The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan
Reviewed by Steve Rudd
First published way, way back in 1915, this is the story that inspired the infamous movie of
the same name that was directed by the king of noir, old Alfred Hitchcock.
I have it on good authority that the film version does in fact differ to quite a large extent to this novel, but what the hell. I can't imagine the book being any less suspenseful or tense than the movie.
The story follows a London man called Richard Hannay who goes on the run headlong into the Highlands of Scotland after a man who lives in a flat near him winds up dead under suspicious circumstances.
It's only a short story that rattles along at a thoroughly invigorating pace, and once immersed in the story the casual reader genuinely will find it hard to hold back and stop reading before they reach the exhilarating end that takes place on the East Coast of England, where thirty-nine steps snake down from the cliffs to the beach. Such a staircase might just play host to a huge conspiracy if Hannay doesn't intervene quick-sharp to foil such a conspiracy.
The author in Buchan masterfully transfers both the action set-pieces and intervening slabs of high drama - from London into the Highlands, and then temporarily back to London before Hannay dashes to the beach - with great style, and there really never is one dull moment in the story.
So much so that if you are even only semi-interested in reading high-octane thrillers,
The Thirty-Nine Steps is a must-read that deserves to be read with not one moment to lose.
Your life could depend on it...
ISBN 0-14-028262-9 (Penguin)
Reviews, Books - Junky by William S. Burroughs Reviewed by Steve Rudd
Where to start with a man of William's legendary literary standing?
Born in 1914, in his own time he came to be regarded as one of the most
important American writers of the Sixties Beat generation - during which
time his writing was revered in the same way that the work of
Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg was.
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After I had walked around the winery, I climbed back in my truck and continued driving farther up
into the foothills, and some nights I did make it as far as the mountain road.
I wanted to cross the Diablo range.
I wanted to keep driving clear across the state and into the desert, deep into the American
vastness, where I knew no one and no one knew me.
Reviews, Books - Goodbye, Hessle Road by Daphne Glazer Reviewed By Cathy Walker
Goodbye Hessle Road is the new novel by local writer Daphne Glazer, set in and around Hull.
It focuses on the lives of Donna, her mum and grandmother Ruby and features many local landmarks
from the leafy suburbs of the Avenues to the inside of Hull Prison.
Donna is a drugs worker at Hull prison; she is portrayed as a strong woman, with
attitude and hidden vulnerability.
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In this fascinating and factual book, Tom - who himself lives in Tucson, Arizona - recounts
all sorts of weird and wonderful tales from the region, and also presents tall tales from
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thisisUll.com readers may have seen The Time Traveller's Wife featured
as part of Richard and Judy's Bookclub.
If you're not a fan of the teatime TV couple do not be deterred; this is likely to
be one of the most unusual and original pieces of fiction
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A remarkable novel in every respect, this is a classic piece of literature from an
incredibly gifted writer who expressed exactly how it felt to be a black man
growing up in the United States early on in the last Century.
This book focuses on his
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Even hardcore fans of this legendary author might be in two minds about how much they
like this novel of his.
Jack is best-known for his travel-trained adventures back and forth across the
USA (in On The Road, Big Sur and The Dharma Bums for example), and further
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Can you name a female private detective? Your answer might be Miss Marple or
Mma Ramotswe of the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency, but thanks to
Jacqueline Winspear, Maisie Dobbs is another name to add to that list.
Initially it seems that
Reviews, Books - Strange Angels by Andy Bull Reviewed by Steve Rudd
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travelogue and close analysis of the lives - and deaths - of four all-American icons.
Marilyn Monroe. Elvis Presley. James Dean. JFK.
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Admittedly this sounds like something that might appeal just to trainspotters, but in the
Blackpool Highflyer:, Andrew Martin:
Reviews, Books - The Pastures of Heaven by John Steinbeck Reviewed by Steve Rudd
After the bare requisites to living and reproducing, man wants most to leave some
record of himself, a proof, perhaps, that he has really existed.
He leaves his proof on wood, on stone or on the lives of other people.
This deep desire exists in everyone, from the boy Read more...
Reviews, Theatre - 15th February 05 - The Woman in White at the Palace Theatre, London By Steve Rudd
The Woman in White is the latest box-office-busting musical extravaganza from
Andrew Lloyd Webber,
based on the famous Victorian novel of the same name that was published way, way back in
1860 by the distinguished and understandably
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There are always some amazing shows to be seen in such theatres, whether they are full-blown
musicals or pure drama-driven plays, and I guess the most frustrating thing about taking
a trip to
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parents, who this time around are Mr. and Mrs. Focker (Hoffman and Streisand),
Reviews, Books - The Butterfly Effect by Pernille Rygg Reviewed by Steve Rudd
Death is nothing to young girls, except as part of the adventure, an exciting secret
whispered by a dark lover, not something you meet one evening when you're going home to your movie or father.
Such a notion is all about to change
Reviews, Events - Comedy in Hull - A Ringside Seat - Thursday 2nd February 05 By Jim Higo
While we all sit around moaning about the lack of decent live entertainment in
Hull; Buzz Comedy Club have been doing something about it.
While we get in from work, moan again about the lack of decent live entertainment in