Greenmantle has ratings and reviews. Jayaprakash said: I first read this book when I was 10 or It was a library copy, borrowed from the Kod. Greenmantle () by John Buchan · Chapter 1→. Book 2 in the Richard Hannay series. It is one of two Hannay novels set during the First. I suffered from acute asthma as a child. Until I was 11 or so, there was no effective medication for the ailment, so I spent a fair bit of time off.

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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Greenmantle by John Buchan. Greenmantle Richard Hannay 2 by John Buchan. It is November, Once there, he and his friends must thwart the Germans’ plans to use religion to help them win the war, climaxin It is November, Once there, he and his friends must thwart the Germans’ plans to use religion to help them win the war, climaxing at the battle of Erzurum.

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I first read this book when I was 10 or It was a library copy, borrowed from the Kodaikanal Club in Kodaikanal, a hill station in south India. It used to be the local English club and the contents of the library still include a large number of old hardbound editions of authors who were popular in the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Early on in this novel, Hannay remarks on the ability of the English for ‘getting inside the skin’ of distant races.

He goes on to say: The rejoinder, in a different hand, was: As we contemplate the death of print, it strikes me that little exchanges like these are going the way of the dinosaur, and the loss isn’t necessarily a great step forward for civilization. But reading these books tends to put me in that kind of frame of mind. They are so much a product of their age, all Empire and honour and robust manly values pitted against all sorts of ‘nastiness’. Hannay faces immense dangers, but in a way he never ventures very far from home, with the whole of the world seeming to be a sort of backyard to Europe, where you may encounter an old boy from the old school around the next hill or valley.

It was a world in which countries like mine figured as little more than pawns in the machinations of the Western empires and the phrase ‘white man’ could be meant as a compliment without necessarily entailing any specific degree of racism apart from the generic assumption that one’s own type are superior which, truth be told, is probably as prevalent today, behind the eye-wash of politically correct phraseology.

Meanwhile, what we have here is a remarkably exciting adventure, full of broad generalisations about national character, memorable characters and daring exploits. Buchan’s old-fashioned beliefs don’t hinder the novel – I’d say they help it along by giving the narrative a real sense of vitality because the writer believes in the stakes being fought for.

Wildly improbable and thoroughly enjoyable, all in all. View all 9 comments. Nov 11, Kay rated it really liked it Shelves: The salient feature of a ripping yarn is that once you’re well into the book, despite whatever flaws there might be in plot, plausibility, or characterization, it’s damn near impossible to put down. John Buchan’s four tales featuring hero Richard Hannay fall squarely in the ripping yarn tradition, and they’re particularly remarkable as examples of early spy novels.


Here are the badder than bad villains and resourceful, patriotic, man’s man of a hero that we encounter later in the novels of Ian Fleming, for example. Then there’s the perennial theme that pits one worldview against another, with the fate of civilization hanging in the balance.

The exotic settings in Germany, Hungary, and Turkey add another layer of intrigue.

Greenmantle (Richard Hannay #2) by John Buchan

The plot is too convoluted — and, to be honest, a little too hocus-pocus — to recap, but it doesn’t really matter. Once the reader has gotten by some of the initial artifice of the premise, it’s a sleigh ride.

One thing that I found slightly difficult was the dated parlance of the WWI-era soldier. Germans, for example, are almost always referred to by Hannay as “the Boche,” while frequent references to the Boer War, the Turkish campaign, and other contemporary events make the book at times heavy going. I have a fairly good grounding in the history of this period, but still at times I found passages such as this opaque: Yes, even if next week, they were in the Hohenzollern, or the Hairpin trench at the Quarries, or that ugly angle at the Hooge.

The point is, these sort of references pepper the narrative and the reader is advised to just sail greenkantle by and not too worry too grrenmantle about it. Budhan thing that is more worrisome, though, are the frequent lucky chance encounters. Hannay is forever running across one or another of his fellow adventurers at opportune moments — in an obscure town on the banks of the Danube, for example. It seems more than a little contrived to the modern reader.

Finally, there’s one more hurdle for contemporary audiences: Here’s a representative passage from near the end of the book, when Hannay and two greenmanhle his companions are greenmaantle and face almost certain death: When Greenmantlw remember the good times I’ve had I could sing a hymn of praise.

We’ve lived long enough to know ourselves, and to shape nuchan into some kind of decency. But think of those boys who have given their lives freely when they scarcely knew what life meant. They were just at the beginning of the road, and they didn’t know what dreary bits lay before them.

The remarkable thing is that in spite of all these shortcomings, I could scarcely put this book down. Treenmantle prose, however laden with WWI jargon, sings. Greenmante heroes bound larger than life from the pages. Rosa Klebb and Ernst Blofield have nothing on them. Jun 28, Dagny rated it really liked it.

A great read of high adventure with a good bit of humor, especially in the early part. Book two in Buchan’s Richard Hannay series. A special treat is getting to met Peter Pienaar who helped Hannay survive the ordeal of The Thirty-Nine Steps without even being present. He’s definitely present in this one. Greenmantle follows Buchan’s “Thirty-nine Steps” not as a sequel so much imhobut rather as something along the line of the further adventures of Richard Hannay, the main protagonist and overall hero of the Thirty-nine Treenmantle.


Hannay has since been a soldier in WWI, vreenmantle which he was injured at Loos. Now he is called into action once again, this time by the Foreign Office. The problem is not so much Turkey, per se, but all of the provinces where Islam is very strong; and the rumor is that Germany has something to bring all of the provincial Muslims together to fan the flames bichan the allies under German auspices. Just what Germany has is the unknown factor, and it’s up to Hannay to figure it out.

He is given only one clue: Phenomenal read, and I recommend it highly. Yes, there are some improbable spots in the novel, but hey The characters are great, and as noted at the beginning, you’ll be wondering after a while how the good guys are ever going to get out of each predicament in which they find themselves.

This book was written inbut in some ways is quite relevant to the world’s situation today. I can’t recommend this one highly enough; those who like older stories of espionage and spycraft will really enjoy it.

Others who may enjoy it are those who like good old-fashioned stories of adventure; and those who read The Thirty-Nine Steps by the same author may wish to read it to find out what happens next to Richard Hannay. Sep 09, Bryan Alexander rated it it was amazing Shelves: What vuchan strange, entertaining book!

Greenmantle is an odd kind of historical novel about WWI, a spy story about a team of heroes trying to solve a mystery and foil plots.

Through the novel he reimagines the war, especially in the east, and ends up creating something of an alternate history. But don’t let my analysis distract you. To begin with, Greenmantle is a grand adventure. The What a strange, entertaining book! The action starts right off and never lets up.

Nearly every chapter has a mix of disguises, chases, fine cars, the Kaiser! It’s a cracking story. We have the same protagonist, Richard Hannay, and he’s up to his by-now usual tricks: Greenmantle expands the first novel’s pattern, rapidly leaving Britain and Buchan’s favored Scots countryside for central and eastern Europe, then the Ottoman empire.

Also, Hannay is no longer the lone man on the run, but part of a team. This is definitely a group effort. As World War I fiction I can’t think of another novel like this. It’s an alternate present or near future, which is by alternate history. Buchan doesn’t change the western front he actually only refers to it, rather than showing it usbut posits a German-Ottoman conspiracy to set up a Muslim messiah not a spoiler; occurs early on.

That draws on actual German attempts, which never bore fruit. Buchan lets us imagine they could. We also get an all too rare glimpse of the eastern front, as Russia invades Anatolia. The novel’s finale takes place in the battle of Erzurumtreenmantle I can’t think of a fictional representation of this struggle. Russians appear as serious, even noble, a far cry from the usual British perception of a clumsy, collapsing army being ground to death by Prussians.

Indeed, one of the greenmantpe scenes has Hannay, ah, view spoiler [meeting the Kaiser.