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Extended Audio Sample Greenmantle Audiobook, by John Buchan Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.7 out of 53.7 out of 53.7 out of 53.7 out of 53.7 out of 5 3.70 (91 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Buchan Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Richard Hannay Series Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781455172658
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In this tale of intrigue and adventure, Richard Hannay, the South African mining engineer and war hero first introduced in The Thirty-Nine Steps, travels across war-torn Europe in search of a German plot—the creation of a secret weapon—and an Islamic messiah.

He is joined by three others: John S. Blenkiron, an American who is determined to battle the Kaiser; Peter Pienaar, an old Boer Scout; and the colorful Sandy Arbuthnot, who is modeled on Lawrence of Arabia. Disguised, they travel through Germany to Constantinople and the Russian border to confront their enemies, the hideous Stumm and the evil beauty Hilda von Einem. Their success or failure could change the outcome of the First World War.

With all the elements of a good spy novel, this tale offers a glimpse into the complex times of a tumultuous era.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An exciting First World War thriller.”

    Observer (London)

  • “A specialty audio, a classic, but definitely a ‘thinking man’s audio.’ Bravo Blackstone Audio, which seems to find these gems!”

    Kliatt

  • One of Modern Library's 100 Best English-Language Novels of the Twentieth Century

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Flora | 2/18/2014

    " This spy thriller was written about, and during, WWI. It takes its characters from England to Turkey and shows off the versatility of British and American espionage. This particular edition is peppered with footnotes, most of which I needed because I was unfamiliar with Scottish, Afrikaans and various aspects of hot topics in 1916. Alas, only after I finished the book did I realize I should have skipped all the introductory text, which included, of all things, an epilogue note. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Everly | 2/17/2014

    " Periodically racist & misogynistic, but still enjoyable if you're not too squeamish about such things. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Martin | 2/16/2014

    " Very disappointing. Had to put it aside as the protaganist repreatedly helped the other side in the war out of "professional pride." Couldn't take it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jlnpeacock | 2/13/2014

    " I really enjoyed reading this and appreciated all the historical information provided. Having read "Like Hidden Fire," I was able to better understand Richard Hannay's adventures and see how much wasn't actually fiction. A fine read for a winter's evening. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Will Swanson | 2/12/2014

    " Excellent book. It was very well written, and had a lot of interesting perspectives on life in World War 1. Given the attitudes at the time, it is surprisingly open minded, and there are only a few examples of bigotry. It is a gripping spy novel, perhaps the first of its kind, and it clearly influenced Ian Fleming when he was writing his James Bond novels. This is most obvious in respect to the female character. In this book, the female character is actually the main antagonist, and is a very interesting one. This is something that Fleming did not include often (did he write octopussy? I doubt it.) Anyway, if you like spy novels of any sort, this one is well written, and has a captivating ending, combined with a 1920's British perspective on life in general that makes the book much more interesting than a standard book of the spy genre. It also makes the observation that as long as civilization has been around, there have been people to oppose it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Austin Murphy | 2/11/2014

    " It's an adventure across Europe during WWI. I got really into it. Watch out for some racist bits. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dawn | 2/9/2014

    " Swift and engaging antique espionage adventure. Plot yields unsettling reminder that western misperceptions of Islamic culture haven't evolved much in the past century. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pravesh Bhardwaj | 2/8/2014

    " Fast paced spy thriller published way back in 1916 works beautifully even today. The writing is simple and story keeps moving at a pace that leaves you breathless. A thoroughly entertaining book set in winter of 1915-16 travels from British countryside through Germany and ends in east of Constantinople as the war goes on. Sometime back I had read a book 'On Secret Service East of Constantinople: The Plot to Bring Down the British Empire' by Peter Hopkirk. Hopkirk was a child when his mother read aloud Greenmantle to him. He loved the book so much that he decided to find the truth and did a non-fiction account of it. The result was a fascinating book - On Secret... A freind of mine forced me to read it and I loved it. Since then I was very keen to read Greenmantle. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I think someone should do a ten part mini series on it. It will be fun. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robert | 2/8/2014

    " All in all, a pretty good read. This book has more substance than it's better known predecessor, The 39 Steps. Still, I found the glorification of war silly. It gets quite laughable near the end. I seriously doubt any soldier in WW I missed fighting on the front and wanted to return there to be with his pals. Pure nonsense. Some of this strange attitude was, I suspect, calculated to cheer those who were not fighting and to glorify their relatives and friends who were. Propaganda does not sit well with me. It was still a decent read, though. Silly, but ok. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael Jones | 2/4/2014

    " I really enjoyed the fast pace and action in this book. It became a little bit unbelievable near the end, but what a wild ride! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ian Wold | 1/26/2014

    " This book is some pulp for the historian in me. If one is looking for the first of its kind, this is historical fiction's premier novel. It has a 'band of brothers' theme when no one else wrote about that. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Neil | 1/26/2014

    " A hell of a lot of incident but it just didn't grip me. Jingoistic, but that was the point of this 1916 novel to help the British war effort and can be forgiven. This is the second Richard Hannay novel, Hanney is best remembered today due to Hitchcock's film of the 39 steps, I think I'll stick to the film rather than the books! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 J.J. Toner | 1/23/2014

    " Swashbuckling adventure/spy story. For me, the language was too dated, the locations and references too distant and beyond my ken. I nearly didn't finish it, but I hate to abandon a book. Buchan's writing style shines through as always. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David Winger | 1/20/2014

    " Fantastic. This is the mark the Bond novels/films shoot for and never reach. Why can't all action/adventure/spy novels be so beautifully and concisely written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lucy | 1/14/2014

    " John Buchan was a WWI spymaster for the British and an incredibly compelling writer. However, you have to get past his appalling anti-semitism & racism. his hero, Richard Hannay, is back & this is as good as his previous visit in The 39 Steps. which is to say very very good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jlnpeacock | 1/12/2014

    " I really enjoyed reading this and appreciated all the historical information provided. Having read "Like Hidden Fire," I was able to better understand Richard Hannay's adventures and see how much wasn't actually fiction. A fine read for a winter's evening. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael Jones | 1/8/2014

    " I really enjoyed the fast pace and action in this book. It became a little bit unbelievable near the end, but what a wild ride! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Giles | 1/6/2014

    " superb. Perhaps not quite as tight as 39 Steps and still relies on Buchan's preposterously convenient use of coincidence (at least three times in the narrative the protagonists 'stumble' across friends in the middle of nowhere) it is still a great read and really gripping to the end. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Austin Murphy | 1/3/2014

    " It's an adventure across Europe during WWI. I got really into it. Watch out for some racist bits. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rita | 1/3/2014

    " SO fun. I liked this better than 39 Steps. The action was crazy fast and very interesting. Definitely got sucked into the excitement every time I picked it up. (Also the sort of book it would be easy to put your life on hold to read. Don't start it before bed.) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 1/1/2014

    " Excellent book. Real macho man stuff ala Hemingway. War as the big show that is the proper occupation of real men! Also a great adventure and plot. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rachel | 12/27/2013

    " Not as good as 39 Steps--longer, but weirder. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Milele | 12/25/2013

    " A good but dated spy and travel romp, takes place in WWI when Turks were dashedly exotic, Germans were dangerous buffoons, and gentlemen were (very self-superior) English. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mat | 12/16/2013

    " Greenmantle starts off pretty quick and never lets up. I found myself unable to set the book down, hoping to find out more and more of the mystery they were trying to solve. The characters are all unique and likable, with wonderful connections throughout the story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sandra | 12/7/2013

    " Marvellous book with great language and gripping description.I had forgotten how well Buchan could tell a yarn. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christine | 11/7/2013

    " I'm a bit of a fan of John Buchan's books and this is another excellent example of his skill as a mystery writer. Even better than the 39 Steps, Greenmantle, drops you back into the world of Richard Hannay and his merry men as they try to stop the Germans in Turkey during WWI. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joan Thompson | 11/1/2013

    " I am enjoying John Buchans reading. There is a lot of description But I am enjoying the action and getting a view of the eraly 20th centuary. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marcus | 10/20/2013

    " Set a goal. Make it happen. When something goes off plan, adapt and make it look like you are in charge. These are the things that win the First World War. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Margaret | 10/19/2013

    " It is many years since I read this,about sixty plus!! I would be about twelve. I loved it then and still remember the man with dyspepsia who could only eat fish and milk. Mostly however the excitement and how it built up. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lilly | 10/13/2013

    " I was quite pleased to find this on my bookshelf just after finishing 'The 39 Steps'. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Austin Murphy | 10/3/2013

    " It's an adventure across Europe during WWI. I got really into it. Watch out for some racist bits. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christine | 10/2/2013

    " I'm a bit of a fan of John Buchan's books and this is another excellent example of his skill as a mystery writer. Even better than the 39 Steps, Greenmantle, drops you back into the world of Richard Hannay and his merry men as they try to stop the Germans in Turkey during WWI. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John Pendergraft | 9/30/2013

    " A PCA Pastor from Tennessee turned me onto Buchan. This was written at a time when even so called "Dime store" novels were packed full of wisdom. Richard Hannay is one of my favorite characters in all of literature. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Xopowo | 9/18/2013

    " I read the 1957 hardcover edition. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael Jones | 7/23/2013

    " I really enjoyed the fast pace and action in this book. It became a little bit unbelievable near the end, but what a wild ride! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Martin | 7/22/2013

    " Very disappointing. Had to put it aside as the protaganist repreatedly helped the other side in the war out of "professional pride." Couldn't take it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dawn | 7/19/2013

    " Swift and engaging antique espionage adventure. Plot yields unsettling reminder that western misperceptions of Islamic culture haven't evolved much in the past century. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laura | 6/23/2013

    " I enjoyed much more this book than The Thirty Nine Steps. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John Fink | 3/12/2013

    " Not as good as The 39 Steps but you know, not half bad either. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Everly | 2/25/2013

    " Periodically racist & misogynistic, but still enjoyable if you're not too squeamish about such things. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joan Thompson | 11/26/2012

    " I am enjoying John Buchans reading. There is a lot of description But I am enjoying the action and getting a view of the eraly 20th centuary. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dick Hannay | 11/24/2012

    " For non-stop rollicking adventure this is it. Buchan's best of his thriller genre by far. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Matt | 10/4/2012

    " Good cat and mouse spy novel. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christine | 7/19/2012

    " I'm a bit of a fan of John Buchan's books and this is another excellent example of his skill as a mystery writer. Even better than the 39 Steps, Greenmantle, drops you back into the world of Richard Hannay and his merry men as they try to stop the Germans in Turkey during WWI. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erinfarleys | 6/25/2012

    " I really liked this book and found the ending very satisfying. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Daniel Alders | 6/23/2012

    " Excellent. Third time through it's still my favorite Buchan novel. We'll see how Mr. Standfast and The Three Hostages compare. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Darren | 5/13/2012

    " It was fun reading this old book. It was published during WWI, which made for a fascinating insight into British thinking and attitudes of the time. Reading older books certainly makes one think about how much things have changed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Margaret | 4/15/2012

    " It is many years since I read this,about sixty plus!! I would be about twelve. I loved it then and still remember the man with dyspepsia who could only eat fish and milk. Mostly however the excitement and how it built up. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joseph Grinton | 4/2/2012

    " I enjoyed this more than I expected. I couldn't stomach Buchan when I was 20 but as I get older I am becoming increasingly tolerant of British patriotic fervour. This is a well-constructed thriller. Buchan writes with admirable economy and skill. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jlnpeacock | 1/16/2012

    " I really enjoyed reading this and appreciated all the historical information provided. Having read "Like Hidden Fire," I was able to better understand Richard Hannay's adventures and see how much wasn't actually fiction. A fine read for a winter's evening. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joan Thompson | 1/10/2012

    " I am enjoying John Buchans reading. There is a lot of description But I am enjoying the action and getting a view of the eraly 20th centuary. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 James Folan | 11/13/2011

    " A wizard yarn of derring-do. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Everly | 9/17/2011

    " Periodically racist & misogynistic, but still enjoyable if you're not too squeamish about such things. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Phil | 8/18/2011

    " Learned about this book from the WWI history I just finished. So far it's a lot of fun! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Martin | 8/13/2011

    " Very disappointing. Had to put it aside as the protaganist repreatedly helped the other side in the war out of "professional pride." Couldn't take it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Geraud | 7/4/2011

    " soemetimes good fun, sometimes pretty farfetched. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Danielroffle | 5/20/2011

    " Yeah it's a bit repetitive, but it did introduce the expression "my hat!" as a sign of amazement to my vocabulary, and there are plenty of lolsome Dreaded Hun moments too. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gordon | 5/14/2011

    " A short novel from a best-selling author of espionage novels. The story takes place right before World War I. It was adapted into a famous Alfred Hitchcock movie from 1935, but the story is quite different. Utterly unbelievable, but quite entertaining. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ryan | 5/14/2011

    " Fun adventure book suggested to me by a bookstore clerk in Antigua. Good break-up between some more serious reads. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Simon | 5/9/2011

    " It’s not high literature – but, by George, it’s entertaining! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Simone | 5/2/2011

    " So dated and yet still enjoyable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jackie | 4/30/2011

    " This would have got four or even five stars if the story had been condensed to half its length. Too much waffle and too complicated but the basic plot was great. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ian Wold | 4/24/2011

    " This book is some pulp for the historian in me. If one is looking for the first of its kind, this is historical fiction's premier novel. It has a 'band of brothers' theme when no one else wrote about that. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laura | 4/20/2011

    " I enjoyed much more this book than The Thirty Nine Steps. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda | 4/16/2011

    " Loved it. I had seen the BBC movie and really wanted to read the book. I enjoyed the book. A quick read with a good mystery. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kelly | 4/9/2011

    " Pretty dull, on the whole. I saw the movie first, though, which I usually try to avoid, so as to not have preconcieved notions. In this case I didn't even know there was a book, so it wasn't completely intentional. Still, the movie was much better. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Abeer | 4/8/2011

    " i read this book when i was in the 7th grade, i really liked it and read it several times it talks about the adventures of Richard Hanny the book is so lovely and interesting

    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dawn | 4/4/2011

    " Swift and engaging antique espionage adventure. Plot yields unsettling reminder that western misperceptions of Islamic culture haven't evolved much in the past century. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Phil | 2/9/2011

    " Learned about this book from the WWI history I just finished. So far it's a lot of fun! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joan | 1/7/2011

    " I am enjoying John Buchans reading. There is a lot of description But I am enjoying the action and getting a view of the eraly 20th centuary. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Austin | 11/23/2010

    " It's an adventure across Europe during WWI. I got really into it. Watch out for some racist bits. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Donatella | 10/13/2010

    " More Bond (but quite as sleek) than Bourne, an unrecostructed spy story. Enjoyable but I'm waiting for something to go wrong to Mr Brandt.
    So far not as good as the 39 Steps "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 8/15/2010

    " Not as good as The 39 Steps but you know, not half bad either. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lilly | 7/20/2010

    " I was quite pleased to find this on my bookshelf just after finishing 'The 39 Steps'. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mat | 6/23/2010

    " Greenmantle starts off pretty quick and never lets up. I found myself unable to set the book down, hoping to find out more and more of the mystery they were trying to solve. The characters are all unique and likable, with wonderful connections throughout the story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rita | 6/3/2010

    " SO fun. I liked this better than 39 Steps. The action was crazy fast and very interesting. Definitely got sucked into the excitement every time I picked it up. (Also the sort of book it would be easy to put your life on hold to read. Don't start it before bed.) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Milele | 6/2/2010

    " A good but dated spy and travel romp, takes place in WWI when Turks were dashedly exotic, Germans were dangerous buffoons, and gentlemen were (very self-superior) English. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erinfarleys | 11/2/2009

    " I really liked this book and found the ending very satisfying. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christina | 9/25/2009

    " This is one of Buchan's best, in my opinion! I like the way he writes in a fast pace, so that you don't lose interest but instead sit on the edge of your seat!

    The whole idea of Hannay working under-cover is simply exciting! "

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About the Author
Author John Buchan

John Buchan (1875–1940) was educated at Glasgow University and Brasenose College, Oxford. He became a barrister, Member of Parliament, soldier, publisher, and Governor-General of Canada. Of the over one hundred books he published during his lifetime, he is best remembered for his adventure and spy stories, especially The Thirty-Nine Steps, which was made into a movie by Alfred Hitchcock.

About the Narrator

Simon Vance (a.k.a. Robert Whitfield) is an award-winning actor and an AudioFile Golden Voice with over forty Earphones Awards. He has won thirteen prestigious Audie Awards and was Booklist’s very first Voice of Choice in 2008. He has narrated more than eight hundred audiobooks over almost thirty years, beginning when he was a radio newsreader for the BBC in London.