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Summary

Once again Brigadier General Hannay is taken from the trenches of the front line to save his country on a desperate mission. This time he must find the genius behind a vast network of spies infiltrating English pacifists and conscientious objectors. Hannay finds the man only to have him evade capture at the last moment. However, this is only the beginning of a thrilling adventure which takes him back to Scotland for more exploits in the manner of The Thirty Nine Steps, to France again and on to Switzerland, pitting his wits against the mastermind behind the sinister organisation ‘the wild birds’.

All his old friends are with him and our hero has to convince Bullivant, Blenkiron, Peter Pienaar, and the love of his life, Mary Lamington, that he would recognise the chameleon like villain again who must be hunted down and destroyed to avoid defeat of the Allies. The riveting tale contains some chilling descriptions of ‘modern warfare’; the new weapon, gas; and comes to a climax with the brave antics of that new breed of men, the Royal Flying Corps.

©2008 John Buchan (P)2008 Assembled Stories

Critic reviews

"Peter Joyce is the most remarkable one-man band in audiobook publishing. Joyce, an experienced actor, reads them all himself." ( The Independent)

About Assembled Stories: Over the years the national press have reviewed Assembled Stories titles as "excellent", "remarkable", "entrancing", "superb", "magic for sure", "masterly", "wonderful", "a class act" and "a splendid example of audio at its best".

What listeners say about Mr Standfast: A Richard Hannay Thriller

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Faulty

There is a fault in this recording. At 04:45 into Audible chapter 17 out of 67 the recording suddenly jumps mid-sentence. Compared with the printed book this means that the whole ending of chapter 5 is lost and the narrative begins abruptly again mid-sentence in Chapter 6 (The Skirts of the Coolin).

The narration is good. The story a bit tedious.

6 people found this helpful

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Brilliant -- but with blemishes

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Of course ! Any Buchan enthusiast -- as I am -- would enjoy this.

If you’ve listened to books by John Buchan before, how does this one compare?

All by the same reader, and this is just as good as the others.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The opening scene in Fosse Manor with Mary Lamington's wonderful aunts.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Don't know what that phrase means.

Any additional comments?

Peter Joyce has the perfect voice, excellent elocution and is an expressive and most talented reader. But there are persistent mispronunciations of foreign words, place-names and ordinary words that were differently pronounced then. I do not remember the writer himself, but his world was completely familiar to me, and I certainly as an adult met his daughter Alice and his eldest son, and their speech reflected what I say. Just 1 example: in that era, the word "ate" was pronounced to rhyme with "et," not with "eight," and it is still always so pronounced by those of us that remember that era. But I still admire the reader, and, if I need to prove that, can say that I have bought his version of 7 Buchan novels !

3 people found this helpful

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  • F
  • 09-06-19

As good as any Bond story.

It's easy to see where where Ian Fleming got his inspiration from for the Bond books. Mr Standfast, written decades before Bond, has everything, a rollicking story that travels the breadth of Europe, mystery and intrigue amongst the great powers, a mad dash across the Alps, an evil villain and a love interest.
For me, this is the best and most exciting of the first three Richard Hannay novels.

2 people found this helpful

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Faulty recording

This is an exciting novel, very well read for the most part.

The narrative is swift moving in places but unfortunately there is a sudden hiatus at 3 hours 07.54. We don't get to hear how he gets away with it when taken home (arrested) by Colonel Broadberry.

Otherwise it is a great adventure.

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Great adventure

Really enjoyed this. Yes it's packed with corny coincidences and sometimes the plot is a bit thin, but it's terrific boys own type heroic adventure. You get to know and love the characters. Listen to The 39 steps and Greenmantle first, as this sort of carries on from those.

2 people found this helpful

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Several pages missing!

In what audible calls chapter 17, ( Chapter 5 of the book) the recording suddenly jumps several pages midway through a sentence! Lucky I have the ebook so was able to catch up but it's really very poor.

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Missing audio

The missing part is really annoying if you don't already know the story. Otherwise, great.

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Very enjoyable despite MISSING PASSAGE

Recommended!
However, narration abruptly interupted by missing passage which renders plot unintelligable at that point. see Audible chap 17 at 4 mins 38 secs where approx 500 words are missing.

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Section missing

Great reading but there’s a section missing in one of the chapters. A certain amount of disbelief-suspension is required, as per usual with John Buchan.

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  • wj
  • 09-12-20

Great story - a ripping yarn!

Great story maybe better than 39 steps thoroughly engrossing and very much of its time.
Would have been 5 star for performance except for the Scottish accent which made me cringe otherwise very well read and delivered.

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  • Jazztyke
  • 21-09-12

I think this is the best book in the Hannay series

Mr Standfast has so much going on in it that you really need to listen to it more than once. Buchan had really reached his stride by the time he came to this book and wove a compelling and intricate story around his hero and recurring characters.

I would say there is more wartime propaganda espoused in this than in any of the other books, but considering where the world was in the course of the first world war when this was written, that's perfectly understandable. I found the characters better rounded too. Even the newer characters introduced just in this book.

Another standout for me was the detail given to Hannay's friendship with his best friend Peter, when he went to nurse him back to health. Nowadays if an author tried to go into that detail everyone would be crying 'Gay', but there was no question in Mr Buchan's narrative of anything but a deep respect and regard for his closest confidante. That kind of writing is a rare and wonderful thing.

Along with the author's mastery of words was to immerse the reader (listener) in the taste and texture of life and war in those times.

As for the narrator, I can't speak highly enough. He did (for me at least) what few narrators seem able to do, and that is to present the story without a sense that he was doing anything but presenting a voice in my head to impart the progress of the characters and events they found themselves a part of. By this I mean, I forgot I was listening to someone else reading and simply absorbed the story much the same as I would if I were reading it to myself.

I highly recommend this book.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Elisabeth
  • 09-02-11

A Wonderful Story!

John Buchan is a great author! Thanks Audible for a great several hours. The reader Peter Joyce did a superb job. Please keep more Buchan books coming and have Peter Joyce read them! The adventures of Dickson McCunn for example. Thanks

3 people found this helpful

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  • peter
  • 02-01-22

A propaganda piece.

This was written during ww1 and I lost patience due to regular and lame injections of jingoistic and fawning passages lauding the ww1 generals who were consigning millions to death at that time and the hero’s need to depict the battlefield slaughter as a noble and righteous cause. These intrusions of propagandist drivel spoiled the story for me so I quit halfway.

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  • INSIDENYC
  • 18-12-21

Simply the best!

no better spy novels out there. love the era. the writing is exquisite. narrator is a true master.

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  • C. A. George
  • 15-01-19

Awesome

Fantastic narration and story! John Buchan is the original thriller writer and still the best.

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  • Arlene Olsen
  • 25-03-16

John Buchan doesn't disappoint

I really love the adventure and the intrigue of a John Buchan book. I see some with five stars, some with four, but so far all the three I've listened to deserve five stars. I just love the listen.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 26-07-15

ok but not as fun as Book 1

Good narration of the story. It's an exciting story, though little too preachy sometimes. I liked 39 steps better.