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

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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

From the Back Cover

In his classic espionage thriller The Thirty-Nine Steps, John Buchan introduced Richard Hannay, an appealing antihero with the intelligence and daring to thwart a conspiracy involving British secrets and German spies. Greenmantle, the second in Buchan's five-part series of spy novels, reintroduces the intrepid secret agent Hannay. Tasked by the Foreign Office with investigating a rumored uprising in the Muslim world, Hannay and his associates must prevent Germany and its Turkish partners from turning the tide of World War I by launching a jihad against the Allies.
Buchan's fast-paced tale of pursuits and escapes takes readers across war-torn Europe and behind enemy lines from Vienna to Constantinople and the Russian front. Written in lean, contemporary prose, this gripping novel offers an action-packed and remarkably topical tale of Middle Eastern politics and intrigue.
Dover (2015) republication of the edition originally published by the George H. Doran Company, New York, 1916.
See every Dover book in print at
www.doverpublications.com

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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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: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,624,398 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 43 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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16 of 16 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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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Conchscooter on January 13, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The lead character was introduced to us in the more famous '39 Steps' and he continues on here as the unflappable hero of a series of old school adventures on the road in Germany and the Middle East working to thwart Germany's World War One plans for a Muslim uprising. Which gives it a surprisingly contemporary theme in a fast paced comic book tale of narrow escapes, gorgeous women, and fist fights at the capable hands of sturdy South African spies in the service of The British Empire.
But be aware this story was written at a time when attitudes toward race and class were expressed in ways that seem extremely dated if not offensive. If you are offended by casual use of the n word and implicit dominance of western cultural values do yourself a favor and skip it.
The book is original, unabridged and therefore not for readers who cannot separate their contemporary gentler social/racial politics from the value of a "fireside yarn."
I was delighted to see it on offer as I had not read it in 35 years but boy, it has some really old fashioned social ideas I never noticed at the time. For me, this is a slightly embarrassing nostalgia trip into my reading escapes from an unhappy childhood; for you an out of date story. You decide to read this free book if you want but you have been warned.
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9 of 9 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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18 of 21 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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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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