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The Half-Hearted Paperback – October 26, 2009

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About the Author

John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir, PC CH GCMG GCVO, was a British novelist and Unionist politician who, until his death, served as the Governor General of Canada. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 206 pages
  • Publisher: Tark Classic Fiction (October 26, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1604503793
  • ISBN-13: 978-1604503791
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,919,370 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Cotterill on May 31, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
The Half-Hearted (1900) is one of Buchan's early works. He had not yet fully settled to turning out his trademark "dime novel" adventures. In fact, a good portion of the book reads like a light literary novel of manners. His great series novels still lay 15 years or more in the future. The Richard Hannay books did not begin until 1915 with the publication of The Thirty-Nine Steps, the more cerebral Sir Edward Leithen novels began a year later with The Power House, and Dickson McCunn did not rear his retired grocer's head until Huntingtower came out in 1922. In 1900, Buchan seems still to have been searching for his métier.

Buchan's main theme in The Half-Hearted is - as the title suggests - the inability to commit whole-heartedly to anything, or more importantly for the story, to any one person. Lewis Haystoun, the novel's wavering protagonist, gets into trouble during a moorland walk with friends when the object of his affections, the pretty Alice Wishart, falls into a deep rocky pond. Lewis hesitates just long enough to allow his rival to play the gallant by jumping in to rescue her. A minor incident, to be sure, and Alice sees nothing in it. After all, the rival was standing closer. She thinks no less of Lewis and still prefers him.

For Lewis, the incident swiftly takes on sinister proportions thereby revealing a fatal character flaw. He fears that others might see his hesitation as cowardice. The mere thought unnerves him and he begins to suspect he really is a coward. His uncertainty poisons his relationship with Alice. The situation reveals the less visible portion of Buchan's theme: the inability to commit whole-heartedly to oneself. Unable to stand firm in his own sense of worth, Lewis, quite literally, has turned on himself.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Timothe Mansfield on November 13, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Typical Buchan
Interesting reminders past attitudes
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Glynis Smith on September 21, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Got 38% through the book and gave up. Worst book I have read by this author. He shouldn't try to do romance.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kim on November 16, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I expected better things from John Buchan who is usually a good author. The book was well written, but I found it depressing. I think John Buchan should have stuck to action novels rather than trying to do psychological analasys.
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