The Return of John MacNab Hardcover – 13 Jun 1996
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'Highly engaging' Sunday Herald. (Sunday Herald) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Cross John Buchan with Iain Banks and you might get close to the feel of this book' Duncan McLean --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Without spoiling a great plot, the book is essentially about three modern young men who set out to emulate the Highland poaching exploits of Buchan's book. Comparisons with Buchan are pointless, as this book takes place in a different era and context. But, like Buchan, Grieg has woven a beautifully-crafted tale around a clever idea. A lovely book, and a great relaxing treat.
There is a warm vein of humour that runs through the whole story which never takes itself too seriously. The 'villains' of the piece ie the land owners who are trying to prevent their stock from being poached are a nice mix of self interest and atruism, and the heroes are rounded conflicted and interesting as people with a nice mix of competencies and flaws.
This is a great read well outside the standard thriller genre of today - yet it is modern and fun and you don't know until the end if they will pull it off or not. I loved it.
The original John Macnab novel was a fairly superficial adventure story enlivened by Buchanâ€™s high-Edwardian prose and gift for describing the natural world. Greig shares the latter skill and makes the challenge more palatable to the modern reader by intertwining more up-to-date sub-plots. The upper-class certainties of the original characters are displaced by the fractured class structures and the concerns of the modern world, which provides plenty of fodder to talk about contemporary society.
Despite the multitude of characters and storylines, Greig always remembers that this is, at its heart, an adventure and keeps the action at the forefront. There are occasions when the narrative stretches a little too far into airport thriller territory (the secretive branch of the security services seemed an out of place addition) and he seems to juggle too many characters who between them have too little to do but itâ€™s a rare lapse in an otherwise above average novel.
It takes nerve to write a pseudo-sequel to such a well-loved classic, particularly as the Buchan original has aged rather well. Although clearly a period piece full of assumed social and legal norms, its tightly wound plot and evocation of Scotlandâ€™s environment are second to none. Greig updates it in a thought provoking way, such as replacing the arriviste Americans with Middle Eastern royalty and Dutch businessmen. Nevertheless, such has been the pace of change in Scottish land reform and politics since â€˜The Return of John Macnabâ€™ was released, that this too is starting to show its age.
This book follows the adventures of three men who set out to emulate the poaching feats described in John Buchan's novel 'John Mcnab' - they have to poach salmon, grouse , and deer from three of Scotland's largest estates within three weeks to win a large wager. A gripping plot, and an engaging narrative drive the story along - i read this in an all day single sitting - but there is romance, longing for things lost and found, and a real sense of Scotland, its people and its scenery, evoked throughout. I don't think i'll be able to put off reading the sequel Romanno Bridge for very long!
Very highly recommended
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Truly wonderful romp in the heather. Goes very nicely with the original.Published 6 months ago by JDS CAMPBELL
I'm afraid I found this book disappointing and have struggled to find the enthusiasm to complete it. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Inverey
For the most part I found it very entertaining. I think it trailed on a bit at the end. The ending could have been cleaner cut but in all I would recommend this book.
P.S. Read more
The judgement of history has not been entirely kind to the First Baron Tweedsmuir, as John Buchan became known following the ennoblement that accompanied his appointment in 1935 as... Read morePublished 16 months ago by James Brydon
I bought this book as a christmas gift and I know the person concerned is reading and enjoying it; I read it previously and found it a very good read hence the 5stars.Published 19 months ago by amber
A good attempt at a modern reconstruction of Buchan. However, I think Greig has only partially succeeded. Read morePublished 20 months ago by J. A. Woods
Absolutely loved this book. Well written, descriptive and memorable. The characters are very well drawn and the plot is amusing yet filled out by some observant and poignant... Read morePublished 22 months ago by according to me