39 Steps by John Buchan

The 39 Steps by John Buchan

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.

Happy Reading!

More Info:  John Buchan

Linking up with Joy’s British Isles Friday and GirlXO for the December Monthly Motif. It’s my favorite genre, mystery, so I had to end the year with an old classic mystery.

I’m looking forward to participating with the 2018 Monthly Motif at Girlxoxo and contributing more to Joy’s British Isles Friday.

Happy New Year to my bookish friends!


11 thoughts on “39 Steps by John Buchan

  1. I watched the Hitchcock movie way before I ever read the book, and the movie is one of my favorites. But I was amazed how much better the book was then the movie. And it’s a pretty quick read too (under three hundred pages). I loved this book too and those lamb chops look delicious!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I liked the Hitchcock movie — I should probably try the book some time. There’s a play version, too, that I’d like to see sometime.


  3. I have the Hitchcock movie recorded but haven’t watched it. Somehow I didn’t know it was based on a book though I should have because most of Hitchcock’s movies are very loosely based on a book. This sounds like it’s worth reading though I don’t think it’d earn a space on my keeper shelf. I’ll look for a copy with the forward by the author’s grandson.


  4. Pingback: The Crown, Season 2 #TVReview #BriFri – Joy's Book Blog

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