Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Read: Classics of the Macabre by Daphne du Maurier

Oh why oh why did it take me so long to read Daphne du Maurier? I only picked up Rebecca earlier this year. I think I always had this fear that it would be like my experience of reading Wuthering Heights when I was a teenager (it was a gift and I felt that I needed to read it. I didn't like it. Mostly because I wasn't quite ready to read it. I think I ought to go pick up Wuthering Heights again. I might be more ready now!). And for some reason I'd always associated Rebecca with that experience. But I took the plunge and Rebecca was such a gorgeous, completely absorbing book.

And then, somehow, it took me several more months to pick up another du Maurier! And this one was surprising. And good. And a bit creepy. But very entertaining.

Included in this collection are Don't Look Now, The Apple Tree, The Blue Lenses, The Birds, The Apple Tree, The Alibi and Not After Midnight. My favorites were The Birds and Don't Look Now. I have yet to watch the film version of The Birds, and now am quite curious to see how it was done because it was not what I expected (random attacks by birds) but more like an all-out, highly organised war. Don't Look Now is set in Venice and follows a couple who are grieving over the death of their young child. They meet two elderly women, one of them is psychic and has a warning from their dead daughter.

I also loved the silly awkwardness of The Blue Lenses, in which a woman emerges from an operation to restore her sight and begins to see people for who they truly are. I think that du Maurier's writing really shone in The Apple Tree, for she managed to bring the creepiness out of an apple tree. An apple tree, creepy? Really? That's du Maurier!

Go read this collection, or any of her other collections of short stories! I know I'll be heading for the 'D' shelf on my next library visit.

Click here to buy Daphne du Maurier's Classics of the Macabre from Amazon. I am an Amazon Associate.


Anonymous said...

That looks like a very well selected collection. Coming from Cornwall I picked up on Daphne Du Maurier quite young - and fell in love! It's rare for a writer to do both novels and short stories so well. What will you go for next I wonder?

RealLifeReading said...

I was thinking of taking up with My Cousin Rachel, which sounds like it'll be a good read. Or is there something else you'd recommend?

Anonymous said...

My Cousin Rachel is my favourite du Maurier, and I have a soft spot for The House on the strand, But apart from her first couple of books being not so strong they all something to recommend them. so go for waht calls you - happy reading!