The Right Coast

January 14, 2004
Which reminds me
By Tom Smith

Professor Rappaport's review of the Third Man reminded me of The 39 Steps, which reminds me to mention that you should read all the novels of John Buchan, most politically incorrect author in the last century, or one of them anyway. Intrigue, brave Brits (or Scots, actually) imperialism triumphant, dastardly people of dubious heritage. Well, yes, he is a racist, probably, a la Kipling, but that was another time, and you can overlook it or disapprove and still enjoy the cracking good yarns. Well written? Well, no. Plots tend toward the elaborate and creaky at times, but where else do you get the world being saved over port and cigars, travelling in disguise to foreign ports crawling with German spies, the Great Game and all that, in such unapologetic style?