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The Thirty-Nine Steps (Penguin Classics) [Paperback]

By John Buchan & John Keegan (Introduction by)
Our Price $ 9.35  
Retail Value $ 11.00  
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Item Number 424083  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   118
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 5.25" Height: 7.5"
Weight:   0.25 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 1, 2004
Publisher   Penguin Group USA
Age  18
ISBN  0141441178  
EAN  9780141441177  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Returning to England after years in South Africa, Richard Hannay enters the Secret Service accidentally after he finds a murdered neighbor in his apartment and finds himself on the run from the police and the killers alike. Reprint.

Publishers Description
Famous as the basis for several films, including the brilliant 1935 version directed by Alfred Hitchcock, The Thirty-Nine Steps is a classic of early twentieth-century popular literature.

Richard Hannay has just returned to England after years in South Africa and is thoroughly bored with his life in London. But then a murder is committed in his flat, just days after a chance encounter with an American who had told him about an assassination plot that could have dire international consequences. An obvious suspect for the police and an easy target for the killers, Hannay goes on the run in his native Scotland where he will need all his courage and ingenuity to stay one step ahead of his pursuers.

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More About John Buchan & John Keegan

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! John Buchan was born in Perth. His father was a minister of the Free Church of Scotland; and in 1876 the family moved to Fife where in order to attend the local school the small boy had to walk six miles a day. Later they moved again to the Gorbals in Glasgow and John Buchan went to Hutchesons' Grammar School, Glasgow University (by which time he was already publishing articles in periodicals) and Brasenose College, Oxford. His years at Oxford - 'spent peacefully in an enclave like a monastery' - nevertheless opened up yet more horizons and he published five books and many articles, won several awards including the Newdigate Prize for poetry and gained a First. His career was equally diverse and successful after university and, despite ill-health and continual pain from a duodenal ulcer, he played a prominent part in public life as a barrister and Member of Parliament, in addition to being a writer, soldier and publisher. In 1907 he married Susan Grosvenor, and the marriage was supremely happy. They had one daughter and three sons. He was created Baron Tweedsmuir of Elsfield in 1935 and became the fifteenth Governor-General of Canada, a position he held until his death in 1940. 'I don't think I remember anyone, ' wrote G. M. Trevelyan to his widow, 'whose death evoked a more enviable outburst of sorrow, love and admiration.'
John Buchan's first success as an author came with Prester John in 1910, followed by a series of adventure thrillers, or 'shockers' as he called them, all characterized by their authentically rendered backgrounds, romantic characters, their atmosphere of expectancy and world-wide conspiracies, and the author's own enthusiasm. There are three main heroes: Richard Hannay, whose adventures are collected in The Complete Richard Hannay; Dickson McCunn, the Glaswegian provision merchant with the soul of a romantic, who features in Huntingtower, Castle Gay and The House of the Four Winds; and Sir Edward Leithen, the lawyer who tells the story of John MacNab and Sick Heart River, John Buchan's final novel. In addition, John Buchan established a reputation as an historical biographer with such works as Montrose, Oliver Cromwell and Augustus.
John Keegan
, one of the most distinguished contemporary military historians, was for many years Senior Lecturer at Sandhurst, the British Royal Military Academy, and Defense Editor of the London Daily Telegraph. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Keegan is the author of numerous books including The Face of Battle, The Mask of Command, The Price of Admiralty, Six Armies in Normandy, and The Second World War.

John Buchan was born in 1875 and died in 1940.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A new production of John Buchan's spy masterpiece...  Apr 19, 2010
Hello everybody! I'm anxiously awaiting the 2008 Masterpiece Classic production of THE THIRTY-NINE STEPS on PBS. To prepare for this momentous occasion, I am reading the Oxford World's Classics edition of Buchan's spy novel, a definitive edition. And I also have Hitchcock's 1935 film of Buchan's book to watch.

Buchan's biographer Janet Adam Smith discusses the films (from notes to the Harvie introduction in the Oxford Classic edition):
The first film adaptation was by Alfred Hitchcock in 1935, with Robert Donat as Hannay and dialogue by Ian Hay... It is still very watchable; more than can be said of its successors. Ralph Thomas made a version with Kenneth More in 1960, of which Halliwell's Film Guide comments that it was "practically a manual on how not to make a thriller"; the 1978 version, directed by Don Sharp and starring Robert Powell, was set in 1914, the only point at which its plot coincided with Buchan's book.

The Oxford World's Classic edition contains the short novel along with a fascinating introduction by Christopher Harvie with bottom-of-the-page notes, three pages of Selected Bibliography, A Chronology of John Buchan's major writings (he wrote 130 books and contributed significantly to another 150!), and 111 explanatory notes at the back of the paperback.

Of interest to me was a bit of literary trivia: the British Weekly comment in its July 1, 1915 edition. British Weekly, Harvie tells us, was the maker-and-breaker of literary reputations:

We have everything here that can be wished---an excellent cipher story, with one or two points of novelty, a murder, a big subterranean business, a flight in a stolen motor-car, a monoplane floating with deadly intent, a Radical candidate, and all the rest. Not all the rest, for the woman has not yet appeared on the scene. But nobody must miss the tale.

The British Weekly had a while to await for the woman to appear. I understand that two main female characters were added to the Hitchcock film but no prominent woman appears in the book.

Wonder what PBS will do?
39 steps  Apr 7, 2010
The book arrived on time and in good shape. Have seen the movie in several versions and wanted to read the book. Very good and suspenseful.
The 39 Steps  Mar 29, 2010
This is an interesting spy thriller. It is a bit dated in its language. That adds an another interesting layer on the process of the tale. It is not for the action oriented fans.
Loved the movie and the book.  Mar 4, 2010
The book was different from the movie, which is most often the case. The book is a very good read.
An easy read, especially good for children and (maybe) young adults  Feb 4, 2010
This is a classical thriller that has influenced a great many authors. It makes for an easy read. The story follows a well-to-do fellow who's involved in a matter of international importance & secrecy. Most of the novel deals with the adventures of how he escapes from the "bad" guys and the police. Each chapter describes one such event, each being a bit more difficult to swallow than the preceding tale. As I read the story I remembered all those books I used to read as a teenager. I think this would be a reasonable book for this group, but I felt the novel did not have anything in it for me.

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