Cover image for


Author: John Buchan
Published: 1916
Language: English
Wordcount: 100,164 / 269 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 89.3
LoC Category: PR
Series: Richard Hanney
Downloads: 10,369 1279

A classic espionage and adventure novel set during The Great War, featuring the reckless Richard Hannay. Tasked with unraveling a mysterious message, Hannay travels through Germany and the Middle East, searching for the elusive religious leader ''Greenmantle''. Sequel to The Thirty-Nine Steps and precursor to Mr. Standfast.

Show Excerpt

like soldiering?'

'Right enough,' I said, 'though this isn't just the kind of war I would have picked myself. It's a comfortless, bloody business. But we've got the measure of the old Boche now, and it's dogged as does it. I count on getting back to the front in a week or two.'

'Will you get the battalion?' he asked. He seemed to have followed my doings pretty closely.

'I believe I've a good chance. I'm not in this show for honour and glory, though. I want to do the best I can, but I wish to heaven it was over. All I think of is coming out of it with a whole skin.'

He laughed. 'You do yourself an injustice. What about the forward observation post at the Lone Tree? You forgot about the whole skin then.'

I felt myself getting red. 'That was all rot,' I said, 'and I can't think who told you about it. I hated the job, but I had to do it to prevent my subalterns going to glory. They were a lot of fire-eating young lunatics. If I had sent one of them he'd have gone on his knees t


Average Rating of 4 from 3 reviews: ****

This book is set during World War I, not II. It is a great read. I've read criticisms of Buchan due to racism and being a minority I did not perceive any such notion.

If you're into adventure stories this short series of books are great. Buchan's keeps the books interesting adding interest with excitement and humor. Richard Hannay is sometimes a little pretentious, but I enjoyed his sense of honor, dignity and compassion. The book is as much about his adventures, the war and life as a spy as it is about the relationships Hannay had with his friends and colleagues. I would recommend this book to anyone, it lacks the vulgarity of modern day books and would make a great adventure read for anyone teen or adult.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Peter Carter

How can it be a WW11 book as in first review when published in 1916 ?

Dave McMordie

Good fun! A crisp WWII spy story, British-style. Major Richard Hannay, recently recovered from battle injuries, is tasked with uncovering a secret German plot to stir up jihad in the Middle East and Africa. The ensuing adventure follows Hannay across Europe where his talent for bluff and improvisation, as well as his battle skills, serve him well.

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