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The Complete Richard Hannay Stories (Wordsworth Classics) Paperback – 5 Jul 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 992 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions (5 July 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781840226553
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840226553
  • ASIN: 1840226552
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.7 x 5.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (165 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,772 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Buchan was born in Perth. His father was a minister of the Free Church of Scotland; and in 1876 the family moved to Fife where in order to attend the local school the small boy had to walk six miles a day. Later they moved again to the Gorbals in Glasgow and John Buchan went to Hutchesons' Grammar School, Glasgow University (by which time he was already publishing articles in periodicals) and Brasenose College, Oxford. His years at Oxford - 'spent peacefully in an enclave like a monastery' - nevertheless opened up yet more horizons and he published five books and many articles, won several awards including the Newdigate Prize for poetry and gained a First. His career was equally diverse and successful after university and, despite ill-health and continual pain from a duodenal ulcer, he played a prominent part in public life as a barrister and Member of Parliament, in addition to being a writer, soldier and publisher. In 1907 he married Susan Grosvenor, and the marriage was supremely happy. They had one daughter and three sons. He was created Baron Tweedsmuir of Elsfield in 1935 and became the fifteenth Governor-General of Canada, a position he held until his death in 1940. 'I don't think I remember anyone,' wrote G. M. Trevelyan to his widow, 'whose death evoked a more enviable outburst of sorrow, love and admiration.'

John Buchan's 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 expectancy and world-wide conspiracies, and the author's own enthusiasm. There are three main heroes: Richard Hannay, whose adventures are collected in The Complete Richard Hannay; Dickson McCunn, the Glaswegian provision merchant with the soul of a romantic, who features in Huntingtower, Castle Gay and The House of the Four Winds; and Sir Edward Leithen, the lawyer who tells the story of John MacNab and Sick Heart River, John Buchan's final novel. In addition, John Buchan established a reputation as an historical biographer with such works as Montrose, Oliver Cromwell and Augustus.


Product Description

About the Author

John Buchan (1875-1940) was born in Perth, Scotland and educated at Oxford where he published five books and won several awards, including one for poetry. He went on to be a barrister, a member of parliament, a soldier, a publisher, a historical biographer, and - in 1935 - he became the Govenor-General of Canada. Today he is best remembered as the author of his perennially popular adventure novels

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

191 of 191 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 May 2000
Format: Paperback
As its title suggests, this edition brings together in one volume all the adventures of John Buchan's hero, from his first appearance in The Thirty-Nine Steps (1915) to his swan-song in The Island of Sheep (1936). Here is the perfect book for those who may have met Richard Hannay in his first and most famous outing - either in print or in Hitchcock's famous movie - and would like to follow his subsequent adventures. The Thirty-Nine Steps is often regarded as the first modern spy story (with the possible exception of Erskine Childers' The Riddle of the Sands - also worth a look), and its breathless pace as its narrator is first pursued by and then pursues a network of German spies against the backdrop of the First World War, remains as effective today as when it was written. The two following books in the series, Greenmantle (1916)and Mr Standfast (1919) also pit Hannay against the might of the Kaiser (he even meets him on one occasion while posing as a pro-German Boer...), taking him across Europe and the Near East. We are also intoduced to his comrades-in-arms: multi-lingual Scottish laird and master of disguise, Sandy Arbuthnot; larger-than-life American industrialist Blenkiron; and Hannay's future wife, the feisty Mary Lamington. The final two books, The Three Hostages (1924) and the Island of Sheep are set after the War, mainly in Britain, and Hannay's adversaries this time are master criminals rather than spies, but the page-turning suspense is every bit as intense, as Hannay races against the clock to bring the malefactors to book... Hannay is a very likeable hero, more complex than the "stiff upper lip" stereotype might suggest. In many ways, he resembles the central characters of Dick Francis's racing thrillers.Read more ›
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By M. N. Tanner on 20 Feb. 2009
Format: Paperback
The fact that these thriller stories never seem to go out of print speaks for itself. The Thirty Nine Steps is constantly popping up on television and always being ruined by the appearance of the statutory woman who is not to be seen in the original. It is nice in this volume to have all the Richard Hannay books under one cover and to watch the development and worldly advancement of the hero. Although the world is in turmoil in most of these stories they theme behind them is unselfish heroism without thought for self and although some might see them as dated the message that is on the pages of these tales is one for all time.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By bookelephant on 18 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback
This collection of the adverntures of the admirable Richard Hannay is an utter treat. While I can't concur with an earllier reviewer that his later adventures reach the heights of the 39 Steps, they are cracking adventure stories in their own right, and Hannay is one of those chracters whose fate one cares about - it is good to hear that he thrives - albeit amongst a series of hair's breadth escapes and nerve shattering adventures!
The one downside of this compilation that I would flag up to potential purchasers is that the book is a thick one - probably about 7-8 cm deep and correspondingly heavy. This makes it actually quite unwieldy to read - no settling this in one hand and a cup of tea in the other! Also I really don't think the binding quality is v good. By the time I had read all the books, the spine of the volume was very creased and somewhat loose despite my being careful while I read it - the weight of the rest of the book does the job by itself, I think.
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Monty on 4 Dec. 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had no idea there were more Buchan novels beyond 39 Steps and only discovered the rest by accident. What a happy find! I am writing a fairly contemporaneous novel and thought this collection would make good research material, but I have to confess I haven't done much key-pounding since I bought it. All the tales are equally deserving of five stars but the descriptions of battle in Mr Standfast are quite outstanding. It's almost like being there, and the end, though terribly melodramatic, is very affecting. Even the endless improbable coincidences seem perfectly acceptable in this sort of writing. Yes, there is racism, homophobia, xenophobia, class snobbery, you name it, but somehow it all seems terribly innocent, even comical, to modern eyes and really doesn't matter. Just don't go calling anyone a 'kaffir' in modern South Africa or they'll lock you up!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By W. Thompson on 15 May 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
With almost a thousand pages and several stories, this book is really super value. I have watched all the film versions of the 39 steps but never read the book so now I can, plus the other stories as well all for a bumper price.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ian Millard on 15 Oct. 2009
Format: Hardcover
Buchan's best work, here reprinted in fine style with appropriate illustrations. The print is clear, the paper and backing very good. A very nice set of the works of this most British imperial writer. The set includes The Thirty-Nine Steps, his first and best story of Richard Hannay (like Chesterton's Father Brown, brought to the cinema and TV screen but not very successfully); the Three Hostages; Greenmantle etc. The last-written, the Island of Sheep, somewhat loses inspiration halfway through. It was written two decades after the first. Buchan accepted the title Lord Tweedsmuir and became Governor-General of Canada, but will always be remembered for these justly reprinted stories.
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