Book review: Greenmantle

Posted: September 25, 2013 in Books
Tags: , , ,

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John Buchan’s sequel to The Thirty-Nine Steps has all of the bad stuff:  casual racism, misogeny, institutional racism, jingoism, colonialism, homophobia, racism again. But it was written in 1916, when such attitudes were the norm. If you can cope with that unfortunate historical reality then you’ll be rewarded with an excellent spy thriller. The action takes place behind Axis lines during the Great War, and there are enough evil villains, clandestine meetings and large-scale battles to put James Bond to shame. The barrack-room slang dates the prose a little, and Buchan assumes that the reader has at least a passing knowledge of the politics of the era, but it’s a terrific read nonetheless. It’s also free on Kindle. Recommended, but with obvious caveats. 4/5

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