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The Courts of the Morning

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  160 ratings  ·  24 reviews
South America is the setting for this adventure from the author of The Thirty-nine Steps. When Archie and Janet Roylance decide to travel to the Gran Seco to see its copper mines they find themselves caught up in dreadful danger; rebels have seized the city. Janet is taken hostage in the middle of the night and it is up to the dashing Don Luis de Marzaniga to aid her rescu ...more
Paperback, 424 pages
Published June 30th 2001 by House of Stratus (first published 1929)
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Dec 02, 2013 rated it liked it
I first picked up Buchan's Greenmantle through an article on the web called '10 most esoteric Archer references' or something. Mallory was reading it just before she shoots Archer I think.

With a bit of research it looked to be a pretty good read, and it was. This was backed up with The 39 Steps, another excellent read, and one I think Hitchens wrote about (in Arguably). Back from the time when the British were actually badass, crying how-de-do and kicking Fritz in the pants. Charming tales of e
Jan 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
Still just as exciting when reread for about the 9th time!
Dec 01, 2011 marked it as lookedinto-decidedagainst
This is being aired next Sunday (4/12/2011) on R4x if you are attracted to Hannay stories but it is not for me.
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
Until now I had always wanted to read a John Buchan novel given the success of The Thirty Nine Steps which I haven't yet read. I found an old copy of this story lying around and so I thought I would give it a go.

While the book was readable I had to put it down from time to time because the storyline was a bit dull. Set in a fictional South American country called Olifa the story tells of a sinister industrialist named Castro, also referred to as the Gobernador, who uses the slave labour of the
Jun 10, 2017 rated it did not like it
Published 15 years after "The Thirty-Nine Steps" with numerous volumes of fiction, poetry, biographies, and non-fiction in between, Buchan's novel is product of the milieu in which it was written. The descriptions of and attitudes expressed toward the inhabitants reflect the biases of the era. Set in a fictional country of Olifa in South America, the novel centers on the potential for creating havoc for the U.S. by destablizing its relationship with Latin America. This notion and the brief portr ...more
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, 2018-read
2 * Not quite a 3. This one is a political adventure, not my cup of tea, so I didn’t find it as engaging or as enjoyable as other Buchan stories – at one point I just skipped ahead, trimming off 4 chapters, which didn’t seem to affect the story at all. ...more
Mar 17, 2012 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 28, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although this book was listed in a collection of Richard Hannay stories (the protagonist of The 39 Steps), Hannay makes only a brief appearance at the beginning. This book follows the adventure of some of his friends, particularly Sandy and Archie. The book is divided into three parts, and I admit I had a hard time making through the first one. The pacing is slow in "book one," and many pages are spent following a character who is moving around the country not knowing is anything is going on. Th ...more
Sep 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
Received this from a family friend who introduced me in the first place to Buchan. She found it at a thrift store... and I've been on the lookout for it forever!

I enjoyed the book--mostly. Yet Buchan's political opinions (expressed through his characters, of course) and hard-to-imagine landscape descriptions were a little much, and were a bore. However, what I loved was the adventure with Sandy Arbuthnot (now Lord Clanroyden) at the forefront, who is nearly an exact imitation of T.E. Lawrence; a
Elizabeth Kadetsky
Feb 24, 2008 rated it liked it
Prescient as a lot of other Buchan work, this one set in an imaginary South American country where a multilingual highly educated aristocrat who speaks many languages, has a history as a WWI spy and enviable chameleonlike qualities that allow him to pass as most any ethnicity or social class, starts--you guessed it!--a guerrilla revolution in the highlands fighting for peasant rights and against capitalist domination, recruiting all his upper classd friends--whom if you are a Buchan fan you've a ...more
Feb 02, 2017 rated it liked it
This was not as good as the other Richard Hannay stories. For a start, Richard Hannay wasn't in it - he was mentioned by the other protagonists several times, and he "wrote" the prologue. Another thing was that the story seemed to go on and on and there was just too much description. In the end I was skipping that. It seemed a bit like a primer for how to conduct a guerilla war which didn't interest me and detracted from the tension. In the action pieces the tension was as great as ever and the ...more
Jul 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, thriller
I have to say that I really liked this - it is probably the best of the Hannay books I have read so far, although Richard Hannay actually has little to do with the story, except introduce it and notice that Sandy is acting oddly. Maybe it was the change from 1st person, to 3rd person, narrative that did it, but I found this a lot easier to read than the others. The story was a bit far-fetched, and I never really did get exactly why Castor was such a threat, but as a lover of fantasy fiction, I ...more
Rog Harrison
Mar 16, 2014 rated it liked it
I probably should have read this before "The Island of Sheep". This book was first published in 1929. Hannay only features in the prologue but this book features many of the characters from the Hannay series. It is set in a fictitious South American country where a revolution takes place. The plot is far fetched and the change of one character from villain to hero is unbelievable but I went with the flow and enjoyed this adventure.
Chris Ball
Mar 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Not as instantly thrilling as the main Hannay novels but still an intriguing tale that drew me in and I enjoyed seeing the side characters take the reins of the story. Plus any book that uses hand drawn maps to detail the action gets my vote.

Definitely wish I'd read this BEFORE The Island of Sheep though as it fleshes out Sandy's story and a certain recurring character's...
J. Trott
Mar 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
So the seeds of the British international thriller genre are here. There are great parts, but I couldn't get passed the idea of a civil war as a clever way to dispose of a bad man. Civil war costs too much.
From BBC Radio 4 Extra:
South American republic Olifa is rich in minerals and ripe for revolution. John Buchan's high adventure with Ian McDiarmid and Fiona Francis.
Nov 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Just pick it up. Looks like another great adventure by John Buchan. Most of the story is in South America.
Jul 12, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
just not up to par with his other works. there were moments of action, but the story wandered.
Sep 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
My least favorite of Buchan's novels. I've read nearly all, perhaps all of them. A potboiler.
Jul 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read a lot of the John Buchan books, all good suspense classics from another time. Well worth a look.
Apr 03, 2009 rated it liked it
Disappointed in this one. Buchan did not excell in making a reader care about a fictional place, even when inhabited by great characters introduced in other books. Oh well.
Jul 24, 2010 rated it it was ok
I have read all of the Richard Hannay "thrillers" now. This one was a little too spread out for my taste.
Nev Thomas
Aug 30, 2011 rated it liked it
Ok but the worst Buchan book I've read
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Jul 09, 2017
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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