Greenmantle (Richard Hannay #2)

Greenmantle (Richard Hannay #2) It Is November, 1915 Major General Sir Richard Hannay, KCB, OBE, DSO, Legion Of Honour, Is Called In To Investigate Rumours Of An Uprising In The Muslim World, And Undertakes A Perilous Journey Through Enemy Territory To Meet His Friend Sandy In Constantinople Once There, He And His Friends Must Thwart The Germans Plans To Use Religion To Help Them Win The War, Climaxing At The Battle Of Erzurum. I first read this book when I was 10 or 11 It was a library copy, borrowed from the Kodaikanal Club in Kodaikanal, a hill station in south India It used to be the local English club and the contents of the library still include a large number of old hardbound editions of authors who were popular in the Victorian and Edwardian eras Early on in this novel, Hannay remarks on the ability of the English for getting inside the skin of distant races He goes on to say Perhaps the Scots are better than the English, but we re all a thousand per cent better than anybody else Someone had underlined this sentiment and jotted down in the margin Oh, really The rejoinder, in a different hand, was Yes, really, my dear anonymous This was followed by a phrase, apparently in Dutch, that I cannot recall As we contemplate the death of print, it strikes me that little exchanges like these are going the way of the dinosaur, and the loss isn t necessarily a great step forward for civilization.But reading these books tends to put me in that kind of frame of mind They are so much a product of their age, all Empire and honour and robust manly values pitted against all s
The Ripping est of Ripping YarnsI ve got a special shelf, Ripping Yarns, set up here at Goodreads devoted to this sort of tale The salient feature of a ripping yarn is that once you re well into the book, despite whatever flaws there might be in plot, plausibility, or characterization, it s damn near impossible to put down John Buchan s four tales featuring hero Richard Hannay fall squarely in the ripping yarn tradition, and they re particularly remarkable as examples of early spy novels Here are the badder than bad villains and resourceful, patriotic, man s man of a hero that we encounter later in the novels of Ian Fleming, for example Then there s the perennial theme that pits one worldview against another, with the fate of civilization hanging in the balance The exotic settings in Germany, Hungary, and Turkey add another layer of intrigue The plot is too convoluted and, to be honest, a little too hocus pocus to recap, but it doesn t really matter Once the reader has gotten by some of the initial artifice of the premise, it s a sleigh ride One thing that I found slightly difficult was the dated parlance of the WWI era soldier Germans, for example, are almost always referred to by Hannay as the Boche, while frequent references to
Greenmantle follows Buchan s Thirty nine Steps not as a sequel so much imho , but rather as something along the line of the further adventures of Richard Hannay, the main protagonist and overall hero of the Thirty nine Steps Hannay has since been a soldier in WWI, in which he was injured at Loos Now he is called into action once again, this time by the Foreign Office Sir Walter Bullivant, the senior man at the FO, explains to Hannay that there is a German plot to drag Turkey into the war The problem is not so much Turkey, per se, but all of the provinces where Islam is very strong and the rumor is that Germany has something to bring all of the provincial Muslims together to fan the flames against the allies under German auspices Just what Germany has is the unknown factor, and it s up to Hannay to figure it out He is given only one clue a half piece of paper with the words Kasredin , cancer, and v.I It is from here that an incredible adventure begins which will keep the reader pretty much glued to the book.Phenomenal read, and I recommend it highly Yes, there are some improbable spots in the novel, but heyit s an adventure and it s fun The characters are great, and as no
A great read of high adventure with a good bit of humor, especially in the early part Book two in Buchan s Richard Hannay series A special treat is getting to met Peter Pienaar who helped Hannay survive the ordeal of The Thirty Ni
What a strange, entertaining book Greenmantle is an odd kind of historical novel about WWI, a spy story about a team of heroes trying to solve a mystery and foil plots What makes it unusual is that John Buchan wrote it during WWI, while serving in France and in British intelligence Through the novel he reimagines the war, especially in the east, and ends up creating something of an alternate history.But don t let my analysis distract you To begin with, Greenmantle is a grand adventure The action starts right off and never lets up Nearly every chapter has a mix of disguises, chases, fine cars, the Kaiser , scary creepy villains, fights, reversals of fortune, and codes It s a cracking story It s also an interesting sequel to Buchan s first spy novel, The Thirty Nine Steps my review We have the same protagonist, Richard Hannay, and he s up to his by now usual tricks bluffing, sneaking around the countryside, using his engineering and South African experience Greenmantle expands the first novel s pattern, rapidly leaving Britain and Buchan s favored Scots countryside for central and eastern
This is great work the writing is personal and emotional, and yet it s formula is spy novel, Conan DOyle in the mystery but with added depth because it s about Turkey and the East and will give you insight into World War I in Europe It s also remarkably prescient, written before the end of that war, about a band of Allied sympathizers who are spies impersonating at one point or another virtually every possible brand German and German sympathizer This material and the exciting and well drawn but not too excessively over the top narrative of unlikely escapes and murderous Germanic brown bread eaters all that makes this book really fun But for me what notched it up just one level was the voice and diction of the narrator I wish I had the book in front of me to quote, but I don t, so you ll have to believe me that the tangents into narrative reflection are often gorgeously composed and lulling, and effective and affective because they build sympathy for our soul searching and senstitive narrator That s
What a splendid adventure story and .Richard Hannay in 1915 on a top mission to foil a plot to create a holy war in the Muslim world, to draw troops from the Western Front, and to help Germany win the war Hannay must track down the mysterious
Recovering from injuries sustained at the Battle of Loos, Richard Hannay is charged by Sir Walter Bullivant with investigating rumours of an uprising in the Muslim world It seems the Germans plan to use religion to help them win the war by causing Britain and its allies to divert troops from the Western Front Hannay reluctantly accepts the case seeing it as a diversion from his true role leading his troops on the front line.The action of the book moves from wartime Germany to Asia Minor as Hannay and his comrades seek to disrupt the plot This involves a perilous journey through enemy territory to meet up with his friend, Sandy Arbuthnot, in Constantinople Hannay and his other companions Peter Pienaar and John S Blenkiron, have to outwit some formidable foes, including the thuggish Ulric von Stumm, Turkish army officer Rasta Bey and the charismatic but malevolent, Hilda von Einem.It s
Compared to the hectic pace and implausible coincidences of The Thirty nine Steps, Greenmantle 1916 , the second volume of the Richard Hannay trilogy, is than a Boy s Own adventure tale Buchan, it turns out, can really write I was entertained by his deft turns of phrase Even when the plot whirled away in yet another chase scene, Buchan s l
An involved plot that drags spy Hannay across half of Europe and into Turkey, with one identity after another.This was too much convolution out on a limb, not enough grounding the reader in what was going on, an ending that comes out of nowhere, and a lot of scenes where I was expected to react in a certain way, because, dammit, that s the way all right thinking white Britishers act