Thanks for stopping by my blog and pointing me to your excellent review of Greenmantle Richard. I’ve had quite a bit of correspondence since writing my mini-rant about Buchan’s Thirty-Nine Steps – much of it well-argued and reasonable and passionate. As your review is. You haven’t really tempted me to give him another go but I do feel I understand a bit more about the attraction now and it is interesting to see where some of the well-worn tropes of the genre originate. I think for me his stuff is too blokey (books in which women have no agency at all bore and annoy me – perhaps unfairly but there’s still enough real life in which the female of the species is treated as invisible for me to want to visit fictional worlds where that is true) and the propogandistic themes are too much…too reminiscent perhaps of the present-day nonsense my own government sprouts in its zeal to make us afraid of…almost everyone. Ugh! But I always love a review that acts as evidence of the reader’s deep regard for the work in question.
Thanks Bernadette, I didn’t really think I would tempt you to join the Buchan Fan Club, but simply wanted to put another view from someone for whom his thriller style worked (at least in my youth) and to give Buchan a bit of credit for his originator status in this kind of thriller writing.
Sadly, though, I must agree with you that he, and many of his male contemporaries, treated women, other races and foreigners in general as an inferior species and it’s a pity that they were unable to see through the prejudices of their era.
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