Bringing his firsthand knowledge of trench warfare and government subterfuge into play, John Buchan has created a cracking, classic thriller. Set during the First World War it illuminates brilliantly the experience of war both on the battle front and on the home front through the eyes of the chief protagonist Richard Hannay also featured of course in probably his best known work The Thirty-Nine Steps. Mr Standfast provides a search for meaning in loss; loss through death on the battle field and although its heroes are fictional the book is peopled with real examples for during the war Buchan was to lose numerous friends and associates and as a consequence the loss feels all the more real as you are driven through the narrative at speed.
From the Introduction by Hew Strachan in Mr Standfast:
'Mr Standfast reflects the big issues of its day, but it is a spy story (and, it has to be said, a rather less successful love story), written by a master of the genre. It is to be enjoyed as such.
But the big questions of its day deepen and enrich the text, giving it an emotional weight alongside its undoubted pace and masterful narrative.'
Recalled from active service on the Western Front, Richard Hannay is sent undercover on a crucial secret mission to find a dangerous German agent at large in Britain. Disguised as a pacifist, Hannay travels from London to Glasgow to the Scottish Highlands and Islands in his search, which eventually ends in a spectacular climax above the battlefields of Europe. John Buchan's inside knowledge of trench warfare and government intelligence lend a formidable realism to this superlative spy story. This is a nail-biting classic from a master storyteller.
'Between Kipling and Fleming stands John Buchan, the father of the modern spy thriller'
Publication date: 29/06/2010
Publisher: Polygon An Imprint of Birlinn Limited an imprint of Birlinn General
|Publication date:||29th June 2010|
|Publisher:||Polygon An Imprint of Birlinn Limited an imprint of Birlinn General|
|Genres:||Action Adventure / Spy, eBook Favourites, Historical Fiction, Thriller / Suspense,|
John Buchan led a truly extraordinary life: he was a diplomat, soldier, barrister, journalist, historian, politician, publisher, poet and novelist. He was born in Perth in 1875, the eldest son of a Free Church of Scotland minister, and educated at Hutcheson’s Grammar School in Glasgow. He graduated from Glasgow University then took a scholarship to Brasenose College, Oxford. During his time there – ‘spent peacefully in an enclave like a monastery’ – he wrote two historical novels. In 1901 he became a barrister of the Middle Temple and a private secretary to the High Commissioner for South Africa. ...More About John Buchan