- Audio CD
- Publisher: Sound Library; Unabridged edition (1 December 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0792781929
- ISBN-13: 978-0792781929
- Product Dimensions: 18.4 x 4.4 x 16.5 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 386 g
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
Greenmantle: Library Edition Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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An exciting First World War thriller.-- "Observer (London)"
About the Author
John Buchan (1875-1940) was educated at Glasgow University and Brasenose College, Oxford. He became a barrister, Member of Parliament, soldier, publisher, and Governor-General of Canada. Of the over one hundred books he published during his lifetime, he is best remembered for his adventure and spy stories, especially The Thirty-Nine Steps, which was made into a movie by Alfred Hitchcock.
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I did enjoy this book on several levels..
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
But what I wasn't ready for was learning to what degree Islam and the Moslem world played in The Great War. That is, after all, the premise of this yarn. Oh, all the other players are here, too - but this is the "Near East" and so the role of the Moslems, with heavy emphasis on German manipulation, make this a fascinating period yarn.
Happily, no one thought to sanitize this for 21st Century sensibilities and it's a keen look into the Empire and Imperialistic period of several monarchies.
In essence, “Greenmantle” is a sequel to “The Thirty Nine Steps”. It is a boys’ own type of adventure thriller written early last century and set during the First World War. It covers the exploits of Richard Hannay as he aims to unravel a mystery in present day Turkey. He has a small team of supporters who manage to cross enemy lines from Britain before gathering in Constantinople. Here, they have many close shaves before stumbling upon critical military intelligence that would be useful to the Russians as they faced the Ottomans.
While the book is a fun read, it could never be described as great literature. The language is also very dated and the racial stereotypes jar on the modern ear. Nonetheless, for a book to read by the edge of the pool in the sun it is more than adequate. Indeed, Richard Hannay could be best be described as an early version of James Bond. In other words, all good fun but not to be taken too seriously.
This is a book for someone who likes page-turning adventure, but cringes at the 21st Century idea that the genre needs graphic violence, gratuitous sex and use of the f-bomb to entertain. Yes, there is violence (it is a WW1 novel, after all). And there are a few uses of mild vugarities, as well as ethnic references that offend modern, thin-skinned people looking for any reason to be offended. If you are one of those, read something else. But if "clean" (by modern standards) literature with a Judeo-Christian background suits your preference, get this book. It is the second in the Richard Hannay series, taking up where "The 39 Steps" leaves off.
Overall, a great, easy read with many historical and cultural references to life in a war zone a century ago. The characters are realistic, though some of the ways they get out of trouble seem miraculous. The setting is vivdly described with detailed descriptions. One almost feels the cold as the main character escapes German soldiers in a cold, snowy region. Or imagines climbing mountains in Turkey leading to the climax.
The sentiments seem quaint and dated by the lights of our time, but courage, wit, and sacrifice still have their uses. This is the way the British like to see themselves, and it got them through two desperate wars, so we might do well not to sneer.
And, if you like mysteries, it's a cracking good read. Pretend you are still young and hopeful of a better world as you read it.
I have to say, it was thrilling. . . I read it in 24 hours. Alfred Hitchcock wanted to make it into a movie, and it's a shame he didn't, but the Buchan family wanted too much for the rights. It's now available on Kindle (who could imagine?) and in print once again. It helped to have just finished Hopkirk, so I had better historical background for the book than I could have got from Greenmantle itself, at a 97-year remove from those events.
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