Among the first espionage thrillers and an acknowledged classic, The Thirty-Nine Steps well deserves its accolades as one of the best adventure stories of all time. Leaving aside the improbable denouement, the fast paced, brilliantly conceived narrative still excites and carries one along with the sheer suspense of the manhunt - a recurring theme in literature - and Hannay’s struggle against the evil that is the ‘Black Stone'.
May 1914: Europe is close to war and spies are everywhere. Richard Hannay has arrived back in London to begin a new life, when a spy called Scudder asks for help to uncover a German plot to murder the Greek prime minister in London and to steal British plans for the outbreak of war. He claims to be following a ring of German spies called the Black Stone. A few days later, Scudder is murdered. Hannay is forced to continue Scudder’s work and is chased across Scotland both by police and German spies. The solution to the mysterious phrase 'Thirty-Nine Steps' is a thread that runs through the whole story.
About Assembled Stories: Over the years the national press have reviewed Assembled Stories titles as ‘excellent’, ‘remarkable’, ‘entrancing’, ‘superb’, ‘magic for sure’, ‘masterly’, ‘wonderful’, ‘a class act’ and ‘a splendid example of audio at its best’.
©1993 John Buchan (P)2007 Assembled Stories
Show More Show Less

Critic reviews

"Peter Joyce is the most remarkable one-man band in audiobook publishing. Joyce, an experienced actor, reads them all himself." ( The Independent)
Show More Show Less

Regular price: £9.99

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – choose any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • Free, unlimited access to Audio Shows
  • After your trial, Audible is just £7.99/month
Select or Add a new payment method

Buy Now with 1 Credit

By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Privacy Notice.

Buy Now for £9.99

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Privacy Notice.

By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Privacy Notice.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Louise on 04-05-11

Classic rendition of an espionage classic

I defy anyone not to be utterly transported by this classic thriller. Brilliantly narrated by Peter Joyce.

Read more Hide me

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Paul on 26-05-15

It's good enough, but perhaps aclaim is overdone

I have read reviews of this citing it as the first great espionage novel, etc. it is no Le Carre is all I would say.

The novel is well narrated, but the plot isn't that believable. It felt a bit like a Edwardian pot boiler to me - lots of unlikely twists and turns.

I enjoyed the listen, and I'm glad I've now listened to it, but I don't think I'll be returning to it.

Read more Hide me
See all reviews

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 10-11-10


epic story and outstanding narration!!!!!!! Peter Joyce does a great job of making you feel like you know the characters in the story.

Read more Hide me

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Jim "The Impatient" on 27-07-15


Ya, you thanked providence, without it you would have been toast. As often happens in early adventure type books, everything happens pretty much in favor of the main character. It is amazing how many strangers the main character talks into helping him, even though he is being chased by the law. Suddenly is a word often used. He is walking down the road and suddenly. This was probably a good book for it's time, but readers of today expect better plotting and expect the main character to get out of trouble on his own merits, not by the sudden help of a stranger.

I especially love the language used in older books. For instance in a lot of older books there is a lot of ejaculating going on. This book seems to have a sort of gay feel to it to, due to the out dated language. IN COMMON DECENCY I HAD TO LET HIM PUMP ME.

If you can suspend belief and you are a lover of the noir genre this probably a must. Considered the birth of Noir.

The narrator is very good and makes the book that much better.

Read more Hide me

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

See all reviews