As my title says, the Four Adventures are real classics that spawned a whole library of imitators. Written as they were during the First World War and immediate post-war period by someone who both hob-nobbed with the political movers and shakers of the time & may have participated in some intertesting Intelligence work on his own (see Peter Hopkirk's LIKE HIDDEN FIRE for some of the "facts" behind GREENMANTLE) they capture a time a place and a people at the height of British global dominance. Given that the first three tales were written during some of the most desperate days of World War I it is no accident that there is some pro-British propaganda, but as the excellnt introduction to this edition points out, Buchan is remarkably kind to both friends and foes, and while the Bad-Guys are truly Bad, they also have their redeeming qualities. THIRTY-NINE STEPS has been made into a number of movies, none of which do it justice. GREENMANTLE is my personal favorite & reading it again for the umpteenth time last year I was struck by how remarkably prescient Buchan was as to the problems we now face with an Islamic Middle East. Mr. Standfast actually wraps things up nicely, with some excellent descriptions of fighting on the Western Front, and I always felt that THE FOUR HOSTAGES was a bit of a tag-on that really wasn't needed (the same can be said of the fifth and long out of print Hannay adventure THE ISLE OF SHEEP, which has been sensibly left out of this volume). If you like adventure stories with a strong male hero, a nice mystery, clearly defined Good and Evil, an appealing heroine (in the last three Adventures) and a good sense of history by someone who actually made part of it, this volume is for you. Readers of Alan Furst & the like will see where contemporary authors got their ideas & timing. This is a wonderful look into a now vanished world that still has clues to our troubled present.