Among the first espionage thrillers and an acknowledged classic, The Thirty-Nine Steps well deserves its accolades as one of the best adventure stories of all time. Leaving aside the improbable denouement, the fast paced, brilliantly conceived narrative still excites and carries one along with the sheer suspense of the manhunt - a recurring theme in literature - and Hannay’s struggle against the evil that is the ‘Black Stone'.
May 1914: Europe is close to war and spies are everywhere. Richard Hannay has arrived back in London to begin a new life, when a spy called Scudder asks for help to uncover a German plot to murder the Greek prime minister in London and to steal British plans for the outbreak of war. He claims to be following a ring of German spies called the Black Stone. A few days later, Scudder is murdered. Hannay is forced to continue Scudder’s work and is chased across Scotland both by police and German spies. The solution to the mysterious phrase 'Thirty-Nine Steps' is a thread that runs through the whole story.
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©1993 John Buchan (P)2007 Assembled Stories
"Peter Joyce is the most remarkable one-man band in audiobook publishing. Joyce, an experienced actor, reads them all himself." (The Independent)
epic story and outstanding narration!!!!!!! Peter Joyce does a great job of making you feel like you know the characters in the story.
So I took a chance with this one for a road trip I was driving on solo. I absolutely loved it! excellent story line and performance. If you want to hear a great story check this out, you wont be disappointed.
I would listen to it again. It has a great pace, wonderful characters, and Peter Joyce's voice and style are perfect for the tale.
Many -- I think my favorite is his explanation of why he becomes sure the culprits are truly who he is looking for
No. But I would like to and will
It kept me enthralled and I did listen to it much faster than other books
The suspense and the main character's trials and tribulations.
Yes, you never knew what was going to happen to him next.
Don't know, I'm not a great one for such things.
An excellent book. Well worth a listen,
A "written for Hitchkock" feel permeates throughout the intriguing, if somewhat drawn out narrative. A lot of fun nonetheless. A must for all who appreciate the noir sensibility.
It was boring and had a slow story line.
Written a totally different book. I didn't listen to the end.
Very disappointed! After reading the reviews I thought it would hold my interest. I listened to the first quarter of the book and then stopped.
If you like a visit to England and Scotland (circa 1914) and don't concern yourself too much with the plot, you'll enjoy this. But, you'll get even more pleasure is you can find Alfred Hitchcock's 39 Steps. It's wonderful.
Well read. But the story itself hasn't aged well. Still, nice to know what was popular at the time and may have influenced writers like Christie and Sayers.
I love books, no matter the form. They have always been the place to go for peace and quiet.
I have read this book several times. I also watched the movies. Listening to the story while reading made it very pleasurable.
There are 5 Hannay books. Hannay is the protagonist in all 5 books. I have read them all and although the stories reflected the attitudes regarding racial predjudics and the religiou s beliefs and I cringed at reading them. I am mature enough to understand that that was the way it was. The books were written at least one hundred years ago and the stories are of that time.
Surely. But life goes on and there are more things to do.
I stumbled my way into John Buchan. The 39Steps was a free ebook @Gutenberg Press. I thought that it was the story behind the Hitchcock movie. Twas better. One of the most unexpected things was the female character and the role she portrays in the story. There are very strong characters and this book is definitely a thriller.
This is a well read, suspenseful story, but not nearly as good as the BBC production shown last year on PBS starring Rupert Penry-Jones ( I think I got his name right). It's basically the same story line but a female co-star was added for modern sensibilities and the interaction between the two added so much to the story - humor, romance, and the tension that occurs between two strangers who find themselves falling in love despite not liking each other much at first. Anyway - that's the TV show and this novella has none of it. It was written in 1915 and I guess it didn't occur to many people back then that a woman could be an adventure hero too, despite the fact that they had a real life example in Mata Hari.
I recommend skipping this audiobook version and streaming the video instead.
"It's good enough, but perhaps aclaim is overdone"
I have read reviews of this citing it as the first great espionage novel, etc. it is no Le Carre is all I would say.
The novel is well narrated, but the plot isn't that believable. It felt a bit like a Edwardian pot boiler to me - lots of unlikely twists and turns.
I enjoyed the listen, and I'm glad I've now listened to it, but I don't think I'll be returning to it.
enjoyed hearing the original version - seen quite a few film & tv versions. bit wordy at times but it goes with the period. good ending.
"Classic rendition of an espionage classic"
I defy anyone not to be utterly transported by this classic thriller. Brilliantly narrated by Peter Joyce.
"Boys Own Adventure"
This is a well known story to me having seen two film versions, which I have always enjoyed. The narrator gives a very 'Dan Dare' type delivery, which keeps you interested, even if you already know the story. The adventure starts when Richard Hannay (our hero) is suspected of the murder of a mysterious stranger he befriends. This stranger tells him a tale of political intrigue and conspiracy which unravels throughout the plot. There follows the chase of Hannay who is being pursued by sinister men across Scotland, as he adopts a series of disguises to escape his would be captures.
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