Friday, June 10, 2011

Book Review - Daphne Du Maurier's The Birds and Other Stories

The Birds and Other Stories by Daphne Du Maurier
Published by: Virago
Publication Date: 1952
Format: Paperback, 320 Pages
Challenge: Thriller and Suspense
Rating: ★★★★
To Buy
I always face such a conundrum as to how to review collections of short stories. A summary is so close to a spoiler. Like comics and picture books, how does one critique something that has a more transient nature. If I were to go into any detail on the final story, The Old Man, then the big twist at the end would probably come out. See I already said there was a twist! Now you'll just be waiting for it. Also the stories are so unalike, there is no way to categorize or group them, other than of a dark a forbidding nature. From the snowy peaks of Monte Verita where two men wait for their lost love, cloistered in an eternally beautiful society, to the cuckolded husband who, when free of his wife, starts obsessing about an apple tree that bears more than a passing resemblance to his now dead wife. Then there's to the coast of France where in imprudent liaison leads to drastic results. But my favorite is Kiss Me Again, Stranger. Wherein a young man becomes fascinated by a girl he meets at the theater. But again, spoilers. Now while the stories are unlike, there is the binding theme of the darkness of mankind. We read of these apparently normal people who develop these obsessions that lead to deadly consequences. In Du Maurier's world, a casual glance can lead to a tumble under a car. While I would never wish to live in her world, it makes for some damn compelling stories the leave you awake into the wee hours of the night.

The Birds was already reviewed here.


Loved this book! Especially The Birds. Liked the story better than the film it was based on, although I do like the film.

Oh, I agree, they are both good in their own rights. Have you read the "new" Du Maurier book of short stories? I thought that was equally as good.

I agree, her world is compelling and reviewing short stories is HARD.

Glad to see this is a good collection, I think I may already have a copy, which means yay it gets moved up the pile.

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