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MichaelBully

Carrying on trying to read John Buchan's novels. I have started but gave on 'The Isle of Sheep', just couldn't hold my interest. But started 'The Three Hostages '- and the author's commentary on post Great War disillusionment and anxieties is fascinating. Still have problems with some of the racial stereotyping though.

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seaJane

Oh, I like 'The Island of Sheep' - but understanding some of it depends on having read 'Courts of the Morning' first.

Be interested to know what you think of 'A Prince of the Captivity' when you get to it.

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Anneca

Interesting - thanks for that information Gibbo!

Several John Buchan books, including The Thirty-Nine Steps, are available for free download from Project Gutenberg, although, since I saw The Thirty-Nine Steps for only £6.99 in Waterstones yesterday, I'll probably stick to the traditional format.

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MichaelBully

'The Three Hostages' is fast becoming my favourite John Buchan that I have read so far. I am reading it slowly as don't want to reach the end. It is a fascinating study of the post Great War interest in psychology and occultism, with the standard conspiracy and arch villain.

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Anneca

I haven't read 'The Three Hostages' but your description sounds intriguing Michael. I have never heard of anyone reading a book slowly as they don't want it to end but I know exactly what you mean! Sounds like this is now another on my list to read.

'The Three Hostages' is fast becoming my favourite John Buchan that I have read so far. I am reading it slowly as don't want to reach the end. It is a fascinating study of the post Great War interest in psychology and occultism, with the standard conspiracy and arch villain.

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Nepper

The Three Hostages is my favourite Hannay novel but I think my favourite overall is John MacNab which is a Leithan novel but stands very well on its own.

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MichaelBully

I'll try not to spoil the plot when discussing 'The Three Hostages' on this thread then ! The wider theme of how 'alternative ' religious and spiritual groups were in the ascent after the Great War could well warrent a separate thread. Certainly from reading 'The Three Hostages' one is reminded that such movements had appeared in Britain well before the 1960', though perhaps in the 1920's and 1930's they were confined to certain urban centres. I've already mentioned that in 'The Three Hostages' there is some racial stereotyping which I don't think -quite rightly-would be acceptable in our time.

What I would say is that the arch villain in 'The Three Hostages' is also my favourite John Buchan 'baddie' so far.

I haven't read 'The Three Hostages' but your description sounds intriguing Michael. I have never heard of anyone reading a book slowly as they don't want it to end but I know exactly what you mean! Sounds like this is now another on my list to read.

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Anneca

Michael, now you and Nigel have not only got me hooked but are reeling me in!

I'll try not to spoil the plot when discussing 'The Three Hostages' on this thread then ! The wider theme of how 'alternative ' religious and spiritual groups were in the ascent after the Great War could well warrent a separate thread. Certainly from reading 'The Three Hostages' one is reminded that such movements had appeared in Britain well before the 1960', though perhaps in the 1920's and 1930's they were confined to certain urban centres. I've already mentioned that in 'The Three Hostages' there is some racial stereotyping which I don't think -quite rightly-would be acceptable in our time.

What I would say is that the arch villain in 'The Three Hostages' is also my favourite John Buchan 'baddie' so far.

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MichaelBully

Well there is still time to ask Santa :rolleyes: ! Alternately I got a Wordsworth Classic paperback collection of the five Richard Hannay novels new for £2.50. .I bought it for 'Greenmantle' but have dipped into 'Mr. Standfast' which I couldn't stop reading and enjoyed a great deal. Then of course 'The Three Hostages'. Another aspect I rate John Buchan for (from what I have read so far) is his appreciation of the natural world. His descriptions of the changing seasons and his reverence for animals, particularly birds, is remarkable.

Michael, now you and Nigel have not only got me hooked but are reeling me in!

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Anneca

Yes Michael, there was time to ask Santa. I have it on good authority my Son is buying me 'Grey Wolf - The Escape of Adolf Hitler' and now my Husband is looking for the paperback collection of the five Richard Hannay novels (which I just happened to mention) I hadn't known about. biggrin.gif I reckon nobody will see me for many weeks, months maybe, after Christmas!!!

Well there is still time to ask Santa :rolleyes: ! Alternately I got a Wordsworth Classic paperback collection of the five Richard Hannay novels new for £2.50. .I bought it for 'Greenmantle' but have dipped into 'Mr. Standfast' which I couldn't stop reading and enjoyed a great deal. Then of course 'The Three Hostages'. Another aspect I rate John Buchan for (from what I have read so far) is his appreciation of the natural world. His descriptions of the changing seasons and his reverence for animals, particularly birds, is remarkable.

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Moonraker

The TV series

 

Hannay

 

is being repeated at 2000 each week-day evening (I think) on Talking Pictures (Channel 81). The third  episode (again I think) is tonight.

 

It's set in the build-up to the Great War. The first episode featured Hannay's return from South Africa to London, where he encounters an old enemy, Count Von Schwabing. Apart from a brief foray to Scotland (chauffered by an attractive lady just turning 21 years old), there's no similarity to the plot in The Thirty-Nine Steps.

 

Last time I viewed the series back in 2006, I posted a comment

 

here

 

(post 8)

 

Moonraker

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Nepper

With the current rash of period dramas, I do think the time is ripe for an (accurate) remaking of John Macnab.

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seaJane

Oh yes! I remember the BBC Scotland Sunday afternoon serial of that one in 1976. Seem to recall it was faithful to the book and rather well done.

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Nepper
1 hour ago, seaJane said:

Oh yes! I remember the BBC Scotland Sunday afternoon serial of that one in 1976. Seem to recall it was faithful to the book and rather well done.

I enjoyed it to but after 40 years I think a remake is due

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seaJane

Or at least a repeat - they've repeated everything else!

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Moonraker

According to a very brief reference on IMDB, yet another remake is "in development" - no further details.

 

I came across the reference when checking out


IMDB comments

 

on the Robert Powell version that was screened the other night.

 

(Note the "factual error": " When members of the Admiralty are being spoken to, one of them has medal ribbons for medals issued at the end of WWI, namely the Victory and War medals. This film is set before WWI."  Recently others here on the GWF have noted  similar goofs in other films.)

 

The Powell film wasn't bad - better than the 1959 Kenneth More version - though train buffs would have winced at the railway sequences. And the introduction of some romance as provided by Karen Dotrice was an unnecessary distraction. She couldn't act, and seemed remarkably unmoved by the murder of her fiancé.

 

Moonraker

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keithmroberts

At a fairly irrelevant tangent, I have just acquired a first edition Buchan volume, his history of Brasenose College, published in 1898. The college archives hold the minute book for what I think was a short lived college society the name of which escapes me, written in his own hand, with a fairly typical set of rules. I can't remember the details now as they were on display 10 years ago at an exhibition marking the 500th anniversary of the founding of the college.

 

Keith

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Moonraker

After an eight-month wait, I finally was able to borrow The Four Adventures of Richard Hannay (an omnibus volume) from my library.

 

I re-read (again) The Thirty-Nine Steps, which remains my favourite. I gave up on Greenmantle, partly because I’m not very interested in Eastern Europe during the Great War.  And so many chance encounters by various characters stretched my credulity to breaking point, not least Hannay bumping into Peter Pienaar (they’d last met in southern Africa) in Lisbon – and again on the River Danube.

 

Mr Standfast was more to my taste, the first part being set in England and Scotland, the second in France.

 

Of the three sequels The Three Hostages was the one I enjoyed most, if only because most of it was set in areas that I could identify with – Oxfordshire and London – and I was intrigued by the roles of many of the characters and how the plot would play out. It’s the only one that I would care to read again, if only to appreciate it better knowing some of the plot twists.

 

I did laugh aloud when one character remarks “That is an odd coincidence. But is it anything more?” To which Hannay replies “I believe that it is. I don’t hold with coincidences. There’s generally some explanation which we’re not clever enough to get at.”

 

Yet the books are littered with  unexplained coincidences (not least in The Thirty-Nine Steps when Hannay seeks refuge from his police pursuers in the house in Scotland that just happens to be that of the leader of the German spy-ring).

 

I haven’t read too many other novels written in the period (1915-24) when these four Hannay books were first published, but I recall that hard-to-believe plots with coincidences and featuring masters-of-disguise were quite common. The racism seems more overt in the Hannay series than in many contemporary novels.

 

Moonraker

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Interested

there are 16 books by John Buchan available for free download on Gutenburg, avoids having to wait (with apologies to SeaJane and our local librarian).

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Moonraker

I'm not very happy reading books on screens. As it happens, today I attempted to return the four-in-one Hannay omnibus to the library using self-service. I'd just been joking with my more with-it companion about my struggles with technology  in general. (Only very recently have I started using Contactless for small card payments, and then only after someone behind me in the queue at a ticket-machine suggested I did so after I had a problem getting it to read my card  traditionally.)

 

The library machine failed to recognise the book, my companion had a go, with no luck, so I went to an old-fashioned smartly presented librarian. She agreed with my theory that as the book had been languishing in what I used to call "stack" (but now termed "store" by my library) its own technology had not been updated so it could be recognised by the machine.

 

Moonraker

 

Edited by Moonraker

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rolt968
On ‎19‎/‎08‎/‎2019 at 16:44, Moonraker said:

 

Yet the books are littered with  unexplained coincidences (not least in The Thirty-Nine Steps when Hannay seeks refuge from his police pursuers in the house in Scotland that just happens to be that of the leader of the German spy-ring).

 

Many years ago BBC TV broadcast a very good adaption of Buchan's John McNab.  A colleague and I were disparaging about Buchan's coincidences - most notably agreeing that you never met people you knew in the middle of Scottish moors.

 

The following Saturday night (midsummer's eve) we met about midnight on Lochnagar (neither of us having known that the other would be there).

RM

 

(Edit: Only an opinion, I think Mr Standfast the best of the Hannay series.)

Edited by rolt968

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seaJane
22 minutes ago, rolt968 said:

Many years ago BBC TV broadcast a very good adaption of Buchan's John McNab.

I loved that! For some reason a few details of the casting stick in my mind. Cavan Kendall as Archie Roylance and Bernard Horsfall as John Palliser-Yeates.

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RobertBr
On 19/08/2019 at 16:44, Moonraker said:

I could identify with – Oxfordshire and London

Moonraker

 

I was worried your post was going to reveal too much of the plot of the 'Three Hostages'. I recently picked up an almost new copy when visiting a National Trust property, and have been saving for a September holiday..

 

If, like me, you identify with Oxfordshire have you read 'The Blanket of the Dark'; Osney, the Wychwoods, Minster Lovell, Witney etc

 

Bob

 

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seaJane
3 minutes ago, RobertBr said:

The Blanket of the Dark'

Another of my favourites :)

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Steven Broomfield
On 12/02/2019 at 07:28, Moonraker said:

She ... seemed remarkably unmoved by the murder of her fiancé.

 

Moonraker

 

A common trait in the female species, I believe.

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