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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sombre but thought provoking
I read this book over 25 years ago as a teenager and still remember it quite vividly.

Another reviewer, 'Tasha', quite rightly describes it as not one of Buchan's best novels, but its themes of love, cowardice and redemption really resonated with the shy young man I was at the time. The first half of the book, which is set in the highlands of Scotland, is much...
Published on 4 Aug 2010 by AndeeH

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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
A fine tale of a flawed hero.
Published 2 months ago by PETER MACKAY


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sombre but thought provoking, 4 Aug 2010
This review is from: The Half-Hearted (Paperback)
I read this book over 25 years ago as a teenager and still remember it quite vividly.

Another reviewer, 'Tasha', quite rightly describes it as not one of Buchan's best novels, but its themes of love, cowardice and redemption really resonated with the shy young man I was at the time. The first half of the book, which is set in the highlands of Scotland, is much the best and describes how a privileged but shallow young man loses the love of his life through caution and weakness of character. In the second half of the book - set in India, but not as well written - he redeems himself through brave and sacrificial service to his country. Obviously these themes are highly unfashionable these days, but it made me think a lot about the nature of honor and courage, and of the need to take the tides of life at the flood.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars, 9 July 2014
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This review is from: The Half-Hearted (Paperback)
A fine tale of a flawed hero.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Novel, 3 Oct 2013
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This review is from: The Half-Hearted (Kindle Edition)
Could not get into it -had no substance or decent story line -gave up after first chapter - very boring read
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2.0 out of 5 stars Dodgy imperial relic, 8 July 2013
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E. Chatterjee (Oxford, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Half-Hearted (Kindle Edition)
John Buchan at his worst: an overwrought and implausible pseudo-coming-of-age tale written in the best shade of 'It was a dark and stormy night' purple. It's full of jolly stereotypes of devilishly tricky foreigners, plucky underdog Brits, the emerging merchant class, and longing looks over the Scottish heather.

It's vaguely interesting as an example of late Victorian panics about masculinity in the age of empire: the young aristocratic British man is nothing without guns and adventure, etc. But really, head for his later stuff—this is juvenilia.
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1.0 out of 5 stars too dated to be readable, 5 Feb 2013
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This review is from: The Half-Hearted (Kindle Edition)
I am not sure I will be able to finish this; it is, by modern standards, so ridiculous that it is not even amusing as a glimpse of the past. The attitudes and behaviour are unbelievable and I don't think it could have been anything other than dreadful even when it was written.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Very slow going - love and duty, 25 Jan 2013
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Henk Beentje "Henk Beentje" (Kew, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Half-Hearted (Kindle Edition)
An innocent young girl is invited to a Scottish manor house, and is wooed by two gentlemen. One of these is torn between social duty and love, suffers greatly, and ultimately pays the ultimate price - on the borders of British colonial India.

My opinion: so slow-going as to be quite tough; so much inner agonizing it has been called a 'psychological study', and for me that is no recommendation if it is the main purpose, and hammered home too often. I love many of Buchan's books, but this is not among them.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A tragic love story, 4 Mar 2012
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Helen (Wales, U.K.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: THE HALF-HEARTED (Kindle Edition)
Beautifully composed, evocative and compelling, this is a love story - but not with the conventional happy ending. Our hero and heroine fall in love and meet the usual obstacles, but fail to overcome them. The problem, apparently, is that they are unworthy: not because of their actions, but because neither is morally worthy of the other. They must each seek expiation: she by marrying a man she does not love, and he by going overseas and dying for his country. The moral message of the story is interesting because it suggests that Buchan's intended readership thought like this - back in 1900 - but a modern reader may feel that the solution is unsatisfactory.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 12 Sep 2014
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This review is from: The Half-Hearted (Kindle Edition)
Good read bit slow at times, adventure a bit of a side plot
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Half Hearted, 5 Jan 2013
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This review is from: The Half-Hearted (Kindle Edition)
I feel the title of this novel can be applied to what I felt on reading it.Although an enjoyable read,especially covering ground that we are still fighting over today,it is still not quite enough to lift the book into Buchan's top ten.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Half Hearted, 6 Feb 2010
By 
Mr. Guy Chappell (Perth, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Half-Hearted (Paperback)
Bought this to take to India, where I now am. It is about, in part, the Great Game of spying on the frontier between India an the North. Nice bit of predictable romance.
Good honest stuff.
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