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Complete Short Stories of John Buchan

v. 1

By (author) John Buchan
Volume editor Andrew Lownie
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Thistle Publishing, London, United Kingdom
Published: 31st Jan 1996
Dimensions: w 152mm h 242mm
ISBN-10: 0952675609
ISBN-13: 9780952675600
Barcode No: 9780952675600

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Kirkus UK
Buchan, a prolific writer of the late 19th century and early 20th century, is today best known for his novels, especially the thriller The Thirty Nine Steps, which was made into a very successful movie starring Robert Donat. But his favourit literary form was the short story, of which he wrote 60, all now re-published in three beautifully produced, sturdy hardbacked volumes. The 21 published in this first volume are a young man's work: 'prentice pieces, sometimes a little self-conscious but already showing talent'. All are powerfuly influenced by his intimate knowledge of the Scottish border country and its people, usually taciturn men who lived close to the soil. As a boy Buchan spent his long summer holidays with his mother's family, farmers at Broughton in Peebleshire, near to the upper reaches of the River Tweed where he learned to fish - a lifelong source of pleasure. Here he became aware not only of the wild scenery but the capricious nature of the weather which could threaten life, and change the landscape overnight. 'Afternoon' is an account of an imaginative boy's adventures on a summer's day. He could easily be Buchan himself. Towards the end of this group of stories other influences are creeping in. In The Far Islands there's a hint of the supernatural, and of the myths and legends which fascinated Buchan and which he wove into his later work. Buchan himself described it as 'a sort of fairy story for old people'. Buchan's second son William contributes a personal Foreword about his father; and there is an 'essential reading' Introduction by Andrew Lownie, who has not only sympathetically evaluated Buchan and his work, but edits the stories, adds an informative paragraph to the start of each one, and a useful glossary of the Scottish words for those unfamiliar with the dialect. (Kirkus UK)