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The Thirty-Nine Steps
     

The Thirty-Nine Steps

3.5 16
by John Buchan
 

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The Thirty-Nine Steps is an adventure novel by the Scottish author John Buchan. It first appeared as a serial in Blackwood's Magazine in August and September 1915 before being published in book form in October that year by William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh. It is the first of five novels featuring Richard Hannay, an all-action hero with a stiff upper lip and a

Overview

The Thirty-Nine Steps is an adventure novel by the Scottish author John Buchan. It first appeared as a serial in Blackwood's Magazine in August and September 1915 before being published in book form in October that year by William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh. It is the first of five novels featuring Richard Hannay, an all-action hero with a stiff upper lip and a miraculous knack for getting himself out of sticky situations.
The novel formed the basis for a number of film adaptations, notably: Alfred Hitchcock's 1935 version; a 1959 colour remake; a 1978 version which is perhaps most faithful to the novel; and a 2008 version for British television.
John Buchan wrote The Thirty-Nine Steps while he was ill in bed with a duodenal ulcer, an illness which remained with him all his life. The novel was his first "shocker", as he called it — a story combining personal and political dramas. The novel marked a turning point in Buchan’s literary career and introduced his famous adventuring hero, Richard Hannay. He described a "shocker" as an adventure where the events in the story are unlikely and the reader is only just able to believe that they really happened.
Buchan's son, William, later wrote that the name of the book originated when the author's daughter, then about age six, was counting the stairs at a private nursing home in Broadstairs, where Buchan was convalescing. "There was a wooden staircase leading down to the beach. My sister, who was about six, and who had just learnt to count properly, went down them and gleefully announced: there are 39 steps." Some time later the house was demolished and a section of the stairs, complete with a brass plaque, was sent to Buchan.

Product Details

BN ID:
2940012375797
Publisher:
JC PUB NETWORKS
Publication date:
03/31/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
260 KB

Meet the Author

John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir PC GCMG GCVO CH (26 August 1875 – 11 February 1940) was a Scottish novelist and Unionist politician who served as Governor General of Canada, the 15th since Canadian Confederation.
After a brief career in law, Buchan simultaneously began writing and his political and diplomatic career, serving as a private secretary to the colonial administrator of various colonies in Southern Africa, and eventually wrote propaganda for the British war effort in First World War. Once back in civilian life, Buchan was elected Member of Parliament for the Combined Scottish Universities, but spent most of his time on his writing career. He wrote The Thirty-Nine Steps and other adventure fiction. He was in 1935 appointed as governor general by George V, king of Canada, on the recommendation of Prime Minister of Canada Richard Bennett, to replace the Earl of Bessborough as viceroy, and occupied that post until his death in 1940. Buchan proved to be enthusiastic about literacy, as well as the evolution of Canadian culture, and he received a state funeral in Canada before his ashes were returned to the UK and interred at Elsfield, Oxfordshire.
In his last years, Buchan, amongst other works, wrote an autobiography, Memory Hold-the-Door, as well as works on the history and his views of Canada. He and the Baroness Tweedsmuir together established the first proper library at Rideau Hall, and, with his wife's encouragement, Buchan founded the Governor General's Literary Awards, which remain Canada's premier award for literature.
Buchan's 100 works include nearly thirty novels, seven collections of short stories and biographies of Sir Walter Scott, Caesar Augustus, and Oliver Cromwell. Buchan was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his biography of the Marquess of Montrose, but the most famous of his books were the spy thrillers, and it is for these that he is now best remembered. The "last Buchan" (as Graham Greene entitled his appreciative review) was the 1941 novel Sick Heart River (American title: Mountain Meadow), in which a dying protagonist confronts in the Canadian wilderness the questions of the meaning of life. The insightful quotation "It's a great life, if you don't weaken" is famously attributed to Buchan, as is "No great cause is ever lost or won, The battle must always be renewed, And the creed must always be restated."
Tweedsmuir Provincial Park in British Columbia, now divided into Tweedsmuir South..

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The Thirty-Nine Steps (Oxford Bookworms, Level 4) 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is like The Bourne Identity in the early 1900's. Suspenseful and interesting scenery, since it plays in England and Scotland.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There are two free versions and this is the one not to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Needs a proof reader
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great book for all who likes a mystery and suspensful book one of the best John Buchan wrote
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