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Three Hostages (Wordsworth Classics) Paperback – 1 Jun 1995

3.8 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd; New Ed edition (1 Jun. 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853262528
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853262524
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.6 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,190,616 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Buchan showed the way. His pace and drive always spelled adventure, always writ large' --Graham Greene

'Buchan was a major influence on my work' Alfred Hitchcock talking to François Truffaut --Alfred Hitchcock talking to François Truffaut

'The Hannay books are . . . about penetration of the enemy, about lonely escape and wild journeys, about the thin veneer that stands between civilisation and barbarism even in the most elegant drawing-room in London' --Robin W Winks --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

John Buchan, was a Scottish novelist, historian and Unionist politician. He spent most of his time on his writing career, notably writing The Thirty-Nine Steps, a spy-thriller set just prior to World War I and other adventure fiction. Some of his most famous novels Greenmantle, The Thirty-Nine Steps, Mr. Standfast, Prester John, Huntingtower, and The Half-Hearted are considered as all time best adventure novels. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
It is now some five years after the end of the First World War and Hannay has settled down to a peaceful life in the country with his wife and small child. That peace is ended when he is approached by his old spymasters looking to employ Hannay's unique can-do skill-set to track down three wealthy hostages, kidknapped by a sinister and globally threatening crime organisation, headed by an undectected master criminal of immense intelligence and power. Hannay plunges into a dark world where hypnotism and brainwashing are just some of the dangers that need to be faced. Using his intuitive powers of deduction, and placing his life directly on the line, Hannay sets about discovering the identity of the master criminal and the whereabouts of the hostages. Although Hannay leads the way he is ably assisted by former wartime friends and acquaintances, including his wife. Buchan is a great adventure story teller and The Three Hostages is no exception. However, there are aspects of the book that may not sit comfortably with a modern reader. In particular, the depiction of Jewish characters may give rise to thoughts that Buchan was a racist. I explored this further via various articles and found that Buchan was, at least latterly in his life, seen as a pro-Jewish supporter. Nevertheless, the stereotypical depictions used by some of his characters in the book did make me feel uncomfortable, even allowing for the time it was written.
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Format: Paperback
A REVIEW OF `THE THREE HOSTAGES' BY JOHN BUCHAN

`The Three Hostages' (1924) is the fourth of John Buchan's five tales involving his hero and adventurer, Richard Hannay. Following on from the author's now signature-tale, `The Thirty Nine Steps' (1915) and its two sequels, `Greenmantle' (1916) and `Mr Standfast' (1918), `The Three Hostages' has three very tough acts to follow. The opening trilogy of Hannay novels is a genuine collection of classic thrillers from the first quarter of the 20th century and, with the causes and events of The Great War its theme, provided thrills-and-spills in an era of tremendous uncertainty and tension.

In many ways, `The Three Hostages' cannot fail to fall short of its predecessors. The story re-introduces the reader to an older Richard Hannay, married and the father of a young son, living on a country estate. Our hero is pulled out of retirement by his old comrade, Bullivant, asking him to help track down three missing persons: "the daughter of the richest man in the world, the heir of our greatest dukedom, [and] the only child of a national hero." After much deliberation, Hannay accepts the case and so begins the search for the missing three.

In accepting his mission, for much of the novel, Hannay plays the part of the hunter, rather than (as was so perfectly done in his first adventure) the hunted. His quest leads him to become entangled with the seemingly-perfect London MP, Dominick Medina, whose charming façade disguises a malevolent and hypnotic control over his fellow man. It is to the book's credit that Medina is undoubtedly one of Buchan's most memorable villains.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Had to remind myself of the period in which this was written - things have changed so much. However I wouldn't have missed it for the world - great plot and good boy's own type adventure, which could appeal to many who might have only read 39 Steps.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As the Richard Hannay series went on, the stories became weaker. This is the weakest so far with an unbelievable plot and too dependant on continual coincidences and unlikely meetings which move the story on. Disappointing, as 39 Steps still a good old-fashioned adventure and Greenmantle & Mr Standfast OK in their way.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A sturdy paper back book whichn arrived in good condition. It is rather bigger than I expected! but it fills the gap on my book shelves where my other edition of The Three Hostages was before it disintergrated through use; for it is a very good yarn.
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Format: Paperback
Three Hostages is, in my view, the best of John Buchan's books to feature Richard Hannay. This is a well written and thought out thriller.

However many the themes are dated today - but they do give readers a glimpse into the world and thoughts of the high Tory of the 1920-1940's that John Buchan was.
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Format: Hardcover
This is probably the best of Buchan's works to feature Richard Hannay - never were his always formidible powers of storytelling in finer fettle. As a thriller it is deeply satisfying, with enough surprises to leave you open-mouthed every forty pages or so. It seems a pity to me, however, that these otherwise excellent Oxford editions do not deal with Buchan's politics more rigorously: for a reader in 2000 to appreciate his work, he or she must negotiate his snobbery and racism, aspects of his writing which cannot be simply dismissed as residue of his times. Buchan's prejudices are dogmatic, not accidental. However, he was a supreme storyteller, and my real reason for denying this book the fifth star is that it - like almost all of Buchan's work - could have done with a touch of humour.
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