The thirty-nine steps
The Thirty-Nine Steps is an adventure novel by the Scottish author John Buchan. It is the first of five novels featuring Richard Hannay, an all-action hero with a a miraculous knack for getting himself out of sticky situations.The novel is set during May and June 1914; war was impending in Europe, Richard Hannay the protagonist and narrator, an expatriate Scot, returns to his new home, a flat in London, after a long stay in Rhodesia to begin a new life. One night he is buttonholed by a stranger, a well-travelled American, who claims to be in fear for his life.
The novel formed the basis for a number of film adaptations: Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 version; a 1959 colour remake; a 1978 version which is perhaps most faithful to the novel; and a 2008 version for British television.
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