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The 39 Steps, by John Buchan

I’m getting behind in my book reviews. Last week a new BBC adaptation of John Buchan’s The 39 Steps was on and I missed it. Thankfully it’s still on the iPlayer, but I fancied reading the book again as it’s been a long time since I read it. A quick shifty on audible and there it was, read by none other than Robert Powell, who played the leading role in a previous TV version.

It’s as gripping a tale as I remember its being, a tale of spies and intrigue and the pluck of a rather dandy character by the name of Richard Hannay. To be fair it is rather unlikely in some parts and Richard Hannay’s opinion of himself is a little high, but I would imagine that the novel is representative of the times in which it was written (1915) and displays the sensibilities of its upper-class author.

But for all that, it’s a gripping yarn. I just sat listening to the last 90 minutes on my iPod shuffle, sat with the lights dimmed beside the coal fire and it was simply a joyous hour-and-a-half. And now I’m off to watch the beeb version on the iPlayer. 🙂