The Thirty-Nine Steps - John Buchan

The Thirty-Nine Steps

By John Buchan

  • Release Date: 1914-12-31
  • Genre: Mysteries & Thrillers
Score: 4
From 243 Ratings


An Apple Books Classic edition.

John Buchan’s novel is credited with kicking off the “man on the run” genre of thriller. Since its publication in 1915, it’s inspired a multitude of adaptations, including a movie directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The story follows Scottish expat Richard Hannay, who has just returned to London from South Africa and is quickly thrust into a shadowy, dangerous world of political intrigue.

The suspense kicks off when Hannay agrees to shelter an American stranger who tells him about a powerful underground society called the Black Stone that aims to start an armed conflict. When Hannay finds the stranger murdered in his apartment, he borrows a milkman’s uniform and successfully flees the building, embarking on a heart-pounding journey throughout England and Scotland. With the Black Stone and the London police both hunting him, Hannay races against time to decode the dead man’s notebook, which may hold the key to proving his innocence—and preventing Europe from descending into all-out war. The Thirty-Nine Steps is a page-turning masterpiece.


  • Disappointed

    By Captaingeorge3
    Boring. Anti-Semitic. Dumb.
  • Good suspense

    By Loya1949/1970
    Just right. A story told very well.
  • The 39 Steps Critique

    By Dicgirl
    "The 39 Steps" by John Buchan is not for everyone. My mother used to teach this book to 8th grade students in a private school whose name would be better not said. Some of the children liked it, and some did not. I personally did not care for this novel. I thought that it was confusing and a bit too odd. I am not biased, I do not recommend this novel. But do not listen to an old bat like I; go and read the book for yourself. Like I have previously stated, I do not dislike the book. But I would not buy it; I might again someday rent it from the library or something. Go and tea it and make your own review; you may end up loving it.
  • Awesome!!!

    By Ashuankit
    One of the best run and chase novels i have read!!!
  • Good

    By Samuel of Tarth
    Don't expect fine literature here, but it is a rousing spy novel, and a fine example of the classic dime novel