The Thirty-nine Steps, Paperback
2.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Richard Hannay has just returned to England after years in South Africa and is thoroughly bored with his life in London.

But then a murder is committed in his flat, just days after a chance encounter with an American who had told him about an assassination plot which could have dire international consequences.

An obvious suspect for the police and an easy target for the killers, Hannay goes on the run in his native Scotland where he will need all his courage and ingenuity to stay one step ahead of his pursuers.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Espionage & spy thriller
  • ISBN: 9780141031262



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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

The BBC made a good little drama under the same name over Christmas in 2008 which I really enjoyed. Of course the lovely Rupert Penry Jones might have helped with that.I think considering the book was written in 1915 - it was very good, but as a modern girl I much preferred the 2008 drama. Much more action and a different sort of angle.Richard Hannay, a bored gentleman who has returned to England - otherwise known as the Old Country - laments at how dreary England is and spends his time yawning until one day he finds himself embroiled in a murderous plot that will bring the country to war.It is very English - very old fashioned sort of English that it is quite funny, though I suppose at the time of writing quite normal. The 39 Steps is full of adventure - probably for the upper class kind of gentleman - travelling via third class, running around the Scottish countryside getting very dirty, fast cars (well for those days!) and chased even from the air!Quite a fun little read although I got a little impatient to be finished with it by the end. But charming and well written nevertheless.

Review by

Rather tame spy adventure. But without it there would have been no highly entertaining Alfred Hitchcock version. And without that there would have been no extraordinary stage version. It's a man-on-the-run tale that made me happy our hero was in shape.