Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Thirty-nine Steps (58th Book)

Whoops! I have been reading so many books in the past month that I forgot about this short, but good novel. I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads because it was interesting and engaging. It is dubbed the first spy novel, and one that created a lot of the standards in the genre: car chases, disguises etc. I wanted something light and fluffy and this fit the bill. It was a short read, and very engaging. I have always wanted to go to the play recreated by Alfred Hitchcock It was playing in London when I was there, but I unfortunately missed the opportunity. Interestingly enough, I think that the novel and play are quite different. I don't know much about the plot of the play but I know it has something to do with a girl. There isn't a girl in the original version. I also know that it is supposed to be riotously funny, and the novel is extremely engaging, but not comical in anyway. I feel bad for the original author, John Buchanan who has been trumped by the genius of Alfred Hitchcock. Everyone is far more familiar with his story than the original.

One of the interesting things about this novel, is that it was written during the First World War and involved a German plot to start a war and make it look like the British caused it. It is a highly plausible plot, and it makes me wonder how it was received at the time. It seems like it would be a little too close to  home for comfort, but perhaps it only added fuel to the fire, in the British's hatred of Germans.

At any rate if you are looking for a good read between some of the heavier classics I would definitely recommend this. It would hold a candle to any of the modern day spy novels.

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