Amazon.com description: Product Description
: "The Thirty-nine Steps," the best known of author John Buchan's thrillers, was made into a popular movie by Alfred Hitchcock. An effortless adventure classic, "The Thirty-nine Steps" tells the story of Richard Hannay, who, despite claiming to be an "ordinary fellow," is caught up in the dramatic and dangerous race against a plot to devastate the British war effort. Richard Hannay, who had returned to England after making his fortune in South Africa, is unwillingly ensnared in a plot to assassinate Karolides (the Greek premier). If successful, this act would plunge Europe into war. Scudder, an American journalist turned spy, has coded information relating to the plot but is murdered in Hannay's luxurious flat before he can pass on the code. Hannay, with all fingers pointing to him as the murderer, escapes by Scottish express (with Scudder's coded notebook). Decamping from the train in the Sottish lowlands, (the Forth Bridge escape from the train was created with the 1935 Alfred Hitchcock film adaptation), Hannay is pursued across hill and dale by police and enemy agents intent on seizing the notebook. In his flight he holes up in a remote wayside inn with a literary inn keeper who can quote Kipling. It is here that Richard Hannay masters the code and learns Scudder's secrets. From then on "The Thirty-nine Steps" is a race to get to London and notify the authorities. One of the brilliant scenes on the way concerns Richard Hannay posing as a road repair crewman to evade his pursuers. To do this, Hannay explains how you must become one with the environment you are using as a cover (one of John Buchans's favorite ploys which he uses in many of his novels). Richard Hannay then switches from pursued to pursuer, tracking the agents to their escape channel. Ultimately, the title of "The Thirty-nine Steps" is explained. Every reading of this splendid and timeless novel reveals further delights that may have been missed before.