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Greenmantle

John Buchan

Book Overview: 

Greenmantle is the second of five Richard Hannay novels by John Buchan. It is one of two Hannay novels set during the First World War, the other being Mr Standfast; Hannay’s first and best-known adventure, The Thirty-Nine Steps, is set in the period immediately before the war started. Hannay is called in to investigate rumors of an uprising in the Muslim world, and undertakes a perilous journey through enemy territory to meet up with 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.

Recommended for fans of Tom Clancy.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .me about the worst thing that could happen to a man. The sight of German prisoners used to give me a bad feeling inside, whereas I looked at dead Boches with nothing but satisfaction. Besides, there was the off-chance that I might be recognized. So I kept very much in the shadow whenever we passed anybody in the corridors. The few we met passed us incuriously. They saluted the deputy-commandant, but scarcely wasted a glance on us. No doubt they thought we were inquisitive Germans come to gloat over them. They looked fairly fit, but a little puffy about the eyes, like men who get too little exercise. They seemed thin, too. I expect the food, for all the commandant's talk, was nothing to boast of. In one room people were writing letters. It was a big place with only a tiny stove to warm it, and the windows were shut so that the atmosphere was a cold frowst. In another room a fellow was lecturing on something to a dozen hearers and drawing figures on a blackboard. . . . Read More

Community Reviews

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-Nine Steps without even being present. He's definitely present in this

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 wa

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

A classic spy story, a tale of espionage set during the First World War, that is what this is.

I don’t usually read spy stories or tales of adventure, which this is too. I was trying to stretch my borders—but I failed. Reading this further convinces me that the genre is not for me. Lovers of mysterie

Wow. Loved it. Richard Hannay is such a chameleon: he is humble, has outstanding loyalty to his friends and almost devoutly patriotic.
I read the '39 Steps, as a teenager. And seen 3 different film versions. The historic part is also true.
Admittedly there are too many plot co-incidences: but it is a

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 i

2.5 ⭐️ too many coincidences for my liking and not dated that well. Decided not to continue with this series.

The Ripping-est of Ripping Yarns

I'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

I’m going to start my review of this First World War thriller with what, for me, is one of the most terrible confessions a man can make. I am a book thief.

My copy of Greenmantle, now tattered, its spine weak from years of rereading, and its faded red cloth cover falling apart at the hinges, still ha

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

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