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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for anyone who ever dreamt of adventure. Brilliant!
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...
Published on 20 Dec 2008 by Howard Green

versus
52 of 58 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Argh
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...
Published on 17 Jan 2012 by Paddington


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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for anyone who ever dreamt of adventure. Brilliant!, 20 Dec 2008
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.

The story develops at pace and Hannay's chase from London across Scotland and back down to the South Coast means that without warning the reader finds himself tearing through the final chapter for resolution. The fact that the book is over all too soon can hardly be seen as a fault and whilst it could be said that Buchan's style can at times be rushed The Thirty-Nine Steps is a classic which should be approached without too much cynicism. Read it as it was read by soldier's in the trenches in a Europe where it must have constantly have felt that dark subversive forces were at play, forces which, it must have been felt, would prosper were it not for the improbable heroics of brave Brits like Richard Hannay.
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52 of 58 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Argh, 17 Jan 2012
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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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rippingest of yarn rippers, 30 July 2012
By 
R ASPLIN - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Thirty-Nine Steps (Paperback)
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great Story, shame about the text dump..., 24 Jan 2012
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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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic, 9 Oct 2007
By 
Didier (Ghent, Belgium) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Small as it is (barely a hundred pages), this book amply makes up for that lack of quantity by its sheer quality. Richard Hannay has just returned from South Africa and is barely back in London when a man is found murdered in his rooms ('There was a long knife through his heart which skewered him to the floor.' Don't you just love this kind of stuff? I know I do!). He sets out for his native Scotland, always just a step ahead of the police... not once does the pace of the story slacken until the very end, and you'll be reading it teeth on edge.

'The thirty-nine steps' was first published in 1915, but in my opinion it's still one of the very best suspense stories ever!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 86p for a free book?, 27 Oct 2011
By 
Andy (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This book is not as described. I chose this edition because it was an illustrated edition. First problem : The illustrations are of extremely poor quality and of little if any relevance to the story. They appear at random points in the narrative and are mostly totally ambiguous in content. My second concern is more serious. I know the Kindle edition only costs 86p, but if you click on a chapter heading you are taken to the Kindle web browser where you see the relevant chapter in the FREE Gutenberg electronic library. Surely Amazon aren't pulling a fast one and charging for a free electronic edition, including a few pointless fuzzy etchings to justify the price? Even at 86p that would be a dirty trick.....
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Suspense, 14 May 2010
By 
Donald Hughes (Ruislip) - See all my reviews
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It must be over sixty years since I last read this book, and it is even better than I remembered: a gripping, crisply-told suspense story. Not all of my favourite childhood authors stand the test of time- Stevenson and Haggard come to mind- but Buchan does. I read the book in a single session, and will now re-read the other Hannay novels.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Class, 30 Mar 2011
I remembered the films being jolly good - although I had preferred the "humour" of the early black and white one to the more recent Robert Powell(?) one - so thought "I wonder what the book was like?"

Needless to say, the movie and the manuscript are at best "related" - which is perfect. The book is a new and different story and well worth the visit :)

There are some elements which show how un-politically correct we were, but seen in the context of the era it was written they are merely uncomfortable.

The yarn, for it is a yarn, is excellent. The book is surprisingly short and yet packs enough twists and turns to keep a healthy interest (I could not stop reading it.)

I guess I'm old fashioned and like my writing that way - but this really does put some modern thrillers to task in terms of how to keep a story sharp, moving and alive. Regards, CW.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the book is always better, 2 Feb 2009
By 
Dot Haydon (South Hertfordshire,England) - See all my reviews
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for me i prefer the book version of this timeless classic the films are ok, but the book really does provide much more excitment than any of the films.

in the films they always miss out that hannay was ill during the adventure, also they alway miss the bit where he dresses as a road sweeper to evade the police which he successful does.

also the collectors library version is a hard backed version that does not cost the earth like some hard backed version the only thing is you need good eyesight the print is a bit small.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read, 7 Dec 2013
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This review is from: The 39 Steps (Kindle Edition)
I read the book at school many years ago, and still love the story. I'm not a bookworm but this keeps me interested to the end.
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The Thirty-nine Steps (Edwardian)
The Thirty-nine Steps (Edwardian) by John Buchan (Audio CD - 28 Feb 2007)
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