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Classics of the Macabre

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This sumptuous volume celebrates the 80th birthday of one of the best-known and most-loved storytellers in the English language today, Daphne du Maurier. Here are six masterpieces of the imagination, illustrated in glowing color by prize-winning artist, Michael Foreman. Don't Look Now, a classic story of the macabre, opens the collection, followed by The Apple Tree, The Blue This sumptuous volume celebrates the 80th birthday of one of the best-known and most-loved storytellers in the English language today, Daphne du Maurier. Here are six masterpieces of the imagination, illustrated in glowing color by prize-winning artist, Michael Foreman. Don't Look Now, a classic story of the macabre, opens the collection, followed by The Apple Tree, The Blue Lenses, The Birds, The Alibi and Not After Midnight.


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This sumptuous volume celebrates the 80th birthday of one of the best-known and most-loved storytellers in the English language today, Daphne du Maurier. Here are six masterpieces of the imagination, illustrated in glowing color by prize-winning artist, Michael Foreman. Don't Look Now, a classic story of the macabre, opens the collection, followed by The Apple Tree, The Blue This sumptuous volume celebrates the 80th birthday of one of the best-known and most-loved storytellers in the English language today, Daphne du Maurier. Here are six masterpieces of the imagination, illustrated in glowing color by prize-winning artist, Michael Foreman. Don't Look Now, a classic story of the macabre, opens the collection, followed by The Apple Tree, The Blue Lenses, The Birds, The Alibi and Not After Midnight.

30 review for Classics of the Macabre

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bionic Jean

    ** Please note, this is a review of this particular edition of “Classics of the Macabre” by Daphne du Maurier, and the rating applies as such. Reviews of each individual story, and its rating, will be elsewhere on my shelves. ** “The element of the macabre which runs through many of my books has, I think, grown stronger over the years, especially in my short stories.” So says the author Daphne du Maurier, in the introduction to this book, Classics of the Macabre. She knew herself well. Her work ch ** Please note, this is a review of this particular edition of “Classics of the Macabre” by Daphne du Maurier, and the rating applies as such. Reviews of each individual story, and its rating, will be elsewhere on my shelves. ** “The element of the macabre which runs through many of my books has, I think, grown stronger over the years, especially in my short stories.” So says the author Daphne du Maurier, in the introduction to this book, Classics of the Macabre. She knew herself well. Her work changed immensely in mood over the years, from her first novel “The Loving Spirit” to the spine-chilling stories of later years. This collection of just six of Daphne du Maurier’s stories represent those which vary between unsettling at the least, and extremely disturbing. It was published to commemorate her 80th birthday. The short stories of Daphne du Maurier were published in several collections during her lifetime. Confusingly, each might be in more than one collection, with a different title; either taken from one of the stories, or a title like this one, Classics of the Macabre. She may well have had a hand in selecting these half dozen, as they are among her most popular, although taken from different original collections. They are: “Don’t Look Now” 1971 a classic story of the macabre, followed by “The Apple Tree” 1952 “The Blue Lenses” 1959 “The Birds” 1952 “The Alibi” 1959 and “Not After Midnight” 1971 Two of these have been filmed. Daphne du Maurier enjoyed the adaptation of her stories into films, and in turn she was one of Alfred Hitchcock’s favourite authors. His first foray into dramatising her stories was for her novel “Jamaica Inn”, but unfortunately Daphne du Maurier hated the film and Hitchcock all but disowned it. “Rebecca”, on the other hand, was a success for them both, and Hitchcock’s third and final adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s work was of “The Birds”, the fourth story in this collection. Other films were made of Daphne du Maurier’s novels. “Hungry Hill”, “My Cousin Rachel” and “The Scapegoat” all reached the cinema, with varying input from the author. She co-wrote the screenplay for “Hungry Hill” and she was an executive producer of “The Scapegoat”. But her favourite film of all was Nicolas Roeg’s version of the novella which begins this collection, “Don’t Look Now”. This is quite surprising, as the 1973 film deviates significantly from the long short story she wrote two years earlier, just as “The Birds 1952” is completely different, both in its setting (the USA rather than England) and characters. She must have felt that these films captured the essential mood of her stories, even though liberties had been taken with the source material. This is what she feels about the illustrations in this volume, saying: “Their mood is admirably captured here by Michael Foreman. I hope my readers will think so too.” Not many volumes of short stories, with perhaps the exception of classics from the 19th century and earlier, are illustrated in quite such a lavish way as this one. As I looked through it, I thought, I’ll bet that the publisher describes this as “sumptuous”. And sure enough, on the flyleaf, the blurb begins: “This sumptuous volume celebrates the 80th birthday of one of the best-known and most-loved storytellers in the English language today, Daphne du Maurier.” It is a heavy volume using thick, high-grade paper, with a silk gloss finish. The book is larger than an average hardback, but not so large as to be called oversize. The print is good, normal print. Most of the illustrations take a whole page, with some being incorporated into the text. If I am honest, Michael Foreman is not one of my favourite illustrators, although he is skilled, and his output is enormous. He is very popular, but I have always felt his illustrations lack something: for me they lack atmosphere. Here he works exclusively in watercolour, and uses a traditional technique, where the colour is put in in large wet swathes, or washes, and then bled or blotted off, leaving a watercolour outline, with a pale, tinted interior space. To me, this does not produced the type of images which suit disturbing or horrific tales. It is too … pretty. The one story which is the exception is “The Blue Lenses”: Here Michael Foreman has allowed his brush to be loaded with more saturated colour - and he has not syphoned it off, but allowed it to stay a dense blue. He has also painted in details, rather than leaving an impressionistic illustration. I liked these a lot, but to enjoy the illustrations to one story out of of six, is not really a good percentage. The addition of these illustrations did nothing to enhance the book for me. However, who am I to gainsay the author herself? It is always good to have the author’s input on adaptations of, or illustrations to, their work. Sometimes it is not what one would expect. Of this particular story, Daphne du Maurier says: “I remember once having to go into hospital to have my wisdom teeth extracted. Feeling wretched, my eyes closed to the ministrations of nurses and doctors, I would try to imagine how they looked, how their faces matched their voices; some soothing, some hectoring, some subtly menacing - and “The Blue Lenses” was born.” She gives the inspiration, or trigger, for each of these stories. For “Don’t Look Now”, two completely separate incidents set her thinking. One was two old women, twins, sitting at a table in St. Mark’s Square “like a sinister Greek chorus”, and a child jumping from a cellar into a narrow boat after dark. She soaked up the atmosphere of Venice, and the eeriness of the back street at night, and says: “Ideas began to develop into a story”. The idea behind “The Apple Tree” story lay dormant for a long time. During the Second World War, Daphne du Maurier, her husband and three children were billeted in a house near London. It had a large garden, and large apple orchard, the memories of which were to come back to her, many years later. “The Birds”, as mentioned before, was set in England, and the trigger came in her beloved Cornwall. Every day, as she walked along the cliff top, she would see a farmer ploughing his fields: “his tractor followed by flocks of gulls screaming and crying. As they dived for worms and insects, I thought: 'Supposing they stop being interested in worms?’” Daphne du Maurier always hated being away from Cornwall, which she loved with a passion. “The Alibi” grew from some weeks she had to spend in London. Every afternoon she and her husband would walk along the Chelsea Embankment, watching the boats, yet still she longed to be home. The depressing view of the bombed-out buildings which surrounded them, led to the story. “Not After Midnight” also stemmed from two incidents, this time in Crete. Once they saw a fat man, obviously worse for drink, throwing beer bottles into what is known as the “Bottomless Pool”, while the local fishermen jeered and egged him on. Daphne du Maurier was fascinated by Greek mythology, and the odd thing about this incident was that this bloated man reminded her of Silenus, the satyr tutor of Dionysus. This sowed the seeds for the story. It is a good selection of bizarre stories ranging from obsession, to spirits and ghosts, to a psychological thriller. They are frightening and thought-provoking by turn. Whether it is haunting, horrific episodes, planned murder, or creatures with inexplicable uncanny powers, when reading a short story by Daphne du Maurier, things are never what they seem. “Though not at all psychic - I have never seen a ghost or dabbled in spiritualism or the occult - I have always been fascinated by the unexplained, the darker side of life. I have a strong sense of the things that lie beyond our day-to-day perception and experience. It is perhaps an extension of this feeling, that makes me live through the characters that I create.”

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rick Slane

    Her short story "The Birds" is far different than the old movie.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tatiana

    Classics of the Macabre is a collection of the (supposedly) Daphne du Maurier's best short stories packaged very nicely - multiple colored illustrations, gorgeous paper. As far as such collections go, it is very strong. Although the stories are satisfying to various degrees, all of them are equally spooky and suspenseful. I am amazed how well du Maurier laces her stories with so much thrill and foreboding. My favorite in the bunch is definitely The Birds. Having never watched Hitchcock's movie a Classics of the Macabre is a collection of the (supposedly) Daphne du Maurier's best short stories packaged very nicely - multiple colored illustrations, gorgeous paper. As far as such collections go, it is very strong. Although the stories are satisfying to various degrees, all of them are equally spooky and suspenseful. I am amazed how well du Maurier laces her stories with so much thrill and foreboding. My favorite in the bunch is definitely The Birds. Having never watched Hitchcock's movie adaptation, I do not know how the two mediums compare, but this apocalyptic story about birds suddenly turning on people is thrilling and scary in a Stephen King way. Close second favorite is The Apple Tree about a man who one day sees an apple tree in his garden which strongly reminds him of his recently deceased nagging wife. Love how the perception of the dead wife changes throughout the book and how the apple tree embodies her essence. Don't Look Now is very strong as well. A husband and wife are taking a vacation in Venice after the death of their daughter. They come across a couple of weird old ladies who tell them that their dead daughter wants them to leave Venice immediately or something bad is bound to happen. My favorite part of the story is that it raises an interesting question: can we actually change the course of our destinies? The other three stories are a little weaker. In The Blue Lenses after an eye operation a patient suddenly starts seeing people around her as animals. In The Alibi a man decides to spice up his boring life by ... killing somebody. And finally, my least favorite story Not After Midnight about a man who acquires a mysterious malady after taking a vacation in Greece and encountering a strange American couple there. This story basically over-promises in terms of suspense but under-delivers in terms of resolution. Even though the stories are not all equally good, they maintain a pretty consistent high quality. On the other hand, I was not at all impressed by the illustrations.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    Gorgeously written, truly creepy, entirely riveting. Du Maurier knows how to keep you reading, quickly turning the pages as she draws you into the lives of ordinary people under ordinary circumstances.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    Classics of the Macabre is a collection of short stories by Daphne du Maurier. I had previously read another collection; The Blue Lenses and other books by du Maurier; The House on the Strand and Rebecca and the more I read, the more I've enjoyed her stories and writing style. Classics of the Macabre contained a couple of stories I'd already read from The Blue Lenses, but I scrolled through them again to remind myself about how much I'd previously enjoyed them. This book contained 6 of her short Classics of the Macabre is a collection of short stories by Daphne du Maurier. I had previously read another collection; The Blue Lenses and other books by du Maurier; The House on the Strand and Rebecca and the more I read, the more I've enjoyed her stories and writing style. Classics of the Macabre contained a couple of stories I'd already read from The Blue Lenses, but I scrolled through them again to remind myself about how much I'd previously enjoyed them. This book contained 6 of her short stories; Don't Look Now, The Apple Tree, The Blue Lenses, The Birds, The Alibi and Not After Midnight. I was particularly interested reading The Birds as I've enjoyed the movie many times. It didn't disappoint and had a similar theme to the movie (obviously, I guess), but was more focused on one particularly family in England. The ending was also not quite so optimistic. Each story was interesting, not scary really, just odd and strange. Don't Look Now is set in Venice and tells the story of a young couple getting over the loss of their daughter and people they meet who seem to have the ability to see spirits. The Apple Tree tells of a husband who ignores his wife even to her death and is haunted by an apple tree (his wife's spirit?????). The Blue Lenses (a favourite) tells of a woman who has an eye operation with interesting after effects. The Birds tells of an invasion of England by birds, birds and more birds. The Alibi is another tale of a husband is tired of his life and wants something more exciting... and finds it. Not After Midnight is the story of a man's visit to Crete on a solitary vacation who is caught up in a strange situation. du Maurier is an excellent story teller and her tales are always unique. Well worth trying (4 stars)

  6. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Markus

    This book includes two of my favorite du Maurier stories -- "The Birds" and "The Blue Lenses." These are brilliant enough on their own, but Michael Foreman's gorgeous watercolor illustrations bring them vividly to life. "The Blue Lenses" especially benefits from pictures, since it's a terrifying story of how a woman's vision changes after what should have been a routine operation. Getting to see what she sees makes the story so much more gripping. "The Alibi" also benefits quite directly from ill This book includes two of my favorite du Maurier stories -- "The Birds" and "The Blue Lenses." These are brilliant enough on their own, but Michael Foreman's gorgeous watercolor illustrations bring them vividly to life. "The Blue Lenses" especially benefits from pictures, since it's a terrifying story of how a woman's vision changes after what should have been a routine operation. Getting to see what she sees makes the story so much more gripping. "The Alibi" also benefits quite directly from illustrations. The main character decides to take up art (and murder), and Foreman illustrates du Maurier's descriptions of this psychopath's clumsy attempts to paint. I love du Maurier's short fiction anyway, but this illustrated collection is really worth looking out for. It doesn't seem to be in print any more, but it's the kind of book libraries tend to carry.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kaethe Douglas

    Speaking of the weird stories of du Maurier, read these if you haven't already. "The Birds" is much more disturbing as a short story. And as disturbing as it is, it doesn't come close to "Don't Look Now" which has a very Poe quality. And if Rod Serling never televised "The Blue Lenses" I can't imagine why not. Anyway, highly recommended for October. And if anyone can't point me to a source of modern suspenseful/creepy stories of the Du Maurier/Dahl/Serling school, please do. I love this stuff tha Speaking of the weird stories of du Maurier, read these if you haven't already. "The Birds" is much more disturbing as a short story. And as disturbing as it is, it doesn't come close to "Don't Look Now" which has a very Poe quality. And if Rod Serling never televised "The Blue Lenses" I can't imagine why not. Anyway, highly recommended for October. And if anyone can't point me to a source of modern suspenseful/creepy stories of the Du Maurier/Dahl/Serling school, please do. I love this stuff that isn't exactly horror. The only similar collection I can remember reading recently was 20th Century Ghosts, which I loved.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Patricio

    Classics of the Macabre was the first short story collection I've read by Daphne Du Maurier and it certainly didn't disappoint. This small anthology had 6 stories and, just like the title hints, each of them had a bizarre element, whether it was animal-headed people, a tree possessed by the spirit of a late wife, or two mysterious sisters who might be commiting crimes. Each story was intriguing on on its own way, and also really addictive because Du Maurier's writing is highly compelling - I can't Classics of the Macabre was the first short story collection I've read by Daphne Du Maurier and it certainly didn't disappoint. This small anthology had 6 stories and, just like the title hints, each of them had a bizarre element, whether it was animal-headed people, a tree possessed by the spirit of a late wife, or two mysterious sisters who might be commiting crimes. Each story was intriguing on on its own way, and also really addictive because Du Maurier's writing is highly compelling - I can't help but feel wowed every time I read something by her. Some of them had me on the edge of my seat, turning pages like a madman because I just HAD to know what the hell was going on! Among those, Don't Look Now, Blue Lenses and The Birds. I absolutely adored them - they WTFed me while reading them, and I loved their conclusion. Furthermore, I was craving for more at the end. However, I "only" liked The Apple Tree, The Alibi and Not After Midnight. They weren't bad - there were no bad stories here -, but The Alibi and Not After Midnight had, respectively, a rushed ending and a poor one despite the strong beginning, whereas The Apple Tree just lacked something overall, something I can't pinpoint. I am happy reading Du Maurier. I totally recommend her stories, and I'm looking forward to read more by her!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Aimen

    I could see why Alfred Hitchcock took an interest in Daphne du Maurier. Her stories are all creepy and weird. They are all dark and twisted, I don't think I have correctly guessed any of her endings because it's all like.. "what?! what just happened?" Anyways, I think this is like a written version of The Twilight Zone, and I really like that show -dundundundundundun-

  10. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I checked this out of the library for some creepy stories to read before bed around Halloween. I was surprised because I didn't know it had illustrations in it! They're lovely watercolors that are usually more impressionistic than literal, so they didn't take away from my own imagination very much. Except for one story, which spoiled a plot development a few paragraphs ahead, but then it was my least favorite story (Not After Midnight). I wouldn't buy this book for myself, but I might get a larg I checked this out of the library for some creepy stories to read before bed around Halloween. I was surprised because I didn't know it had illustrations in it! They're lovely watercolors that are usually more impressionistic than literal, so they didn't take away from my own imagination very much. Except for one story, which spoiled a plot development a few paragraphs ahead, but then it was my least favorite story (Not After Midnight). I wouldn't buy this book for myself, but I might get a larger collection of Du Maurier short stories without illustrations. Everyone should read The Birds. It's a very effective chilling short story, and barely like the Hitchcock movie.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    "Rebecca" is one of my all-time favorite books, so after having read it, I decided I needed to check out some more Daphne du Maurier stories. I was not disappointed! Each of the stories in this collection are similar to a good film noir. There is plenty of suspense and foreshadowing, but not much gore. The interest lies in the suspense; there is rising action and the climax is at the very end. Often you are left wondering exactly what actually took place or is going to happen after the story ends "Rebecca" is one of my all-time favorite books, so after having read it, I decided I needed to check out some more Daphne du Maurier stories. I was not disappointed! Each of the stories in this collection are similar to a good film noir. There is plenty of suspense and foreshadowing, but not much gore. The interest lies in the suspense; there is rising action and the climax is at the very end. Often you are left wondering exactly what actually took place or is going to happen after the story ends; Du Maurier leaves it up to your imagination. I thoroughly enjoyed every story in this collection and look forward to reading more Daphne du Maurier books.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Yahaira

    Altogether a 3.5 Story #1- Don't Look Now- 1 star- Boring Story #2- The Apple Tree- 4.5 stars- Brilliant " " #3- The Blue Lenses- 4 stars- Another brilliant little story " " #4- The Birds- 2 stars- Huge let down, Hitchcock obviously only took inspiration from the general premise, it was no where near as awesome, just not comparable " " #5- The Alibi- 4 stars- This one was probably the "coolest" one " " #6- Not After Midnight- 3.5- So good, but the ending was a mess, kinda put a damper on the whole Altogether a 3.5 Story #1- Don't Look Now- 1 star- Boring Story #2- The Apple Tree- 4.5 stars- Brilliant " " #3- The Blue Lenses- 4 stars- Another brilliant little story " " #4- The Birds- 2 stars- Huge let down, Hitchcock obviously only took inspiration from the general premise, it was no where near as awesome, just not comparable " " #5- The Alibi- 4 stars- This one was probably the "coolest" one " " #6- Not After Midnight- 3.5- So good, but the ending was a mess, kinda put a damper on the whole thing

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Ellis

    A collection of six of her creepiest stories, including The Apple Tree, The Blue Lenses, The Alibi, and Not After Midnight. Also included is Don't Look Now, and who can forget the excellent movie made from this story with Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland?! The best one, though, in my opinion, is The Birds, much creepier than the Alfred Hitchcock movie. Every time I read this story it gets more and more frightening. She was definitely a master of the macabre!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    This was just what I was in the mood for, and it did not disappoint. Not only did I put this on my favorites shelf, I'm considering looking for it to buy the next time I'm in a used bookstore. The art and the stories are that worth it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Bob

    Six stories total, three were 3 star, 3 were 4 star. I liked The Birds, The Apple Tree, and The Alibi the best. By far the best was The Birds.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Constance

    Don't look to Daphne du Maurier for answers; you won't find them. Instead, the six stories in this volume remind us that life is filled with unanswerable mysteries. Two of them have been made into well-regarded feature films, The Birds [Alfred Hitchcock, 1963] and Don't Look Now [Nicholas Roeg, 1974]. All of them feel like entries into the Twilight Zone, ominous, foreboding, and at heart inexplicable. All six stories have ambiguous endings. So good luck interpreting. The Birds predates the rise Don't look to Daphne du Maurier for answers; you won't find them. Instead, the six stories in this volume remind us that life is filled with unanswerable mysteries. Two of them have been made into well-regarded feature films, The Birds [Alfred Hitchcock, 1963] and Don't Look Now [Nicholas Roeg, 1974]. All of them feel like entries into the Twilight Zone, ominous, foreboding, and at heart inexplicable. All six stories have ambiguous endings. So good luck interpreting. The Birds predates the rise of zombie fiction by some years, and yet the idea is the same, only with birds instead of the undead. Following a spell of unusual cold, the birds in a coastal English town mass together to attack humanity, a seething mindless-yet-unified weapon of avian destruction. One family barricades themselves in their farmhouse, only to discover that they may be the last humans alive. In Don't Look Now, a couple seek to find solace in Venice after the death of their daughter, but the husband is haunted by the vision of a child in a red pixie hood. In The Apple Tree, a man is secretly glad to be free of his dull, unhappy wife after she dies of pneumonia. He is not so happy to find that her spirit seems to linger accusingly in an old apple tree. In The Blue Lenses, a woman recovering from eye surgery finds that the blue lenses the doctor has fitted to her eyes for her recovery allow her to see people's true animalistic nature. The Alibi finds another man with a dull wife, a dreary job, and a meaningless life. He longs to be the "puppeteer" and decides to take charge... by killing someone at random. Not After Midnight gives us a bland schoolteacher who finds unwelcome adventure on a Greek vacation when the Greek stories of Dionysus and his tutor, the satyr Silenus, become all too entwined with his own life. Highly recommended.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Daryl

    With the Birds being my favorite Hitchcock film, I decided to read the short story that inspired the film. To my surprise, I enjoyed all of the stories in this collection, though the final story, "Not After Midnight" was my least favorite. The stories are dark but well written and address everything from serial killers and psychics, a bitter wife's death and a vengeful tree, a would-be serial killer to a stint in a hospital where a woman, having had eye surgery, sees things VERY differently in a With the Birds being my favorite Hitchcock film, I decided to read the short story that inspired the film. To my surprise, I enjoyed all of the stories in this collection, though the final story, "Not After Midnight" was my least favorite. The stories are dark but well written and address everything from serial killers and psychics, a bitter wife's death and a vengeful tree, a would-be serial killer to a stint in a hospital where a woman, having had eye surgery, sees things VERY differently in a Twilight Zone-esque story. And, of course, there is The Birds. What I liked about the story by du Maurier is the claustrophobic feel of the family tormented by the birds and the ending that leaves us with no answer. While the movie did the same, the ending in the short story was dark and left me with a more ominous feeling than the movie did. I recently heard that the BBC will be doing a version of The Birds that will follow the short story more closely, placing the action in England where it occurred in the movie. Having read the short story, I'm eagerly awaiting this remake. While I feel Hollywood and film makers in general have relied to heavily on remakes in the last decade, I think this one could be intriguing if done properly. If you enjoy tales of the macabre, you are a fan of The Birds by Hitchcock or just want to read a nice collection of eerie tales before Halloween (or any time of the year, for that matter), give this book of short stories a try!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Davide Ariasso

    The stories are fascinating but her writing is a bit erratic and at times patchy/clunky. I love the film Don't Look Now, and I think it is actually superior to the short story. The Birds is excellent, but I found The Blue Lenses and The Alibi maybe even better written, if not more interesting. Shame for The Apple Tree, which I found stylistically poor, while Not After Midnight is engaging, maybe the most engaging of all, but the main character / narrating voice is not fully developed, and the hu The stories are fascinating but her writing is a bit erratic and at times patchy/clunky. I love the film Don't Look Now, and I think it is actually superior to the short story. The Birds is excellent, but I found The Blue Lenses and The Alibi maybe even better written, if not more interesting. Shame for The Apple Tree, which I found stylistically poor, while Not After Midnight is engaging, maybe the most engaging of all, but the main character / narrating voice is not fully developed, and the huge potential of the story is wasted. Still, a really fascinating read and now I look forward to reading 'Rebecca'

  19. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    If it was possible, I would give this collection 4.5 stars. Unfortunately, it was solidly 5 stars for me until the last story, which I just felt lacked the atmosphere and tight storyline of the other excellent short stories in this collection. The middle 4 stories are so incredibly atmospheric and bleak, I had to shut the book and step away to let them sink in. Daphne du Maurier has certainly now earned her place as my favorite author. Don't Look Now: 4* The Apple Tree: 5* The Blue Lenses: 5* The Bi If it was possible, I would give this collection 4.5 stars. Unfortunately, it was solidly 5 stars for me until the last story, which I just felt lacked the atmosphere and tight storyline of the other excellent short stories in this collection. The middle 4 stories are so incredibly atmospheric and bleak, I had to shut the book and step away to let them sink in. Daphne du Maurier has certainly now earned her place as my favorite author. Don't Look Now: 4* The Apple Tree: 5* The Blue Lenses: 5* The Birds: 5* The Alibi: 5* Not After Midnight: 3*

  20. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Talbott

    A collection of eerie mysteries by Daphne DuMaurier, including the scary The Birds. All of the stories are very entertaining, but I especially enjoyed The Birds and Not After Midnight. The Birds was really scary and I could feel tension throughout and see the birds circling and attacking. All the tales were great.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kay

    While all the stories were interesting I particularly liked The Blue Lenses and The Apple Tree. The Blue Lenses speaks for itself but The Apple Tree surprised me. I really enjoyed the subtle changing du Maurier gives your perspective until you arrive at a wholly different conclusion.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kate Lowe

    A superb collection of stories and a masterclass in how to write true horror. Loved every word of this!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Osmyska

    Don't Look Now 3* The Apple Tree 5* The Blue Lenses 4* The Birds 5* The Alibi 3* Not After Midnight 4*

  24. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    Love these macabre tales from a famous author. The stories are brief, yet disturbing in the endings. I picked up a few more books by her at the library.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    I found this gem at a used bookstore. Such perfectly creepy stories and beautiful illustrations. Daphne du Maurier is a master of suspense.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Elisa

    More Gothic goodness, with gorgeous illustrations. I loved The Blue Lenses!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Harry Casey-Woodward

    A collection of creepy and imaginative stories, beautifully illustrated.

  28. 4 out of 5

    William Wren

    Ideally, I'd give this a 3.5 rating.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jessie (Zombie_likes_cake)

    Poster Child for the "it's me, not you book" situation. I can easily see other people enjoying du Maurier but I could not get into her writing for the life of it. I wouldn't say it is generally bad, I would say though that I personally find her style incredibly boring. Given, Gothic literature seems to be a rough sell on me but I think this failed more with the writing than the plot of the stories. Still, the layout and the implications of the stories are nothing I can easily get invested in eit Poster Child for the "it's me, not you book" situation. I can easily see other people enjoying du Maurier but I could not get into her writing for the life of it. I wouldn't say it is generally bad, I would say though that I personally find her style incredibly boring. Given, Gothic literature seems to be a rough sell on me but I think this failed more with the writing than the plot of the stories. Still, the layout and the implications of the stories are nothing I can easily get invested in either. It is all the very subtle type of unsettling, too subtle for me. I tried, I truly did. It almost killed my Halloween reading spirit, for god's sake. I started several of the stories in here to find my gateway but in the end I could only finish one ("Don't look now") and surprise, no surprise: I did not like it. I couldn't even get through "The Birds" which is arguably the most action-packed one and I gave up half way through that one. So, no, I did not fully read this collection but I read enough to know very clearly that du Maurier is not a writer for me. And sometimes that is at least something to take away from a disappointing read. Still, there are no bad feelings or something specific to criticize other than I don't care for how she builds up stories and her writing so I can still hand out 2* that truly stand for 1.5*.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jo Anne

    I'm a huge movie fan with a degree in Film History. (Yeah, I know, it's a career-making degree.) So, as a film fan, I was shocked to learn that my favorite Hitchcock movie, The Birds, was based on a short story written by English writer Daphne du Maurier. (Shocked that I didn't know this, not that Ms. du Maurier wrote it. The book, which is illustrated with lovely watercolors by Michael Foreman, contains 6 stories, each around 50 pages. The first story is Don't Look Now, which had been made into I'm a huge movie fan with a degree in Film History. (Yeah, I know, it's a career-making degree.) So, as a film fan, I was shocked to learn that my favorite Hitchcock movie, The Birds, was based on a short story written by English writer Daphne du Maurier. (Shocked that I didn't know this, not that Ms. du Maurier wrote it. The book, which is illustrated with lovely watercolors by Michael Foreman, contains 6 stories, each around 50 pages. The first story is Don't Look Now, which had been made into the 1973 film of the same name, directed by Nicholas Roeg, and starring Donald Sutherland. It's a film I very much enjoyed, and now I am ashamed not to have known the origins of two amazing films. The stories are long enough to keep one busy reading for an evening and short enough to be finished in an evening. I thoroughly enjoyed all the stories equally, although I would mention The Blue Lenses as almost being science fiction in nature--a woman has eye surgery and when the bandages come off, now sees the people around her as animals. Definitely appealing to the Twilight Zone crowd! The story The Birds is a lot more sinister than the movie and like the movie, never explains why the birds have all turned violent. A very unsettling story, even if you've never seen the film.

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