©1960 John Buchan;
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"Not the 39 Steps"
I picked this up because Christopher Hitchens references it several times in "Arguably" and I don't have anybody who's recommendations I trust more.
I have enjoyed other works by Buchan and this is also an enjoyable listen. You have to be willing and able to filter through the language and attitudes of a bygone era but in truth they are why it is important that works like this continue to be read. Buchan's stereotypes are all here from questionable "foreigners" to superhuman Scotsmen and crass Americans.
The story is interesting and the moral simplicity of the situations makes it easy for the action to keep rolling along. You know how its going to end before it ever begins and you know who the bad guys are even before they take up their place in the story.
Its Boys Own stuff but good fun for all that. Not as tightly written as "The 39 Steps" but still enjoyable.
I chose this version among many because I usually enjoy Christian Rhodska's narrations. I have to say this is definitely not among his best. The characterisations are occasionally clumsy and often intrusive. One of the characters in particular ended up making me wince every time he spoke. It may well be that I am especially fussy about this but I always feel that if I become aware of the narrator while I'm listening to the story they have failed in their task. Do less. Do less.
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