The Buchan Papers

J. D. Jones, Author St. Martin's Press $21.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-312-15071-6
John Buchan (The 39 Steps) is the latest dead (i.e., defenseless) author turned into a character via a ""found"" manuscript. The result is a mildly entertaining adventure novel in ersatz Buchan style encumbered by almost 100 footnotes, a foreword, an epilogue, an editor's postscript and a glossary. The found manuscript places a young Buchan in South Africa in 1903 where, as a member of Lord Milner's Kindergarten staff, he helped oversee the transition from war (the Boer War ended in 1902) to peace. In Jones's story, Buchan is entrusted by Lord Milner with the secret and dangerous mission of locating ""Kruger's gold""-a fortune that Boers had been trying to spirit out of the country when it was robbed from them and hidden. Who robbed it and where it was hidden and how to recover it are Buchan's task to discover. In his quest, Buchan meets an array of characters that might have served as prototypes for many of his best-known heroes and villains. Jones, a London journalist, displays an impressive knowledge of Buchan's works and life, but endless footnotes blunt the narrative thrust of his fair to middling homage. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/02/1997
Release date: 02/01/1997
Genre: Fiction
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