Thursday, 24 July 2008

The 39 Steps

The Official Blurb

Richard Hannay’s boredom is soon relieved when the resourceful engineer is caught up in a web of secret codes, spies, and murder on the eve of WWI. This exciting action-adventure story was the inspiration for Alfred Hitchcock’s 1939 classic film of the same name. John Buchan (1875-1940) was Governor General of Canada and a popular novelist. Although condemned by some for anti-Semitic dialog in The Thirty-Nine Steps, his character’s sentiments do not represent the view of the author who was identified in Hitler’s Sonderfahndungsliste (special search list) as a “Jewish sympathiser.”

My Review

I love "The 39 Steps", if you've read my review of it's sequel ( also available from Librivox ) you know this already. This version has just this month been released by Librivox and the moment I saw it I was hitting the download button.

I find the story exciting, thrilling and a real joy. The hero is a man of action, not a trained spy, not a dyed in the wool hero, just Johnny on the Spot who's prepared to do his bit.

There are chases, disguises and secret codes to top it off with all of the standard spy story requirements. It's an excellently put together story and I have to say the reader in this case was just as excellent as the story itself.

The story opens with the protagonist bored out of his skull, and the reader portrays this perfectly. Later when things start to liven up, the reader lives up to that as well with excitement and threat(!) in his voice. As a huge bonus his voice characterisations are a delight.

This is a MUST LISTEN title from Librivox.

Reading 3/3
Production 2/3
Story 3/3

Total Score 8/9

This book is available from Librivox.

There is an Audio Promo for the book.