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Synopsis

In 'The Strange Adventures of Mr Andrew Hawthorn' and the other stories in this collection, peculiar worlds of temptation, adventure or iniquity are perilously close at hand. Mr Hawthorn himself steps outside to allow his porridge to cool and disappears for five years and more, a Glasgow grocer is shipwrecked and ultimately worshipped as a god, a young mathematician discovers an entirely new aspect of reality and becomes terrified by what he finds there, and an ageing sinner clings grimly, weakly to a hard-won life of decency: John Buchan in each demonstrating his abilities as a gripping writer of short stories.

In his introduction, Giles Foden explores Buchan's innate sense of the fascination held by sudden jeopardy and vanished comfort, and the themes of the will and fate in his work.

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