Play Book Tag discussion

The 39 Steps (Richard Hannay, #1)
This topic is about The 39 Steps
15 views
August 2018: Espionage > The 39 Steps by John Buchan 4 stars

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

Theresa | 8413 comments I am joining all who read and reviewed The 39 Steps this month! It was a contender for one of the Pop Sugar prompts (book also a play or musical] and was the perfect palate cleanser after the disappointing Gone Girl.

Richard Hanney is a tad bored in London when he gets pulled into a spy adventure by a neighbor who ends up murdered in his flat. The adventure takes him to the moors of Scotland and back, as Hanney trys to prevent disaster by England's enemies.

I found this a wonderfully readable bit of spy fiction, and surprisingly not terribly dated in the writing. Written, set, and published just before WWI, in 1914/15, there is an innocence to the plotline and the character of this Scottish colonial returned to London from Africa only to fall into a spy adventure that from today's post 9/11 world is just too unbelievable. I rather enjoyed that, actually.

While the bones of the plot are much like those in the classic movie and recent Broadway show inspired by it, the details and many characters are often vastly different. This coupled with Buchan's brilliant writing makes this exactly what he describes here -an "elementary type of tale which Americans call the ‘dime novel,’ and which we know as the ‘shocker’– the romance where the incidents defy the probabilities, and march just inside the borders of the possible."


Idit | 1028 comments I like your review.
I read and did not like the book - because of the plot.
But I appreciate your take on it as innocence.
I agree that the writing is very good


Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 418 comments I also read this for the espionage tag.

It certainly was a thriller, fast paced and surprising, but I def did not love it.


back to top