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Publisher's Summary

Exclusively from Audible

An espionage thriller that has been called the first great spy novel, it has sustained its popularity, being embraced by each new generation.

The first in a series of five audiobooks it features the spy Richard Hannay, an action hero with a stiff upper lip who gets caught up in a dangerous race against a plot by German spies to destroy the British war effort.

When Richard Hannay offers sanctuary to an American agent seeking his help in stopping a political assassination, he takes the first step on a trail of peril, murder, and espionage. Days later the agent's murdered body turns up in Hannay's flat, making him the prime suspect.

Knowing he's next he goes into hiding in Scotland, but in his possession is the American agent's little black book that holds the key to the conspiracy. On the run from both the police and members of a mysterious organisation that will stop at nothing to keep their secrets hidden, the book has become one of the most influential chase books, adopted by many, including Hollywood, but with an unrivalled tension.

The novel has been the basis for many adaptations although most have departed from the text. Most famous is Alfred Hitchcock's classic film The 39 Steps released in 1935.

Narrator Biography

Robert Powell received his first starring role in The Italian Job (1969) and is best known for the title role in the television series Jesus of Nazareth (1977). He received Best Actor awards for his performances in Imperativ (1982) and Harlequin (1980). His television career has included appearing in BBC One's Holby City (2005-2011) and the "science-fact" drama Doomwatch (1970) as well as starring alongside Jasper Carrott in the sitcom The Detectives (1993-1997). He has a distinctive voice that has narrated documentaries including World War II in HD Colour, Hitler's Bodyguard, The Story of the Third Reich and Secrets of World War II. In 2013 he narrated the dramatic television series The Bible. He has narrated many fictional and historical audiobooks including Rebecca's Tale, The Well-Beloved and The Thirty-Nine Steps.

Public Domain (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
  • EVA
  • 04-30-13

ENGAGING

I have seen the various versions of the film and TV series of this book and this is the best. Robert Powell has a most magnificent voice that covers the wholes breadth and variety of people encountered in the book. A truly good listen.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Miss
  • 04-24-13

Wish I could give 6 stars

This book was gripping, well written, beautifully narrated. Just absolutely brilliant. I'm really looking forward to trying some more John Buchan novels.

  • Overall
  • Gustav
  • 06-17-12

Ho-drum

Picked this one up because I keep seeing it mentioned as a play, and I thought it must have been a good book to make it into a play. It is OK, but nothing more.

  • Overall
  • caroline
  • 05-14-12

Brilliant

A brilliant 'boy's own' story and Robert Powell the perfect choice of narrator. Would definitely recommend.

  • Overall
  • David Treadwell
  • 05-13-10

Perfect!

Having watched the recent BBC dramatisation, I thought I would dive in the deep end and give the book a go!

Storyline a little mundane but overall enjoyable.

Plot: 6/10
Narrator: 9/10 - Really suited the period in which the book was written!

  • Overall
  • Lisa
  • 12-04-09

cracking listen

Wonderful piece of storytelling - dated of course but that adds to the charm. I'd only seen the Hitchcock film so I was also gripped by finding out where the original story actually goes...

  • Overall
  • Duncan
  • 09-10-09

Excellent

A really excellent version of this classic tale. Well read and presented - a must.

  • Overall
  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-08-13

Disappointed

It's not the fault of audible, or the narrator, that I was disappointed with this book. The narrator was Robert Powell who was perfect for the job in my opinion, because he played Hannay in the film that I used to watch as a child. I didn't realise though that the book is quite a lot different to the film, and much less exciting. I struggled to follow the plot about various political themes as I'm not really that way inclined, but it's only short so I stuck with it, and wasn't rewarded with the ending, which seemed to fall rather flat after the build up. Oh well.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-13-17

classic

Beautifully read by Robert Powell who really brings the story to life in every way.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
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  • Susan
  • 09-30-17

Always enjoyable

I've listened to this several times and it never palls. A great story and a really good narrator. Robert Powell's voice is a pleasure to listen to.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful