The Thirty Nine Steps

The Thirty Nine Steps

Paperback Vintage Classics

By (author) John Buchan, Introduction by Stella Rimington

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  • Publisher: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback | 272 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 196mm x 20mm | 159g
  • Publication date: 1 April 2013
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0099528398
  • ISBN 13: 9780099528395
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Sales rank: 110,114

Product description

This title is presented with an introduction by Stella Rimington. It's May, 1914. Britain is on the eve of war with Germany. Richard Hannay is living a quiet life in London, but after a chance encounter with a mysterious stranger he stumbles into a hair-raising adventure - a desperate hunt across the country and against the clock, pursued by the police and a cunning, ruthless enemy. Hannay's life and the security of Britain are in grave peril, and everything rests on the solution to a baffling enigma: what are the thirty-nine steps?

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Author information

John Buchan was born in Perth in 1875, the son of a Scottish Presbyterian minister, and educated at Glasgow. He gained a first at Oxford University, where he began writing, producing two volumes of essays, four novels and two collections of stories and poems before the age of twenty-five. He worked briefly as a lawyer, then served as a private secretary in the colonial administration of South Africa after the Boer War. During the war he worked both as a journalist and at Britain's War Propaganda Bureau, eventually becoming Director of Information. He published his most popular novel, The Thirty-Nine Steps, in 1915, and it has never since been out of print. In 1935 Buchan was elevated to the peerage, becoming Baron Tweedmuir of Elsfield, and later that year was appointed Governor General of Canada by King George V. He died on 11 February 1940.

Review quote

"Richard Hannay is, like his American brother Philip Marlowe, a modern knight errant. Charging through a hypocritical world, he is a seeker after truth with a boundless love of nature, a liking for simple pleasures and a hatred of pettiness and snobberies... Buchan's novels are eerily resonant with today's troubles... Hannay is a hero for all times" Observer "The book is even more fun than the films" Guardian "The father of the modern espionage adventure" Sunday Times "Buchan makes superb use of wild landscapes in this economical and gripping story" The Times "Go into a bookshop today, pick up The Thirty-Nine Steps and I guarantee you will read it to the end. There is random and graphic violence, there is clear and present evil, eyes that are hooded 'like a bird of prey' - and a man 'skewered to the floor by a long knife through his heart'" Daily Mail