Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Birds” as Want to Read:
The Birds
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Birds

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  1,951 Ratings  ·  163 Reviews
"The birds kept coming at him from the air, silent save for the beating wings. The terrible, fluttering wings. He could feel the blood on his hands, his wrists, his neck. Each stab of a swooping beak tore his flesh. If only he could keep them from his eyes. Nothing else mattered."
Paperback, 75 pages
Published October 31st 1992 by Reclam (first published 1952)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Birds, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) You mean in the real world? The same thing that happens all year. They eat, they stay warm and stay alive. Or not.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Mohsin Maqbool
Oct 27, 2016 Mohsin Maqbool rated it it was amazing
Birds about to cook up something.

I absolutely loved reading Daphne du Maurier's "The Birds" and finished it in one sitting. Actually, it is a short story but is really not that short either.

Birds lead their attack.

Even though the cover of the book shown here has a shot from Alfred Hitchcock's film which goes by the same name, the director changed most of the book. The book keeps you guessing as to the outcome of the story, while Mr Hitchcock has the family leaving their sea town towards the end
While I liked Hitchcock's movie "The Birds", and admittedly it is a classic in film history, to me somehow, it doesn't quite equal Daphne du Maurier's original tale. They are very different, almost unrecognizable, and the novel delivers it's horror much more subtlety than the film, but just as effectively. There are other noticeable differences also, the setting most obvious. The novel is set in Cornwall England on the seashore. The movie, for reasons of convenience, is set in Bodega Bay, Califo ...more
Nov 01, 2014 Michael rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook
Ist es der Temperatursturz oder der Wechsel der Windrichtung? Eine Erklärung dafür, dass sich unterschiedlichste Vogelarten, angefangen von den niedlichen Singvögeln bis hin zum Seeraben, plötzlich gegen den Menschen zusammenschließen und durch ihre zahlenmässige Überlegenheit selbst eine Metropole wie London im Sturm nehmen, gibt es nicht.

(hier: ein hinterhältig-bösartiger Seerabe)

Nat Hocken ist einer der ersten, der die Gefahr erkennt und verschanzt sich mit seiner Frau und seinen beiden Kinde
Mar 31, 2012 Kathy rated it it was amazing
I have loved the movie since I was a kid! I have wanted to read it for awhile now! I listened to the Audible version, which is new to me, and I loved it. I wasn't feeling well, and having someone read to me, was so cool! I could get used to that! The book is very different than the Alfred Hitchcock movie, but that didn't bother me at all! I was truly scared and worried for these people. The story really did unsettle me. Even though, I knew what the premise was and there were no surprises, DuMaur ...more
Jun 28, 2014 Yani rated it liked it
Shelves: novela-corta
La idea de The Birds es aterradora. Sencilla, pero aterradora al fin. Me hubiera gustado un poco más de desarrollo y no tanta rutina de supervivencia (que puede tener un motivo) para que el miedo que transmite se volviera más palpable, más presente. Lamento que no me haya gustado del todo.

Nat Hocken es un hombre que, debido a una incapacidad que le dejó la guerra, trabaja haciendo algunas tareas de granjero. Su gran capacidad de observación le advierte que algo extraño está pasando con los páj
Jun 07, 2015 Gary rated it really liked it
I loved the Alfred Hitchcock film taken from this book and that was probably what drew me to reading this novel but although the story is similar the book is a completely different experience. Written in the classic style that du Maurier uses so well the book is thought provoking and although different from the film it is still packed with suspense. Another classic read from this master of suspense.
Dec 03, 2016 Bob rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
If all you know about The Birds is the Hitchcock movie, I suggest your go ahead and read the book. The only thing the movie and the book have in common is that Birds go homicidal and attack humans. As different as the movie and book are, there both great stories.
Dec 07, 2016 Pink rated it really liked it
Daphne du Maurier is never a disappointment and this short story was no exception. Always atmospheric in her writing and gripping to the end.
A very creepy and claustrophobic novel.

I really liked all the WWII references. I have to wonder, how much of England is left alive? How many could have survived? Managed to take refuge in their former bomb shelters, or had a well-built closet they could hide in? Could the London subway system - which was a vital shelter during the blitz - be nearly as secure against an enemy like the birds as it was against German bombs?

And I also have to wonder about all the references to Communism... Cold war
Nov 22, 2016 Laura rated it really liked it
Creepy short story in true du Maurier fashion.
Jan 24, 2017 Anatoly rated it really liked it
Captivating from the start, this was a thrilling read. Though short and predictable, du Maurier is able to keep the suspense real and evident throughout the story.
I'm a little behind on my reading goal for this year, (4 books!) and so I was counting on Audible to help me out with some short horror that I could listen to and multitask and feel productive. I found this, which comes bundled with "Don't Look Now", on sale, so I snagged it. So what if they are technically novellas? Counts as a book in my... book.

Anyway, so I listened to it last night, and there were things I liked, and things I wanted more of, like story resolution.

I've only read one other d
Nov 29, 2016 AdiTurbo rated it it was amazing
A brilliant novella (and much better than the movie) which transforms the horrors British families have lived through during WWII into an atmospheric horror story about birds amassing and starting to attack people. The sense of loss of control over their lives and their inability to protect their families as they would wish turn the characters in this story into tragic figures that are at the mercy of unknown powers which can snuff their lives out on a whim, with no explanation given. There is a ...more
Missy J
Dec 10, 2016 Missy J rated it really liked it
WOW! What a short story!

I haven't watched Alfred Hitchcock's film adaptation of this book and I only vaguely glanced over the book summary. But when I started reading this story today I was instantly hooked. I had to take breaks in between. And boy, did that only add to the suspense of the story!

The Birds is a short, apocalyptic type of story. Nat and his family live on the British coastline when one night a variety of birds attack the children's bedroom. The next day, Nat inquires with his neig
MaryannC.Book Fiend
I read this awhile ago and I have to say this book still resonates with me. I'm not one for horror books as this is classified, but I did like this a lot. It creeped me out more so than the movie did.
Andrea (Catsos Person) is a Compulsive eBook Hoarder
BBC audio dramatization.

Less than 1 hr in duration.

Production values: 5 *s

Story: 2 *s

I couldn't stand "Sue," the wife.

the child "Maggie" had too much dialogue for my taste. I don't like much to do with children in books I read unless I am in fact reading a children's book.

Feb 21, 2015 Latasha rated it it was amazing
ok, I'm not sure I listened to the whole thing? I downloaded it from my library and it said part 1 but I couldn't find any other parts. what I did hear I liked very much! there is so much going on in the story that is only hinted at and I liked that. I'm looking forward to reading more by this author.
Nov 01, 2016 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-of-2016
So, my oldest casually tells me he has about a page left in his homework assignment... he is reading The Birds by Daphne du Maurier! I tell him to hand over his book so I can finally read this short story by my favorite author of suspense. And that's how I spent the last hour. Thank you to his English teacher, for exposing these students to what truly great story-writing looks like.
Ahmad Sharabiani
عنوان: پرندگان؛ نویسنده: دافنه دو موریه؛ مترجم: علی مسعودی نیا؛ ویراستار: میلاد کامیابیان؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، به نگار، 1393، در 83 ص، شابک: 9786006835440؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان انگلیس قرن 20 م
Mar 19, 2017 Lee rated it really liked it
I knew Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds is based on this but...Whoa, I didn't expect the story to get creepily apprehensive and foreboding at some point, then adrenaline inducing at some other point. It did so and I like it! I enjoyed this reading more than I expected.
Jul 02, 2016 Marcela rated it really liked it
“Fúria da natureza”

Conto simples e curto escrito por Daphne du Maurier cujo impacto, todavia, é imenso. Abordando a história de uma cidade que é alvo de um ataque furioso de pássaros, a autora nos faz refletir, no contexto atual, sobre a alteração ambiental após a intervenção descomedida do homem, embora eu não saiba se esse era o escopo de du Maurier à época. De qualquer forma, o conto parece um presságio sobre os atuais eventos de “fúria da natureza” – mudança da frequência das chuvas, alto ín
Jenny Britton
Oct 06, 2014 Jenny Britton rated it it was amazing
So different from the Hitchcock film. It is dark, sinister, claustrophobic and terrifying. The farmer is clever and a survivor but unlikely to save his family against nature's power in the birds.
No beautiful heroes just a farming family trying to survive. It is so well written that we feel we are living with the family - the poor father trying to protect his family from the birds and the truth of the mayhem they have created. At the end the farmer is smoking his rainy day cigarette and we are le
Aug 24, 2014 Dominic rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I hear Daphne du Maurier hated Alfred Hitchcock's adaptation of this story, and he does take many liberties with the plot and setting of the story. Even while I was reading this novellette, though, I was convinced that in doing so Hitchcock amplified the horror in his unnerving and utterly brilliant cinematic film in ways that du Maurier just couldn't capture. Yet as I neared the end of this story, I realized that du Maurier had created an almost claustrophobic tone that, in its own way, left me ...more
Madhulika Liddle
Jan 03, 2017 Madhulika Liddle rated it it was amazing
In a seaside village one night, farm worker Nat—who’s been seeing small birds flying about in well-coordinated and immense flocks all day—is attacked by a flock that breaks through into his home. Scratched and pecked, Nat realizes that this is just the start, the start of something horrifyingly inexplicable. Something that can bring mankind to its knees, even if Nat and his wife keep reassuring themselves and their two little children that the government is doing something to ward off the birds. ...more
Mar 11, 2016 Kate rated it really liked it
The novella that inspired Hitchcock's hit was set in the post World War II English countryside and has more of a cold-war paranoia feel and less sexual undertones. Though the female lead, in this case wife rather than mysterious leggy Hitchcock trademark blonde, is still an outsider in the community we don't get the feeling that she is somehow to blame for the mayhem. The vibe is similar to the apocalyptic stories where previously polite neighbors will cheerfully murder one another for that last ...more
Dec 10, 2016 Laurie rated it really liked it
I'm not sure that this qualifies as horror, but it is certainly creepy. Other than birds of prey, birds seem fairly benign so they aren't scary to most people. I've never looked at a sparrow or even a crow and thought that they could be deadly given sufficient numbers and aggression. And although I have seen Hitchcock's movie The Birds, the short story is far more disturbing. I know why Hitchcock changed the story so much. He needed an ending that was more acceptable and less likely to lead to n ...more
Jul 12, 2015 KarmA1966 rated it really liked it
Somehow never knew that the Hitchcock film was based on a novella by Daphne du Maurier. The basic story, birds getting really, really pissed at people, remains the same. du Maurier's psychological insights--the inner terror of the protagonists and the subversive fears of Russia during the Cold War--is missing in the film. Highly recommended.
I love the movie but I think the book is too short and really fast paced. Not that that's a problem but there wasn't enough time for me to have any feelings towards it. I started reading it and 1 second later I was done.
Suzze Tiernan
Oct 19, 2016 Suzze Tiernan rated it really liked it
The story the movie was based on. Very dark and creepy, although different than the movie.
Jan 07, 2016 Hayden rated it really liked it
Well, I'm disturbed. (Also, what is it with Daphne du Maurier and her endings?)
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Catching up on Cl...: December 2016 - The Birds 86 140 Mar 19, 2017 06:55PM  
Play Book Tag: The Birds / Daphne du Maurier. 5 stars 2 13 Dec 20, 2016 06:32PM  
Catching up on Cl...: This topic has been closed to new comments. * The Birds 1 22 Dec 01, 2016 06:36AM  
  • Marnie
  • To Catch A Thief
  • Before the Fact
  • The Lady Vanishes
  • The House of Dr. Edwardes
  • The Bell in the Fog & Other Stories
  • Death, Be Not Proud
  • Vertigo
  • 18 Best Stories by Edgar Allan Poe
  • Dare to Be Scared: Thirteen Stories to Chill and Thrill
  • The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, Volume 9
  • Help! Wanted: Tales of On-The-Job Terror
  • The Trouble with Harry
  • Shudder Again: 22 Tales of Sex and Horror
  • Markheim
  • From Beyond
  • No One to Hear You Scream
  • Rope: A Play
If Daphne du Maurier had written only Rebecca, she would still be one of the great shapers of popular culture and the modern imagination. Few writers have created more magical and mysterious places than Jamaica Inn and Manderley, buildings invested with a rich character that gives them a memorable life of their own.

In many ways the life of Daphne du Maurier resembles a fairy tale. Born into a fami
More about Daphne du Maurier...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“You had to endure something yourself before it touched you.” 12 likes
“Then he saw them. The gulls. Out there, riding the seas.
What he had thought at first to be the white caps of the waves were gulls. Hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands... They rose and fell in the trough of the seas, heads to the wind, like a mighty fleet at anchor, waiting on the tide. To eastward, and to the west, the gulls were there. They stretched as far as his eye could reach, in close formation, line upon line. Had the sea been still they would have covered the bay like a white cloud, head to head, body packed to body. Only the east wind, whipping the sea to breakers, hid them from the shore.”
More quotes…