Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist
poliphilo

John Macnab: John Buchan

Three eminent middle-aged men decide that nothing is so likely to rekindle their joie de vivre as a spot of gentlemanly poaching. They issue challenges to three highland land owners and so find themselves dodging through haughs and corries in pursuit of game whilst themselves being chased by gillies and daughters of the big house and- in one instance- an army of navvies. It's rather like The Thirty Nine Steps- only with nothing very much at stake. There are those who think this is Buchan's best book.

Buchan is a High Tory- which means he's so far to the right (as is said of one of his characters) he's only a few clicks of the dial away from being a red revolutionary. You can read him for the thrills but also for the social philosophy. He believes privilege has to be earned and maintained by exercise of virtue. And he loves a bandit. 
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