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Greenmantle (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – December 2, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0192836847 ISBN-10: 0192836846

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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford World's Classics
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (December 2, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192836846
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192836847
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 0.7 x 5.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,278,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'Readers who fancy another look at John Buchan's originals, with their matchless suspense and gormless opinions, can find new editions ... in Oxford World's Classics.' Boyd Tonkin, New Statesman and Society

'An exciting First World War thriller.' Observer

About the Author

John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir, was a Scottish novelist and politician who served as Governor General of Canada.

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Customer Reviews

Unfortunately, the flaw in that book was the formula itself, which was not convincing.
Harley L. Sachs
In all, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and recommend anyone else to read it, the prequel and the 3 sequels.
Mario Pollacchi
I confess to being particularly drawn to this book as, well, an example of WWI-era pulp.
J. Rabideau

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By TheIrrationalMan on May 5, 2001
Format: Paperback
"Greenmantle", by John Buchan, is actually based on a remarkable, if little-known, aspect of German propaganda during World War I. It involved Kaiser Wilhelm declaring himself a convert to Islam, a leader of "jihad", as a tactic for winning the support of the Muslim territories under British control and thus fomenting an anti-British revolution. Richard Hannay, Buchan's intrepid hero from "The Thirty-Nine Steps", is the man entrusted to stop this plan from being carried out, and his adventure takes him from London, to Holland and Turkey and finally to the Russian border for a spectacular climax. Complaints have been made about Buchan's racist and jingo-imperialist biases, as the novel easily betrays the sentiments of a la "dominion over palm and pine." However, a fiction-writer may, under a certain poetic license, attack creeds, doctrines, persons and institutions with impunity; moreover, a writer must be seen as a product of his age. This racy, lively, energetic novel is best appreciated as an excellent work of light literature. The conclusion is an undeniably exciting confrontation, including the charge of Cossack cavalry, as Hannay engages in the final showdown between the two German villains, the gross Stumm and the evil beauty, Hilda von Einem.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By J. Rabideau on May 27, 2001
Format: Paperback
...and a harmless read (recommended for train trips through particularly tedious or repetitive countryside, or long plane flights spent wedged into economy class). "Greenmantle" is another of Buchan's Richard Hannay novels (the same protagonist as in "The Thirty-Nine Steps"); in it Hannay must track and foil a plot by the Kaiser to foment Jihad. I confess to being particularly drawn to this book as, well, an example of WWI-era pulp. It is sufficiently plot-driven, and entertaining enough to while happily away a few hours. Decidedly fun.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
You know, I really don't like war stories (although I do tend toward wartime authors) and I wouldn't have read this book if I hadn't been bored. But I did, and I've been thankful ever since. Yes, it contains racism, but it is simply the way people thought then. Yes it does tend to get technical, but John Buchan was doing the best thing a writer can do and "writing what he knew". And yes, the philo/psycological discusions can get old after a few readings, but I found them another interesting look at the thought life of wartime Europe. The characters are all well developed (I can't stand characters that all act the same), so well that I can't say who is my favorite (permit me a feminine little sigh, however, over the heartbreaking Sandy. But if I did that I'd have to giggle over Peter and argue about Blenkiron and hold my breath with Richard Hannay). The book does seem to start out slow, but keep on going, and don't skip a thing. I'll tell you a secret, though, despite all I just said, I really read this book for the last three pages! The thing is, you can't really "get" all the beauty and relief and grandur of it unless you read the rest, there's just something missing in it, believe me, I've tried.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
This story is a strange one if you do not understand the world as it was during the confusing times of World War One. However, if you are reading this book simply for enjoyment, you picked a good one. It is a little rascist, but if only you consider the time it was written and the beliefs then, I don't think you can consider it a bad book. It is not proper to judge a book written in the early twentieth century by our current standards of political correctness. It is simply a good indicator of past views of various people. If you don't mind the little rascism this book has and remember that it was written when that was perfectly normal, you should enjoy it immensely.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mario Pollacchi on April 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
This was the second time I read this story and must admit that it seemed longer, somehow, the second time around. It's good to see Richard Hannay pitted against the 'Hun', once more. This time with a band of faithful followers to upset the Germans' plans of set the Middle East aflame with a 'Jehad'. Parts of the book bog down in technicalities of the Great War effort, but then, the story is being told by a soldier fighting said war! Hannay's storytelling betrays his jingoistic belief in the British Empire and British fairness and holds himself proudly as the pre-Apartheid South African that he is! In all, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and recommend anyone else to read it, the prequel and the 3 sequels.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By laura covill on October 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
After September 11 and the breathless wartalk of the US government I suddenly found myself thinking about good old Greenmantle. As the other reviewers say, it is undoubtedly imperialist and jingoistic (I can't begin to imagine how viciously Edward Said would trash it), but uncannily useful for reading the current political situation. The stunning climax (I've never read one better) suggests perfectly how the West intends to undermine Islamic extremism in a far more subtle way than we can imagine. I'm tempted to reveal the ending, but it's far to good to spoil. Read this!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ralph Blumenau TOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 3, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Sean McMeekin's "The Berlin-Baghdad Express", a historical work about Germany's attempts to unleash a jihad against the British Empire in the First World War (see my review), makes no fewer than 14 references to this hugely successful novel, written in 1916; so I thought I would read that next.

Buchan had been in the diplomatic service; had been in South Africa just after the Boer War as an assistant to Lord Milner, the High Commissioner; and in the First World War he was a war correspondent in France, served in the Intelligence Corps and wrote for the War Propaganda Bureau. In this novel he draws on his experiences in all these areas: his hero, Richard Hanning, had fought in the Boer War (and also on the Western Front), and was then recruited by the Foreign Office to find out, together with two comrades of his, what he could find out about the German jihad project. This task takes him across Europe, through Germany and Austria-Hungary, on his way to the Middle East.

The first half of the book is a rattling-good thriller, written for boys of all ages, full of derring-do, false identities, hair-breadth escapes, cruel Boches (as well as some decent patriotic and therefore respect-worthy Germans) - and all pretty straightforward. I think it falls off badly thereafter. When Richard Hannay gets to Constantinople, the complexity of Buchan's plot is magnified by the complexities of Turkish politics. Buchan introduces Turkish politicians and organizations on the assumption that you know who they are. Any reader who does not know that history will find it particularly heavy going. But is striking how well Buchan was informed about the tensions between religious and secular Turks and about the tensions between the Turks and their German allies.
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