The Thirty-Nine Steps (Richard Hannay series, Book 1)

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9781441781161: The Thirty-Nine Steps (Richard Hannay series, Book 1)
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[Read by Frederick Davidson]

This, Buchan's best-known thriller, inspired Alfred Hitchcock's film of the same name. With wit and flair, this old-fashioned roller coaster ride offers soaring suspense with a comic touch.

Perhaps more than any other book The Thirty-Nine Steps has set the pattern for the story of the chase for a wanted man. And, of the many writers who have attempted this kind of thing since Buchan, only a very few, like Graham Greene, have managed to sustain the tension in the same way. The story's extended chase scene inspired Alfred Hitchcock's movie of the same name.

The Thirty-Nine Steps, Buchan's best-known thriller, introduces his most enduring hero, Richard Hannay -- who, despite claiming to be an ''ordinary fellow,'' is caught up in a dangerous race against a plot to devastate the British war effort.

It begins calmly enough with a rather boring trip to London. Returning to his flat, Richard is shocked to find his neighbor dead on the floor with a knife in his back. Near the deceased is a small black notebook containing cryptic notes about the ''thirty-nine steps'' and a black stone. As the situation escalates, Hannay is mistaken for a secret agent by the police. Now he must run for his life across the Scottish highlands, thinking his way through narrow escapes while trying to decode the thirty-nine steps.

With wit and flair, this old-fashioned roller coaster ride offers soaring suspense with a comic touch.

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About the Author:

John Buchan (1875-1940) was educated at Glasgow University and Brasenose College, Oxford. He became a barrister, Member of Parliament, soldier, publisher, and Governor-General of Canada. Of the over one hundred books he published during his lifetime, he is best remembered for his adventure and spy stories, especially The Thirty-Nine Steps, which was made into a movie by Alfred Hitchcock.

John Buchan filled many roles including barrister, colonial administrator, publisher, Director of Intelligence, and Member of Parliament. The Thirty-Nine Steps, first in the Richard Hannay series, is widely regarded as the starting point for espionage fiction and was written to pass time while Buchan recovered from an illness. During the outbreak of the First World War, Buchan wrote propaganda for the British war effort, combining his skills as author and politician. In 1935 Buchan was appointed the 15th Governor General of Canada and established the Governor General's Literacy Award. Buchan was enthusiastic about literacy and the evolution of Canadian culture. He died in 1940 and received a state funeral in Canada before his ashes were returned to the United Kingdom.

(Audiobook Narrator) Frederick Davidson (1932-2005), also known as David Case, was one of the most prolific readers in the audiobook industry, recording more than eight hundred audiobooks in his lifetime, including over two hundred for Blackstone Audio. Born in London, he trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and performed for many years in radio plays for the British Broadcasting Company before coming to America in 1976. He received AudioFile's Golden Voice Award and numerous Earphones Awards and was nominated for a Grammy for his readings.

Review:

''Frederick Davidson's voice is properly sardonic, and his supercilious British articulation is just right. The story's extended chase scene inspired Alfred Hitchcock's movie of the same name.'' --AudioFile

''Buchan's technique as a writer is simple enough and well displayed in The Thirty-Nine Steps. He understood that in a thriller...what matters above all is to keep the reader focused on what is going to happen next...It doesn't matter that the reader has no clue where he is being taken or, when he gets there, how the thing happened as it did. All that matters is that once you've started, you can't put the book down.'' --Telegraph (London)

''Buchan essentially invented the espionage novel with his Richard Hannay yarns.'' --Library Journal

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