasion in his own way.

The villain of the piece is a type Buchan returned to every now and then: the highly intelligent, civilised man who seeks to bring down the world order. The gradual accretion of clues in the
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Susan Jo Grassi
Sep 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This short terrorist thriller was written in 1916 by John Buchan of The Thirty-Nine Steps fame and is, in my opinion, worth a read. The action is a little dated compared to today's standards but it is still a great novella, with fascinating, strong characters pitting good against evil.
Ahmed Younis
Simple mystery with action mixed in one novel makes you feel like a child wrote the novel plus numerous places can make you get confused

His experience in the First World War was so useful in this novel and the 39 steps

He should be named Sir Arthur Conan Doyle the second for this :D
Anna
Nov 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
quite a gentle romp across London. I do like the idea of a commonplace lawyer having adventures. not sure Leithen actually succeeded as well as he thought he did though!
Kate
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
For my full review click on the link below:
https://crossexaminingcrime.wordpress...
dragonhelmuk
May 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Can be kindled very cheaply, since public domain in some countries: The beginning of the “Leithin” series by John Buchan, this book is pretty good, although not as fun as John Macnab which follows it. It tells of an “extra-social intellect” – someone who is amazingly clever, but is not prepared to use their intellect for the good of their country. This of course leads to urbane, violence hating middle aged men outwitting each other and playing games of honour, which is just what Buchan does best ...more
Toastkat
Feb 09, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
There's something to be said about vintage literature: it makes for fascinating study. Someone knowledgeable in history, social studies, or politics would find vintage literature an easy window to view our past from and compare the worlds of yesterday to the universe of now. As for readers like me, who have little or fragmented knowledge of the aforementioned topics, there is still the benefit of the effortless time machine that is the printed word. Lately I've developed a fascination with antiq ...more
Mohab Hariry
Feb 25, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: asly
Well my first reaction after reading this book is it was OK not great not bad .. it reminded me a lot of our Egyptian writer Dr.nabil farook because it was a light story yet amusing but has no specific depth in it
Lack of logic played a big part into giving me this opinion, the easiness with which such a strong criminal has fallen is unbelievable
the writer neglected completely to give details about the enemy and his organization unlike the hero that he gave details about which made the enemy a fi
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Julian King
Jul 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Our hero, Edward Leithen, seems indistinguishable from Dick Hannay - but who cares? Here we enjoy the next step on the way from Bulldog Drummond to James Bond, via Sherlock Holmes and Dornford Yates. The heart sank momentarily - but only momentarily - when the heart of the adventure was revealed to concern an international criminal organisation (forces beyond our control etc), but then one tunes in to Hunted only to be confronted with 'Hourglass', and after all, were not Smersch and SPECTRE cut ...more
Julia
May 27, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sir Edward Leithen is your average British barrister, leading a comfortable, if predictable, life... until he begins noticing some strange coincidences. They were seemingly unrelated, but gradually point to some dirty doings surrounding a friend who took off unexpectedly for parts unknown. His suspicions begin to center on a wealthy, well-known, and intelligent businessman, who reveals himself to Leithen as an ardent anarchist. The barrister finds himself the target of many "watchers", and then, ...more
Susan
Mar 26, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Power-House--and "The Frying Pan and the Fire," a story included in the 1958 edition I picked up at the great Renaissance Bookstore in the Milwaukee airport, copyrighted by "Susan, Lady Tweedsmuir"--are quite a letdown compared to Buchan's WWI novels. The vague threat of some anarchist, Nietzschean megalomaniac remains just that--vague. I could roll with it if there were even a slight and distant sound of approaching international conflict, but it ends with greater irrelevance than it starts ...more
Henry
Feb 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A simple yet intelligent tale of a man almost falling into a world of espionage and going beyond the call of duty over friendship, pride and pure and simply for the thrill of it.

This is the second Buchan I've read after "The 39 Steps" and I definitely want more from Hannay's adventures and now Leithen has joined him. It has the classic Buchan implausibility, but at the same time stimulation your enthusiasm and keeping you on the end of your seat, even though as Leithen describes at the beginnin
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ضُحَى
- هي رواية بوليسية خفيفة نوعاً ما تستطيع أن تقرأها بين كتابين ثقيلين عميقين لتستجم بها ربما فالأحداث ليست معقدة جدا كروايات أجاثا كريستي مثلاُ
- شخصية تشابمان هي أكثر الشخصيات التي أحببتها في الرواية رغم إندفاعه ولكنه شخص طيب القلب حقاً وكذلك زوجة بت - هيرون " إيثيل " رغم إختفاءها تقريباً من الأحداث لكنها كانت سامدة وشهرت بقوتها في مواجهة موقف إختفاء زوجها .
- ملحوظة صغيرة فقط : لا أعلم ما علاقة غلاف الرواية في تلك النسخة بمضمون الرواية أخفق قليلاً الفنان محمود الهندي في تصميم الغلاف تلك المرة ور
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Benja
Jan 10, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It's tough reviewing this one from memory. I recall it being in essence very similar to The Thirty Nine Steps: an ordinary man (Edward Leithen, barrister and would-be hero of several other John Buchan romps) happens upon an anarchist plot in the middle of London and must thwart it speedily. It was a fun bit of escapism at the time, but evidently not very memorable. Buchan is less interested in action or adventure and more on the mechanisms through which order and chaos struggle silently.
Busyknitter
Apr 11, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 52in13
A quick and easy read this one, written just before the First World War, when the popular imagination was seized with fascination and fear of Anarchists (with a capital A), whose sinister networks infiltrated and tried to control Civilised Society (capital C and S). John Buchan always spins a good yarn and I would recommend this as an excellent introduction to his style, so long as you are able to leave some of your 2013 sensibilities at the door.
Mandy
Feb 11, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoy reading John Buchan's books. His style is really of it's time - published in 1913 - but the story moves quickly.
The idea of having a sedentary politician as the main character is rather interesting, especially since other characters take over the more usual role of the adventurous hero. The central villain is quite interesting too. My copy had a rather good foreword by Stella Rimmington (ex Director General of MI5).
Dana
Oct 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Published in 1913, this early spy/adventure story kept me turning pages. As a contrast to the usual hero of this genre who travels with expertise all over the globe, this story contained a reluctant protagonist who never travels far from his London flat and office--but winds up holding a key to a puzzle that affects his more adventurous friends. I thoroughly enjoyed this story.
Rog Harrison
This was originally published in 1913 and is pretty short - 86 pages in the edition I read. Edward Leithen is a barrister and a Member of Parliament who manages to thwart an evil mastermind who wants to bring chaos in the world. I am not sure that the story actually makes sense but Leithen is an engaging character and an unlikely hero so I quite enjoyed this.
Stephen
I think it's the one of J.B.'s novels that I like the least. Some tried and true ingredients but no snap. An early potboiler, but does stay on some of the author's favorite themes, like the suave heartless monster who plans to corrupt civilization as we know it. Read it by all means if you aim (as did I) to read every one. Don't make it your introduction.
Ayman  Agour
الترجمة جيدة جداً، إصدار مكتبة الأسرة

أدب المغامرات للناشئين



السير إدوارد ليثين يقع فى مغامرة، تشتعل أحداث الرواية حتى نصل إلى النهاية التى ينتصر فيها الخير على الشر كالعادة.


شخصيات الرواية :

السير إدوارد ليثين
مستر أندرو لوملى
تومى ديلورين
تشارلز بيت هيرون
إيثيل بيت هيرون
تشابمان
روث
الخادم والترز
ماكجليفراى
فيلكس
توك
سارونوف
Electric Landlady
Your basic Buchan. Not as delightful as Huntingtower but just dandy in its way. Recommended if you like average, unadventurous heroes and those Agatha Christies with hordes of faceless minions at the beck and call of a massive international conspiracy.
Adam
Aug 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure
A direct descendent of Holmes v Moriarty, this Edwardian thriller (actually 1913 but Edwardian in spirit) is a good romp through establishment London with shades of The Man Who Was Thursday and The Secret Agent, keeping anarchy at bay.
Jared8randall
Mar 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Buchan's writing style is witty and fun to read. People get in a tizzy because of all the mad coincidences in his "dime novels," well they're not seeing the point: it's a fun, short read. Leithen is my favorite Buchan character so far. The restaurant scene is gold.
Syafiqah
Dec 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely loved it! Buchan wrote Leithen wonderfully, and I honestly feel that the use of a first-person in the novella made reading much more intimate and let the reader feel more involved. Can't wait to get my hands on the sequels!
Gerry
Feb 08, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A typical John Buchan story with plenty of good description but the storyline, vivid at the time of writing, is now a little dated.
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3073
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 educated at Glasgow and Oxford Universities. After a brief career in law he went to South Africa in 1902 wh
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More about John Buchan...

Other Books in the Series

Sir Edward Leithen (5 books)
  • John MacNab (Sir Edward Leithen, #2)
  • The Dancing Floor (Sir Edward Leithen, #3)
  • The Gap in the Curtain (Sir Edward Leithen #4)
  • Sick Heart River (Sir Edward Leithen, #5)

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“I began to get really keen, for every man at the bottom of his heart believes that he is a born detective.” 10 likes
“To spend your days on such work when the world is chockful of amusing things. Life goes roaring by and you only hear the echo in your stuffy rooms.” 8 likes
More quotes…