Book Bingo 10

Author: Debra Found

Date Published: Feb 14th 2017, 6:43pm


I appear to be making quite slow progress through this book bingo challenge. I just get waylaid and read a number of other books which happen my way!

Square ten is a book which was published exactly 100 years ago in 1916. (Note I started this challenge last year!) I chose the book "Greenmantle" by John Buchan. This has been loitering on my "To be read" shelf for several years and it was a happy co-incidence that it was published in 2016.

Greenmantle is a Richard Hannay book - he of the 39 Steps fame. I am well acquainted with that book and all 3 films having encountered them all in my teenage years. However, I was unaware that there were other books with Hannay as the character. The thing that struck me from the outset of this book was the language. It was definitely a book of its time. Everyone is very polite with language of its time with "Right-o" appearing on the second page and not for the last time! I have to say that in some ways this sort of language was quite refreshing after reading a book with rather a lot of foul language recently. I must confess though it did get slightly wearing after a while!

Not all books from the past survive to the present. They show their antiquity in too many ways and the story just doesn't work for the modern reader. However, a great number of books do survive a good hundred years or several - Agatha Christie is still a firm favourite as are Dickens, the Brontes and Jane Eyre. I can still enjoy a good Agatha Christie whilst at the same time find a similar book by another author rather dated. I am not entirely sure what makes one book survive and grow over time whilst another shows its age terribly and just doesn't make it.

As for Greenmantle, it was an okay book but not one of his best and certainly not as good as the 39 Steps.


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