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The Thirty-Nine Steps (Illustrated) [Kindle Edition]

John Buchan Buchan , Yuan Shi
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (152 customer reviews)

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Book Description

• The book includes 11 unique illustrations that are relevant to its content.

The Thirty Nine Steps is arguably John Buchan's most famous work and introduces us for the first time to Richard Hannay, the hero of this and four subsequent novels. It's a fast paced, all action, classic adventure novel which is credited with being one of the earliest examples of the 'man-on-the-run' thriller. It was tremendously successful when first published in 1915 and has since spawned a series of film, TV and theatre adaptations including, notably, the 1935 Alfred Hitchcock film.

Product Description


'Between Kipling and Fleming stands John Buchan, the father of the modern spy thriller' - Alfred Hitchcock --Alfred Hitchcock

'Buchan was a major influence on my work' - Christopher Hitchins,English-born American author, journalist and literary critic --Christopher Hitchins


'Buchan was a major influence on my work' ALFRED HITCHCOCK 'Between Kipling and Fleming stands John Buchan, the father of the modern spy thriller' CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 459 KB
  • Print Length: 116 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (152 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #551,186 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
First published in 1915 when Europe was locked in conflict triggered by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in the Balkans, John Buchan's Thirty-Nine Steps takes the tensions and conspiracies which led Europe to war as the backdrop for his timeless adventure story.

The lead character Richard Hannay, is simply a bored Gentleman in London pining for South Africa and his native Scotland until a man is murdered in his flat after pouring out in panic the details of a conspiracy which threatened war against the United Kingdom. Richard Hannay effortlessly takes up the dead man's position as he attempts to prevent national disaster whilst hunted by foreign conspirators and British police alike.

The author describes his novel, in a dedication to his friend Thomas Nelson at the beginning of the book, as a ``shocker' - the romance where the incidents defy the probabilities, and march just inside the borders of the possible'. Certainly Richard Hannay has a remarkable ability to extract himself from the most difficult of situations throughout the tale.

The Thirty-Nine Steps is truly an adventure story because it takes an ordinary person as its hero. Richard Hannay is plunged into the adventure as suddenly as the reader and so there is an immediate connection. The author shamelessly betrays his love for the genre citing Rider Haggard and Conan Doyle as masters of adventure and crime writing within the book. This passion for the genre is very apparent and Buchan writes with a subtle humour throughout, evidence of how much he clearly enjoyed creating the story. Equally apparently is his love of the Scottish countryside which is described delightfully throughout and poetically at times, as are the host of minor characters which populate the landscape.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great Story, shame about the text dump... 24 Jan. 2012
By Malcolm
Format:Kindle Edition
It's a classic story which I hadn't read for years, and since I got a Kindle (a wonderful product!!) thought here's an opportunity to read it again.

The words are certainly there, but what happened to any formatting? Chapter One ends, the next line is Chapter Two's heading, but without any spaces goes straight into the text..... I thought my Kindle was acting up, so did the old computing trick of going back a page then reloading it - no difference!! I'd noticed a few instances of missing spaces in Chapter 1, but by this point was just becoming an irritation and taking away any sense of being involved with the story.

So, checked out an alternative edition (see all the reviews) which somebody had taken the bother to do a little work on the layout and then deleted this version.

Now back into enjoying the story and a learned a lesson in trying before buying....
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
There is a plot spoiler in the following review.

Written in 1915 as he convalesced, The Thirty Nine Steps was the first of what John Buchan called his `shockers', or adventure stories.

Set in the months preceding the outbreak of the first world war, the novel introduces us to Buchan's enduring hero, Richard Hannay. Coming home one night he finds a mysterious man on his doorstep asking for his help. Being an adventurer and recognising someonein true need he lets him in. This leads to a whole series of adventures as the mysterious man is murdered and Hannay finds himself on the run from the murderers (who fear what he knows) and the police. Buchan then writes a brilliant story of a cat and mouse chase across the highlands of Scotland, as Hannay fights to remain free of capture by either side, and tries to work out just what is at the heart of it all. That particular mystery leads him to a deep plot that strikes at the very security of the county, breathtaking in its magnitude.

It's a classic piece, and we really get to know (and like) Hannay. OK, so a lot of the time he has extraordinary luck as well as his wits (a room the villains lock him in just happens to contain a handy store of torches and explosives...) but the adventure is so full of charm, and the stakes so high and the story so exciting that you can forgive its few shortcomings. It's a classic, no, THE classic adventure story of one man on the run fighting against all the odds. 4 sequels were to follow featuring Hannay, and many authors attempted to copy the style, but no one ever really matched the verve, vigour and excitement of the original. 5 stars all round.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rippingest of yarn rippers 30 July 2012
Absolutely terrific harmless boys-own guff of the first order. Chases, disguises, escapes, monoplanes, heavy tweed jackets, pipes, fisticuffs, explosives, dastardly foreign conspirators and well done the British, old chap. Raced through this in 2 sittings. Nice work by penguin on the retro-look jacket also.
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56 of 62 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Argh 17 Jan. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
This must be the third 39 Steps Kindle book I've reviewed this week, but sometimes it is worth making a point -- especially when such a terrific work of literature is at stake. This is not quite as bad as the two other editions I reviewed. But it is, again, the same text stolen from Project Gutenberg and without any typos or formatting issues corrected.

Ugly sepia stills from the film have been interspersed throughout. They do not improve matters.

I think 'one-click' purchasing is all that keeps some of these appalling editions alive. There are one or two very attractive, carefully edited and formatted editions of the 39 Steps available. A quick 15 seconds of clicking through Amazon search results will reveal them to you. This is not one of them.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Arrived very quickly and was good value.
Published 16 days ago by Mrs F.Slater
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 24 days ago by Teresa Pearson
4.0 out of 5 stars good stuff
Spy mystery adventure at it's very best. Well worth a read, as good as any Bond novel in my opinion.
Published 1 month ago by Den
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
First class read
Published 1 month ago by Ken
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very good
Published 1 month ago by Mrs Susan E Van-Renen
5.0 out of 5 stars Why has no film version ever followed the actual plot ...
Why has no film version ever followed the actual plot of the book? tremendous read hard to put down so different in many areas to the many filmed attempts and makes much more... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars ... have not read the book but he is very happy to have it in large...
My husband have not read the book but he is very happy to have it in large prints.
Published 4 months ago by F. E. Calver
5.0 out of 5 stars ... as I had been told that it was nothing like the film
I really wanted to know what the real story was as I had been told that it was nothing like the film. It is true the film does not tell the story that the author penned.
Published 6 months ago by Martyn J Lloyd
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
A bit short!
Published 6 months ago by Mrs L A Warren
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Unfortunately it was damaged.
Published 7 months ago by Ignas bednarczyk
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