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Greenmantle (Collector's Library) [Hardcover]

John Buchan
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Sep 2009 Collector's Library
Each volume in the "Collector's Library" series has a specially commissioned Afterword, brief biography of the author and a further reading list. The Afterword for this edition of is by Ned Halley.Following his adventures foiling the plans of the Black Stone gang in "The Thirty-Nine Steps", Richard Hannay is called in to investigate rumours of an uprising in the Muslim world, and undertakes a perilous journey through enemy territory to meet up with his friend Sandy in Constantinople. Once there, he and his friends must thwart the Germans' plans to use religion to help them win the war, climaxing at the battle of Erzurum.As well as being a gripping adventure story, "Greenmantle" is surprisingly modern in the concept of using a Jihad to mobilise Muslim forces, and is disturbingly relevant to the modern world.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: CRW Publishing Limited; 1st Edition edition (1 Sep 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905716532
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905716531
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 15.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 123,349 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


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.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping tale of the Great Game 7 Sep 2000
By A Customer
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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Hannay Book 28 Sep 2009
By Lynch
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Word War One Thriller 31 Mar 2011
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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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Gung-ho 3 Nov 2011
By Ralph Blumenau TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Sean McMeekin's "The Berlin-Baghdad Express", a historical work about Germany's attempts to unleash a jihad against the British Empire in the First World War (see my review), makes no fewer than 14 references to this hugely successful novel, written in 1916; so I thought I would read that next.

Buchan had been in the diplomatic service; had been in South Africa just after the Boer War as an assistant to Lord Milner, the High Commissioner; and in the First World War he was a war correspondent in France, served in the Intelligence Corps and wrote for the War Propaganda Bureau. In this novel he draws on his experiences in all these areas: his hero, Richard Hanning, had fought in the Boer War (and also on the Western Front), and was then recruited by the Foreign Office to find out, together with two comrades of his, what he could find out about the German jihad project. This task takes him across Europe, through Germany and Austria-Hungary, on his way to the Middle East.

The first half of the book is a rattling-good thriller, written for boys of all ages, full of derring-do, false identities, hair-breadth escapes, cruel Boches (as well as some decent patriotic and therefore respect-worthy Germans) - and all pretty straightforward. I think it falls off badly thereafter. When Richard Hannay gets to Constantinople, the complexity of Buchan's plot is magnified by the complexities of Turkish politics. Buchan introduces Turkish politicians and organizations on the assumption that you know who they are. Any reader who does not know that history will find it particularly heavy going. But is striking how well Buchan was informed about the tensions between religious and secular Turks and about the tensions between the Turks and their German allies.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In under two days 16 Feb 2013
I couldn't put this down: stayed up untill four in the morning on day one. The girlfriend got grumpy (again). What a story and all based on the events that took place during WW1. Real devil-may-care, daring-do, stuff. A gripping read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Of its time, but neither archaic nor obsolete 28 Oct 2011
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Story of Fine Chaps
A really fast moving First World War adventure story with Edwardian good chaps such as Richard Hannay and Sandy Arbuthnot, the like of which we will not see again. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Dr. R. Brandon
5.0 out of 5 stars A great tale
So, there are some pretty unbelievable coincidences, put down to a growing belief in kidney by the narrator, but it's such a captivating narrative and finely told adventure that... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Julips
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant adventure action classic
In my opinion, John Buchan's best. It is my favourite and the cover illustration, by an unknown artist, is iconic.
Published 11 months ago by Trendy girl
3.0 out of 5 stars Good in parts but Prester John & The 39 Steps are better
The author John Buchan was Britain's leading writer of thrillers in the first half of the twentieth century, and also Governor General of Canada

As with other adventure... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Legal Vampire
4.0 out of 5 stars A hundred years ago and where are we?
Started reading this as it is mentioned in Peter Hopkirk's "On Secret Service East Of Constantinople". Read more
Published 18 months ago by Pensato
5.0 out of 5 stars The epitomy of a boy's own action adventure!!
If you like heroes who think nothing of fighting foreign powers, whilst knowing no fear, escaping death, seeking justice and thwarting fiendish plots all for Queen/King and country... Read more
Published 24 months ago by Excalibur
3.0 out of 5 stars Boys Own adventures
This was a classic adventure story - a real boys' story - and somewhat old-fashioned by today's standards. Read more
Published on 14 Aug 2012 by Minijax
4.0 out of 5 stars Greenmantle
Great read - a bit like an Indiana Jones movie! Very much of its time but useful as well as entertaining - you can learn a lot about historical context from reading books... Read more
Published on 21 May 2012 by Mrs. A. C. Hussey
4.0 out of 5 stars A rollicking retro thriller
This is a ripping yarn from an era long gone. The language is dated, the heroes are dashing and brave, and the villains are menacing. Read more
Published on 17 Jan 2012 by Galatic traveller
2.0 out of 5 stars A great time to Jihad by one and all
This is a linear genre thriller written firmly within the archaic Empire code (and language) of its time. Read more
Published on 7 July 2011 by Sporus
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