by John Buchan
After selling his business, rich middle-aged merchant Dickson McCunn decides to set out on a walking holiday in the Scottish Borders.
There he meets a young English poet, and both soon become embroiled in the plot of an international gang to capture a Russian princess.
With the help of the Gorbals Die-hards, an indomitable gang of urchins from Glasgow, they frustrate and finally defeat the gang. And in the process Dickson happens to discover a new meaning to life ...
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 256 pages
- Publisher: Birlinn General
- Publication Date: 18/06/2012
- Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
- ISBN: 9781846972232
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Review by Eyejaybee
A classic slice of traditional adventure fiction by one of the great masters of the genre. The hero of this novel (set in the early 1920s) and its two successors is retired grocer Dickson McCunn who decides to mark his retirement from the respectable world of grocery by going for a walking holiday in Southwest Scotland, in the hope of encountering some scent of romantic ideal. As luck would have it he becomes embroiled in a Bolshevik plot to exploit a former Russian princess and divest her of her family jewels.In his travails McCunn is helped by long-time Buchan regular, Sir Archibald Roylance (though in this particular novel he is more heavily clothed in obtuseness than usual), a would-be free-verse poet John Heritage and the hardy Gorbals Die-Hards, a street gang from the poorer reaches of Glasgow who have been given an opportunity to escape the roughness of the backstreets of Glasgow to commune with nature.Beautifully written and exquisitely plotted, this is Buchan near his best.