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on 2 March 2017
Although it's nicely written as usual, and there are some interesting characters along the way, this novel is fatally handicapped by a thin and very slow moving plot that also manages to pretty far fetched as well.

The whole thing centres around a sinister gang that practices mind control and has abducted three children, but in fact whole thing just feels lame and naive more than anything. One really senses here that Buchan hadn't really thought the thing through as carefully as he might have done.

The best part of the book is probably the ending, where Hannay is pitted against a dangerous adversary in the sort of rugged upland country that Buchan loved so much, but it can't save the book from being the dullest and most disappointing of the Hannay series.
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on 22 May 2017
Love John Buchan stories keep you gripped from the first page.
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on 12 July 2017
A very enjoyable read
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on 25 May 2017
Excellent.
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on 9 September 2017
Good
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on 16 August 2017
As you might expect this book is from a different age. Buchan's values shine through every paragraph and repel or appeal.
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on 18 May 2015
very good if you are a Richard Hannay fan
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on 10 April 2015
Absolutely brilliant!!
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on 21 April 2008
Readers who cannot stomach the idea of a protagonist who does not share current modern sensibilities should be warned; Mr Standfast is quite capable of arousing the same unwarranted controversy as its predecessors. Warning must also be also given of Buchan's habit of periodically inserting a bit of social commentary between the action scenes conducted by the returning Richard Hannay.

That said, Mr Standfast is a fascinating tale with a trademark John Buchan plot that should satisfy those who enjoyed The Thirty-Nine Steps. Hannay's adventures see him return to the Scottish Highlands, as well as wartime France and neutral Switzerland in pursuit of yet another international spy ring, masterminded by an old Hannay enemy - the Graf von Schwabing. Thus we are back on familiar territory indeed with ingredients of world conspiracy, physical challenges and dark suspicions.

However, those seeking a return of characters from previous books such as Blenkiron, Pienaar and Arbuthnot will be disappointed, as these occupy either a peripheral role within the book or simply fail to appear. The progression of the storyline is not always the smoothest or most concise either, and the pace of the book not always consistent.

It could be concluded, then, Mr Standfast epitomises both John Buchan's talents as a writer and his flaws. A potential reader should be willing to interpret the book according to its place in history, while still taking pleasure in the narrative itself which is, at times, an enjoyable example of its type.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 28 August 2012
"Mr Standfast" is a book written about events around the first world war by a man who was obviously there. It is one of a series of novels written about Richard Hannay of which the best known is "The Thirty Nine Steps". In this book Hannay is an officer in the trenches in France who is asked to do undercover work with concientious objectors to find a German spy. The story ranges from the French trenches to industrial England, rural Scotland and then to Switzerland before returning to the war.

This is a book of its time and therefore certain things are taken for granted including patriotism, the class system and an assumption that all its readers have at least a working knowledge of "Pilgrim's Progress" by John Bunyan. But where you might expect a book of this era to have little good to say about trades unions, communism and other ideologies which caused men not to fight it tries to show all sides of the argument and presents many non-fighters as sympathetic characters. The book also introduces an independent minded female character who is very important to the plot.

I enjoyed reading this novel but I did find some issues with it. I thought that the Scottish bits were a rehash of "The Thirty Nine Steps", the whole courage thing of the injured Peter was a bit overwritten for today's readership and Hannay's romantic interest as a 40 year old man in a woman who it transpires is only 18 was a bit cheesy. I also thought that it did go on a bit too much.

Ignore these niggles though. This is a book of action and adventure, written near the time in which it was set and fast paced and enjoyable.
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