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Greenmantle (Collector's Library) Hardcover – 1 Sep 2009

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan Collector's Library; Main Market Ed. edition (1 Sept. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905716532
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905716531
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 1.7 x 15.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 287,353 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

Review

The author meant the Hannay stories to be pure escapism. They still are. Enjoy. --Bookbag

'It's a special sort of book that can fire your imagination and transport you to worlds you've never known, but Greenmantle continues to take me on a trip, every time I read it' --Kevin Sampson --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

'Maybe GREENMANTLE should be a set book for our security services,' wrote Allan Massie in the Economist about John Buchan's finest novel, and one of the finest novels of the 20th Century --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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I had just finished breakfast and was filling my pipe when I got Bullivant's telegram. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 Sept. 2000
Format: Paperback
For students of the Great War the Middle Eastern campaigns represent an eclectic mixture of excitement and romantic notions of great religious passion, and in Greenmantle Buchan takes us on a riveting romp through German-occupied Europe in a race against time to prevent a German sponsored Jihad rousing Muslim opinion against the Entente. Written in 1915 to reflect very real contemporary fears of a Jihad and the security of the British Empire, which was governed largely on prestige factors, Buchan has woven a fantastic tale which transports the Great War student back in time and makes him feel as if he riding with the cavalry into Erzerum at the end of the book. Wonderfully realistic, with the breadth of knowledge displayed by Buchan betraying his later role as Director of Propaganda in 1917.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Des OK on 28 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a non-stop roller coaster ride across war torn WWI Europe. Okay as other reviewers have said, it's flawed with propoganda and incredible coincidences but Buchan is on top form here and it's only in looking back that one sees them. The nearest I can say for modern comparison would be Alistair MacLean but for pure excitement and even readability - Greenmantle is ahead. Its unbelievable that this book was written nearly 100 years ago. I totally recommend it but firstly would encourge readers to read The 39 Steps (the first in the series).
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 7 Oct. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The novel follows on from Richard Hannay's adventure uncovering a spy plot in The 39 steps. Richard is now an army Major and seasoned veteran in France in World War 1. Injured and consigned to blighty he recovers and receives a request to present himself at he War Office. He is surprised to find that this meeting is not to receive papers to rejoin his regiment but a request to undertake a special assignment on the eastern front.

This, unlike The 39 Steps, is a full length novel which grips the imagination of the reader in certain parts and is most enjoyable. The detail underpinning the story; the political framework; the knowledge of Turkish custom and army deployment demonstrates John Buchan's wide knowledge and experience in his own political life. However, in places the detail of the Battle of Looes and other parts of the plot, for instance, assumes that the reader already knows the background to the situation leaving the reader to half-guess the meaning of the paragraph. Nevertheless, Greenmantle is an excellent spy thriller with lots of action and adventure and probably warrants an airing on the big screen.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lost John TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 28 Oct. 2011
Format: Paperback
Greenmantle, written and first published during the First World War, takes us on a contemporary journey to Lisbon and then through Holland and Germany to the Danube and east to Constantinople and beyond as far as the Euphrates. Trench warfare in Belgium and France was ongoing, the Gallipoli disaster very recent, and the Russians (still under the Tsar) were putting German directed Ottoman forces under much pressure south of the Caucuses. Given that the action was ongoing, it is surprising how frank this novel is about the stalemate on the western front, the magnitude of the casualties, and that it had been necessary to withdraw from the Gallipoli peninsula. That the novel is nevertheless gung ho in its attitude towards war - all an extension of fox hunting, really - and indulges in unflattering caricatures of Germans and Turks need not in the circumstances surprise us at all. The greater surprise is that there are also examples of both that are much more sympathetically drawn.

John Buchan gives his hero Richard Hannay (The Thirty-Nine Steps) a new assignment. Called to Whitehall when nearing the end of recuperation following a wound received at Loos, he is instructed by Foreign Office mandarin Sir Walter Bullivant to pick-up the threads of an intelligence investigation in Istanbul. Those threads are fragmentary in the extreme, but are believed to be key to Germany's plans to achieve dominance in the Middle East and beyond. That indeed proves the case and, having solved the initial puzzle, Hannay goes on to do his best to frustrate the German war effort in Turkey, at great risk to himself and the several collaborators he has acquired.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Frank Leguen on 31 Mar. 2011
Format: Hardcover
A great read. Nearly a hundred years have gone by since this book was written and the words still leap off the page and the story keeps you glued to the page! Buchan was a remarkable man, of his time, and this Hannay story which follows on from the "39 Steps" takes us behind enemy lines for a life and death adventure. The tone of the book is openly "jingoistic" but, as "Greenmantle" was written during the war, this is hardly surprising and there is a greater understanding of and empathy with the "foe" than might, at first, be suspected. In any case I couldn't put it down and I like the Collector's Library format too! Fits in your pocket and looks good.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Jeffrey Harrison on 3 July 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found this to be great holiday reading. Having first read "The Thirty-nine Steps" years ago, I've been meaning to get round to the other Hannay novels for a long time. While some of the attitudes and language of the characters would definitely not be considered PC in this day and age, you have to but the book in the context of its time and accept it for what it is. In those days, you didn't question that the British Empire was anything but a good thing. Also, Buchan's treatment of characters from other ethnic backgrounds is often nuanced and sympathetic. The theme of an Islamic revival is very relevant today, and in that sense, the novel has stood the test of time.
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