The House of the Four Winds

The House of the Four Winds The House Of The Four Winds Is A Novel Of Adventure By John Buchan, First Published In It Is A Ruritanian Romance, And The Last Of His Three Dickson McCunn BooksThe Novel Is Set In The Fictional Central European Country Of Evallonia In The Early S It Concerns The Involvement Of Some Scottish Visitors In The Overthrow Of A Corrupt Republic And The Restoration Of The Monarchy It Is A Sequel To Castle Gay, In Which Some Evallonians Visited Scotland On A Secret Mission Two Years Before The Start Of This Novel

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  • Paperback
  • 260 pages
  • The House of the Four Winds
  • John Buchan
  • English
  • 24 October 2019
  • 9781842327722

10 thoughts on “The House of the Four Winds

  1. says:

    I loved this book over all the others, although I know it was not so regarded by others It is so dated, mad ideas and a romp through a vanished world if it indeed ever exist.

  2. says:

    After reading Wanderlust I found myself in the mood to read about walking, and as for my money John Buchan is hands down the best writer of fictional walks, I thought I d read the third of the Dickson McCunn trilogy following Huntingtower and Castle Gay.Unlike the first two books, which are both set in Scotland, The House of the Four Winds is set in the fictional central European country of Evallonia, where retired Glasgow grocer and incurable romantic Dickson McCunn, former Gorbals Die Hard and now Cambridge graduate and rugby international Jaikie Galt and friends find themselves involved in a revolution It s an entertaining Ruritania romp with plenty of mild peril, likeable characters and particularly likeable and deeply competent female characters and some nice descriptions of scenery I did feel that there was a sad kind of irony in a novel that sees a populist youth movement playing an instrumental role in the restoration of a benevolent and enlightened monarchy, published in 1935 in a Europe where fascism had already gained a strong hold It s clear from a couple of passages and references to Hitler and Mussolini that Buchan the politician was not unaware of the gathering shadows and their possible implications, and that his adventure story is also a fantasy about how the world could be diverted into a different course with the help of the English and English educations, naturally , and there s definitely a poignancy to reading it knowing how events really worked out.

  3. says:

    Buchan s Zenda, a charming and busy thriller which also recalls Blind Corner by Dornford Yates with McCunn, Jaikey, et al making sure Evallonia gets the Mussolini inspired regime it deserves after a decade of insidious republican rule.

  4. says:

    The best of the three Dickson McCunn books Classic Buchan.

  5. says:

    I m stretching things by putting this in with war thrillers but I think Lord Tweedsmuir would approve It is certainly full of adventure and why shouldn t a retired Glasgow grocer have a chance at wild adventure like any other man This story of revolution and restoration was written in 1935 and went through 5 printings between May and September of that year, so it must have caught the imagination of a number of people Buchan is careful to provide enough background that it doesn t matter if you haven t read Castle Gay or Huntingtower, the two preceding novels, and actually gives you enough hints that you feel you should find and read those earlier tales.I wonder if Buchan wrote these stories for his own amusement because while the characters have to deal with real problems the answers come quite pat and while carrying things off requires nerve little things like needing someone to be ready at a distant window or castle servants not to notice makeup are just shrugged off This is a real Prisoner of Zenda tale, complete with fictional central European country Evallonia , heroic female leader Countess Araminta Troyes, referred to as the Blood Red Rook for her love of the colour red , exiled king Prince John , and wise loyal councilors Prince Odalchini but it also has a mad English gentleman who owns a traveling circus with a large elephant.Buchan was well experienced in government his last job was as governor general of Canada and he died here in office in 1941 He handles those parts of the plot smoothly but there is a considerable amount of coincidence necessary to bring the characters together in Europe so far from Scotland He has our grocer Dickson McCunn sent to a German kurhaus to regain his health, John Galt sets off on a hike across Europe to think about life after Cambridge, Sir Archibald Roylance goes to Geneva for a government conference and Alison Westover is called to her parents who arae at the same kurhaus It s all very upper class and Agatha Christie ish, but that was Buchan s milieu.The sad thing that comes through several times is Buchan s feeling that Youth will save the world, that the Idea paired with determination and stamina will brush aside all the mustiness of the past His Juventus has echoes of the Hitler Youth and even he comments on the Juventus green shirts that so much seems to be riding on fancy haberdashery Unfortunately, if the Idea is a dangerous or wicked one it can take over just as easily as a good one can and by 1935 he should have been aware of some of what was coming It s easy to enjoy this book because you don t hear Buchan s anti semitism which turns up in others of his novels including The Thirty nine Steps.I could have done with a little less of the villain being described as a vicious beast, though, and his house being dirty with paper falling from the walls, while the good guys have a castle that is a little shabby but carefully maintained The bad guy seems all dark clothes, hair, et al while our good guy wears a white linen suit.This would make a jolly adventure film.

  6. says:

    Kindled for free The final book in the Dickson McCunn saga is also the best of the three, and probably one of Buchan s finest The modern and fresh outlook, believable characters male and female and fun plot all go together her to make this one a really good read, even if the plot is a bit of a strange one DIckson s two adopted children , now fresh out of Cambridge go on a trek through Europe but end up playing a part in some very important affairs That synopsis makes it sound very Famous Five but actually I really enjoyed it, and enough properly adult characters come in that this isn t a book about children Some of the best parts of the books are the realistic depictions of what it s like to be young though, which is strange considering the age of Buchan as he wrote this Buchan s fun youths And yet, in the two years I have known you, you have filled up your time with the craziest things First she counted on her fingers you went off to Baffin Island to trade old rifles for walrus ivory Jaikie grinned I made seventy three pounds clear I call that a success Then you walked from Cambridge to Oxford within a day and a night That was a failure I was lame for a fortnight and couldn t play in the Welsh match You went twice as a deck hand on a Grimsby trawler first to Bear Island and then to the Whales Back I don t know where these places are, but they sound beastly They were I was sick most of the time Last and worst, it was only your exams and my prayers that kept you from trying to circumnavigate Britain in a sailing canoe, when you would certainly have been drowned not so different from modern uni life There was a time at the start when Jaikie s mind had been filled with exasperating little cares, so that he turned a blank face to the world he was traversing His future what was he to do now that he was done with Cambridge Alison his need of her grew desperate every day, but what could he offer her worthy of her acceptance Only his small dingy self, he concluded, with nothing to his credit except a second class degree, some repute at Rugby football, and the slenderest of bank balances It seemed the most preposterous affair of a moth and a star Especially he thought happily about Alison He did not think of her as a bored young woman with peevish parents in a dull health resort, but as he knew her in the Canonry, an audacious ally in any venture, staunch as the hills, kind as a west wind class concerns in oxbridge even then He was aware that, without Cambridge, he would have always been a little shy and suspicious of the life of a class into which he had not been born now he knew it for what it was worth, and could look at it without prejudice but also without glamour Brother to a beggar, and fellow to a king what was Dougal s phrase

  7. says:

    In some ways this was a lovely read, but I have to admit that John Buchan read in 2013 is not quite the John Buchan I read fifty years ago This novel is set between the wars in the fictitious Evallonia and involves our heroes from Huntingtower and strange characters Most alarmingly, a youth movement called Juventus Was Buchan aware of the Balilla and the Hitlerjugend forming in Europe Considering his diplomatic background, maybe I was expecting The story was readable but pretty far fetched, and much as Jaikie the former Gorbals Diehard is a lovable character, I felt that Buchan had lost it a bit..pity.

  8. says:

    This is a fairly lighthearted adventure story set in a small European country featuring many of the characters from Castle Gay and also Archie and Janet Roylance About three quarters of the way through the book it becomes serious and indeed one of the characters feels, that he had stumbled out of comedy into a melodrama which might soon darken into tragedy However after some tension, reminiscent of the Richard Hannay stories, leading to the death of an unpleasant character the mood becomes lighthearted and there is a happy ending.

  9. says:

    Each of Buchan s other Dickson McCunn and Richard Hannay books have absorbed me in at least parts of the story This book did not I found the plot a bit too predictable though my wife says I m uncannily good at predicting plots and the adventure bland than other books by Buchan which I ve read I m glad to have read it and finished out the series, but I don t think it will merit a reread ever, unlike the other above mentioned books.

  10. says:

    This was an enjoyable read very much like the famous Five had all grown up and were continuing their adventures The story centered around Jaikie and his friends who all end up in Evallonia The plot was a bit too linear and one dimensional for me A few sub plots involving the other main characters would have made it interesting.

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