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Breaking Point

3.85  ·  Rating Details  ·  605 Ratings  ·  61 Reviews
Lady, Beware!

Every Sunday afternoon James Fenton and his wife took their usual walk-every Sunday afternoon.The pattern never changed.

Then Fenton reached his breaking point.

The idea of escape had never occurred to him before. But suddenly something clicked in his brain.

"Now, at this minute, "he thought, "one gesture of mine might change someone's future. Theft, fire, fa
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Paperback, 319 pages
Published December 1st 1984 by Avon Books (first published 1959)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,342)
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Debbie Zapata
May 18, 2015 Debbie Zapata rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: saturday
Another Literary Birthday Challenge book, this collection of nine stories by Daphne du Maurier was interesting and thought-provoking. Each selection gives us a front row seat to witness the Crisis Moments of various character's lives.

In the title story, we meet James Fenton, who decides one Sunday that he simply cannot stand the routine of his life any longer. But what he does to shake up that routine is most unusual. This story started off amazingly intense, but I was not satisfied with the end
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Lobstergirl
Aug 30, 2013 Lobstergirl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hassan Rouhani
Shelves: fiction

I'm not a short story "person," so caveat lector. I don't want to be like those music critics who hate Liszt, and review a concert where someone plays all Liszt and can't find a single good thing to say. (There are such people.)

Du Maurier's stories in this collection, some of them, reminded me of Roald Dahl or Patricia Highsmith. The Alibi was Dahlesque. A man named James Fenton is suddenly sick of his wife and his staid family life, of cocktail hour with the neighbors, and he resolves to go kno
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Maureen
Sep 04, 2011 Maureen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, short-stories
"There comes a moment in the life of every individual when reality must be faced. When this happens, it is as though a link between emotion and reason is stretched to the limit of endurance, and sometimes snaps." -- from the author's note introducing the collection

Eight stories comprise this work, written at a period in her life when Daphne du Maurier, exhausted beyond endurance, waited for that snap. du Maurier came to speak of this collection as a curative, saying that writing these had been a
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Regine
May 04, 2012 Regine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
I bought this book at a used book store. The only reason I bought it was because I had foolishly walked into a shop with only two dollars in my hand. I did my rounds in the shop, looked at the "used" prices etched in pencil, and realized that the only thing I could afford was a musty, dogeared copy of this book, circa 1959.

The old woman (gray hair, scrunchie, knitting, et al.) beamed at me from the register. "Oh, have you read much Du Maurier at?" she asked.

"Only Rebecca, I couldn't put it dow
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Blair
I found this collection more of a mixed bag than the two volumes of du Maurier short stories I've previously read (Don't Look Now & Other Stories and The Birds & Other Stories). The eight stories can roughly be divided into: four very good, one okay (if strange), and three I disliked. Still, a couple of them were among my favourites from all three books. I still have The Doll: Short Stories to read, but I think I might give these a rest for now and come back to that book when the others ...more
Mary
Mar 07, 2016 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found these stories to be very dark but beautifully written.
Daphne never fails.
Luckily I still have a few novels yet to read!
Bill
May 01, 2016 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting collection of short stories by the author of Rebecca and The House on the Strand. The book was published in 1959 and contains 8 stories, each different and unique in its own right. I particularly liked The Alibi and The Blue Lenses; the first about a man trying to get some excitement into his life and finding that his plan takes an unexpected turn to the left and the second, almost science fiction, a strange tale of a woman seeing life through new lenses, a very strange and distur ...more
Gary
Apr 17, 2016 Gary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read quite a few Daphne du Maurier books recently and it can not be denied the she was an excellent author but maybe this book was one too many for me for the time being.
This is a book of short stories and what a mixed bag, some very dated, some promising and the odd one very good but generally not the best collection. I felt that there were at least two stories that should not have been published and fell well short of the standard set by Daphne du Maurier.
Donna
Jun 03, 2012 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a chaotic little bunch of stories, my favorite was "The Alibi." I also loved the atmosphere of "The Pool" and the sad humor of "The Archduchess." Only one story in the bunch, "Ganymede," came off as obvious and dull.
Laura
Jan 15, 2010 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a really bizarre collection of short stories, exploring and blurring the lines between health and sickness, sanity and madness. 'The Alibi' and 'The Pool' each deserve five stars. The Pool in particular, is phenomenally beautiful if nothing else. Two out of eight of the stories collected here though - The Archduchess and The Menace - I couldn't find anything particularly good about. Perhaps I'm missing something in them, but for me they somwehat ruined what was otherwise a really gorgeou ...more
Stacia
The thing I both love and hate about short story collections is the unevenness of the stories contained within them.

This is only the second book I've read from Daphne du Maurier, the first being her amazing full-length novel, "Rebecca," which is one of my favorite books ever. I was so excited to discover du Maurier had written short stories!

The collection started strong. "The Alibi" is the first entry and perhaps my favorite. It set the bar high with its creepy demeanor, complex characters, an
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Christine
Jan 21, 2015 Christine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of chilling stories, signature du Maurier and each building up to a "breaking point" during the last few pages, yet not formulaic in the least.

The moment in "The Alibi" where a package presumed to be garbage was unwrapped... is chilling to the core.

"The Blue Lenses", a story where a woman whose eyes were operated on begins to see the people around her as animals reflecting their true nature, is said in the introduction to be the most famous, but I found it the least satisfying. Th
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Kirsty
Jul 13, 2016 Kirsty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Daphne du Maurier’s books, and her short stories are especially powerful. This collection, also published as The Blue Lenses and Other Stories, promises ‘eight stories which explore the half-forgotten world of childhood fantasies and subtle dreams’. This quote, coupled with the tales in The Birds and Other Stories, the first of du Maurier’s story collections which I read, made me hope for rather a dark and memorable collection, and that, I am pleased to say, is exactly what I was met with ...more
Linda Jacobs
Feb 01, 2012 Linda Jacobs rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels-modern
This collection of short stories is riveting. Clearly in the author's haunting style. The characters are all wonderful.
Ahmad Sharabiani
قهرمان داستان خود را یک گوزن میبیند، که از جنگیدن خسته شده، انگار نویسنده به یاد قهرمان مسخ کافکا افتاده که عنکبوت بود
Eustachio
May 25, 2012 Eustachio rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: britannici, racconti
Sono racconti notevoli, alcuni più memorabili di altri. Con Daphne è così: anche se può sfuggirti il senso di un racconto, c'è sempre il piacere intrinseco della lettura, la scrittura efficace, la caratterizzazione superba dei personaggi qualunque sia il punto di vista scelto e quell'atmosfera ambigua che mette sempre curiosità.
Questa raccolta più delle altre mi ha fatto pensare a quanti posti e quante persone l'autrice abbia visto e conosciuto: si passa dal centro di Londra alla brughiera, dall
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Jose Moch
Jan 06, 2014 Jose Moch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've found that in her books of short stories "Kiss me again Stranger" and "The Breaking Point" DdM characters crave to satisfy some earthy desire and suddenly this desire or wish is granted and later on they don't know how to untangle themselves from it. They don't foresee its consequences.
The dilemma is that these characters lead very humdrum lives. Suddenly they have the opportunity to have an adventure of some sort that hopefully will bring some relief from tediousness. They may have selfish
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Leslie
Sep 28, 2010 Leslie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-fiction
The two best stories in this collection are the first two, "The Alibi" and "The Blue Lenses." In "The Alibi," a man breaks out of the mundanity of his middle-class life to become an artist of murder but finds himself trapped in a different kind of fantasy. A woman enters a private hospital for an eye operation in "The Blue Lenses"; after weeks of darkness, the bandages are removed and special lenses put in, which she will wear until her healing is complete. The doctors tell her that her vision s ...more
Lostaccount
Jul 21, 2015 Lostaccount rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second collection of du Maurier's short stories I've read, the first being The Birds and others ... Loved the first one, Alibi, but the others seemed a little too long. As for The Pool, I sort of knew what was behind the character's exuberance, after reading a similar story years ago in an anthology of New Yorker stories about a young girl's budding maturity but the writing is beautiful. Overall, not as good as The Birds collection but still contains some great writing and worth read ...more
George
Mar 13, 2015 George rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Μόλις η πρώτη ιστορία της Δάφνης Ντι Μοριέ που διαβάζω, από την οποία έμεινα πολύ ευχαριστημένος. Μίγμα φαντασίας και τρόμου, η ιστορία αυτή κατάφερε να με αγχώσει λίγο.

Η Μάρθα Γουέστ, νοσηλεύεται σε ένα από τα πιο γνωστά και καλά νοσοκομεία του Λονδίνου, λόγω μιας εγχείρησης στα μάτια. Όταν όμως ήρθε η ώρα της να δει, με τους γιατρούς να βγάζουν τους επιδέσμους από τα μάτια της και να βάζουν τους ειδικούς μπλε φακούς, αυτά που είδε ήταν ένας εφιάλτης. Κανένας γύρω της δεν είχε την όψη που έπρε
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Essie
Mar 01, 2016 Essie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
An average collection of short stories by du Maurier. The most interesting element of this book, is that she wrote these stories as a form of therapy of a coping mechanism for her own foreboding mental breakdown. This is most obvious in the first two stories.
Sarah
Aug 22, 2016 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like anything by du Maurier, The Breaking Point is dark yet compelling. Stories of murder, of child abuse; it's hardly light reading, but it's very lovely in its own way.
BohoAutumn
...
I'm a big fan of short stories and this one didn't disappoint. I had only read du Maurier's 'Rebecca' many many years ago and enjoyed it. This collection is imbued with a similar dark vein, which always works for me.

The fact that these stories also reflect, at some level, her mental state - on the edge of the abyss - makes them even more compelling.

Like all collections, we find some that impress and some that irk. Even the best of the bunch are not all highly polished nuggets, but I felt tha
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Ευθυμία Δεσποτάκη
Πολύ μυστήριο και ζόρικο κείμενο υπερρεαλιστικού τρόμου, θα το έλεγα. Ούτε εκατό σελιδούλες τόσες δα κι όταν έφτασα στην τελευταία, μου κόπηκε η χολή.
Susan
Sep 03, 2015 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Did Daphne du Maurier have children? Whether she did or not, this collection of stories includes several women without issue. As do her novels, come to think of it. At any rate, well worth a read - very clever and somewhat unsettling.
Patty
Jan 10, 2010 Patty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: readin10
The Blue Lenses is quite different from the other two books, Rebecca and Jamica Inn, by du Maurier that I have read. This collection of eight short stories, with diverse topics, was published in the 1950's and seems much more modern.
Du Maurier is a master storyteller and each one of these short stories has you guessing until the end although you couldn't call them mysteries but perhaps more on the edge of fanasy. As with all her main characters du Maurier gets into their heads and as a result y
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Kellie
Jul 28, 2016 Kellie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved "The Alibi" and "The Blue Lenses". The other stories were rather lackluster.
Emma
Jan 15, 2015 Emma rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, read-in-2015
This was a weird book to rate, because most of the individual stories were just strange yet I really enjoyed reading the book as a whole. The front says that they are "terrifying tales" but they really aren't. Some of them did feel very creepy and all of the stories had an eerie vibe to them. The writing was much easier to read than I anticipated, so that was a pleasant surprise. My favorites were "The Blue Lenses" and "The Archduchess".
I might add in individual ratings tomorrow, I'm too tired
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Amy
May 19, 2009 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First of all, love the cover and I will miss carrying it around. Secondly, if you are a fan of Daphne du Maurier you should check out this collection of short stories. I'm not that big on short stories as I like to get lost in a novel, but Du Maurier is a master storyteller and each one has you guessing until the end. I kept thinking a cross between Alfred Hitchcock meets Joyce Carol Oates with a dash of Tales from the Crypt. Good stuff.
Sandra
Daphne's writing style is incredible.. and I think that's the only reason I kept on reading this book. It exists of 8 short stories, 4 of which I rather loathed, and 4 of which I rather liked. Even so.. I don't think I'll be reading more of Daphne's short stories.. this is enough for a long time to come, I suppose. Some of the things her mind comes up with just can't interest me, no matter how well she may have written it.
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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
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More about Daphne du Maurier...

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