The Thirty-Nine Steps and Greenmantle Author:John Buchan Most novels - even outstanding ones - fade from popular memory after a while. But John Buchan's "The Thirty-Nine Steps" (1915) has remained well-known to mystery fans for decades, both by virtue of the book itself and due to the fame of the 1935 Alfred Hitchcock film that was based on the story. Buchan was one of Hitchcock's favorite writers, ... more »and with good reason. Buchan's ability to create and build suspense through characters, plot development, and his unforgettable descriptions of the Scottish countryside made him a Hitchcockian natural.
Buchan wrote "The Thirty-Nine Steps" when he was convalescing from illness and was unable to join the army due to age and poor health. it was a resounding success immediately upon publication. In fact, it was so popular that Buchan quickly set about writing a sequel, "Greenmantle" (1916). Both books remain classics today, nearly a century after they were written.« less