When I was growing up my father took us to every James Bond movie as soon as it hit the theaters. For my parents, there was the fast paced, espionage themed, exotic entertainment. I’m a kid, so I just liked going to the movies and getting white paper sacks of orange sweeties to eat during the film. 39 Steps by John Buchan has been described as one of the earlier examples of the ‘man-on-the-run’ thriller.
The main character is Richard Hannay. Early in the book he meets a man who shares an extraordinary tale involving spies, betrayal as well as plans in motion to assassinate a visiting dignitary. Hannay takes the man in, considers all he’s told with caution (as he’s looking for some adventure anyway), and unwittingly steps into the middle of it all. As you follow Hannay through the country, him staying steps ahead of the bad guys, you realize he is a man who puts his country’s interests ahead of all else. He’s sort of an early version of MacGyver, getting out of jams using whatever he has on hand.
39 Steps was first published as a serial in Blackwood’s Magazine in 1915.
There is intrigue and evidently if you read it over, you’ll see clues regarding the man who was on the run and the people he is hiding from. It was pretty good but I doubt I will read it again.
Some reviews complained about dated language but remember, this was written a long time ago….plus that particular complaint could be applied to Jane Austen, Shakespeare and the like but certainly does not stop people reading those authors. The forward by the author’s grandson (author is deceased)was very interesting.
So, since he’s on the run in England and Scotland and you hear about the occasional simple meal in a pub (nothing specific) – I immediately thought of lamb dishes. These grilled lamb chops and garlic mashed potatoes are just the ticket to fuel Richard Hannay on his mission.
Recipe and such is at Squirrel Head Manor.