Greenmantle, Richard Hannay, the South African mining engineer and war hero first introduced in Buchan's
The Thirty-Nine Steps, travels across war-torn Europe in search of a German plot and an Islamic messiah.
He is joined by three others: John S. Blenkiron, an American who is determined to battle the Kaiser; Peter Pienaar, an old Boer Scout; and the colorful Sandy Arbuthnot, who is modeled on Lawrence of Arabia. Disguised, they travel through Germany to Constantinople and the Russian border to confront their enemies, the hideous Stumm and the evil beauty Hilda von Einem. Their success or failure could change the outcome of the First World War.
"A specialty audio, a classic, but definitely a 'thinking man's audio'. Bravo, Blackstone Audiobooks, which seems to find these gems!" (
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Derring-do and stiff-upper-lips
It's a good book and I enjoyed it - I love the old-fashioned language of John Buchan's novels.
The writing is dated, and it compares well with any of the other adventure / heroic stories of that era, but political correctness, in particular to 'foreigners' had not been invented at the time Greenmantle was written.
Robert Whitfield has the perfect well-spoken English accent for the book. And if some of his 'other' accents aren't quite accurate, it doesn't matter, it all works smoothly.
Great heroes and brave spies...
The language is old-fashioned and it would be possible to laugh at the book, but it's great escapism back to my childhood when my father used to read Buchan to us.