Don't Look Now
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Don't Look Now

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  2,531 ratings  ·  175 reviews
Five long stories about unremarkable people caught up in situations beyond the boundaries of their experience.

Venice, Crete, Ireland, Jerusalem, East Anglia. The settings of Miss Daphne du Maurier's stories are as varied as the plots. A married couple enjoying a holiday in Venice are swept helplessly into a tragedy played out against a backdrop of murky canals and back all...more
Published (first published January 1st 1971)
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I read Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca for the first time last month, and found it so intriguing that I finished it in just 2 days. I then of course became curious about her other works, and thought I'd give her short stories a try.

I admit I had no idea that Hitchcock based his movie The Birds on Du Maurier's short story by the same title (not to mention his film of Rebecca). It's not surprising, though, that Hitchcock was drawn to Du Maurier's story telling. As noted on the back cover of this book,...more
There are numerous editions of this collection, and going by the reviews here on Goodreads, not all of them contain the same stories as the one I read. For the record, my edition contained five tales - the titular Don't Look Now followed by Not After Midnight, A Border-line Case, The Way of the Cross and The Breakthrough. Altogether, I enjoyed this anthology more than either of the full-length novels I've read by the author - yes, including Rebecca. I was delighted by the strangeness of the stor...more
I must admit my purchase of this book was dictated by the knowledge that its titular short story was the basis for Nic Roeg's film Don't Look Now - a favourite and one of the best weird films of the '70s.

This title has been given to a number of du Maurier collections featuring variant stories, so it's worth noting that my version contained 'Don't Look Now', 'Not After Midnight', A Border-Line Case', 'The Way of the Cross' and 'The Breakthrough'.

The good news is that the stories that follow the...more
Since I picked up my first Daphne du Maurier novel, Rebecca, I have appreciated her writing style. Maurier has a way of making the everyday seem supernatural and pointing out the spooky unexpectedness of life. This book of short stories was no exception. The eclectic subject matter ranged from a science experiment with human consciousness to a weekend retreat in Italy which goes terribly wrong. Without including ghosts, witches, or gory murders, Maurier is able to scare her readers with the unus...more
Jane Greensmith
I followed up The Turn of the Screw with Daphne du Maurier's classic short story, Don't Look Now. Unlike Turn of the Screw, which left me irritated and puzzled, Don't Look Now delivered a satisfying thriller that kept me on the edge even though I had read the story years ago and sort of remembered how it worked.

I always thought the title was simply derived from the game that John and Laura play in the opening scene. It is, of course, but it also is a clue to how this story, and perhaps all good...more
Du Maurier is a master story teller. Whether it's the tale of a married couple on holiday in Venice in order to heal after the loss of their child, and their encounter with a blind sister who sees that child with them; or the tale of an artist on holiday in Greece to paint, inhabiting the cottage where an archaeologist last stayed and drowned, and his encounter with a strange American couple; or a woman whose father dies with an expression of anguish and astonishment on his face and her quest to...more
A spontaneous purchase. Will this be as good as the film...?

Now finished...

Don't Look Now
A short story, set in Venice, about a recently bereaved couple in a city terrorised by a murderer. Du Maurier portrays the wife (and bereaved mother) as one desperately vulnerable; the father trying to move on, motivated by the terrifying fear that if he doesn't his wife will disintegrate into utter hopelessness and despair. This is a very short story, and the film offers further exploration of the charact...more
Jigar Brahmbhatt
I have never read Du Maurier before, but I quite enjoyed Hitchcock's film based on her book Rebecca. Reading her stories for the first time, I liked the way she handles psychological tension. I must admit though that except the powerful 'Don't Look Now', all the other stories in this book are so-so. These stories are like tailor-made material for Gothic thrillers. The setting, plotting, and even the character sketches seem to be heading towards a singular goal: using words to create blinders-lik...more
Crossposted/tweaked from my blog.

Originally published as Not After Midnight, this collections brings together five atmospheric short stories by Daphne du Maurier. They’re a bit of an odd bunch – a mix of the supernatural and the mundane. Some of them embrace the ‘unknown’ with psychics, pagan worship, and life after death, while others seem to be building you up towards that only to tear it away by having the explanation something completely grounded in reality. Whether you find this second-gues...more
Paul Valente
Some interesting stories, though the famous titular story is actually quite disappointing. The best story by far is the one detailing a calamitous trip to the Holy Land by pilgrims....worth reading for that story alone!
This book is a collection of intelligently written, but daunting, short stories following in lieu of the warning that nothing is ever at it seems. I found that the most chilling aspect of these tales was how unassuming, and British, the characters were who fell into peril – from the mundane to the gruesome. Daphne du Maurier utilises the uncanny to create five slightly ambiguous, chilling, and engrossing stories. I thought that the best story in the book was The Breakthrough although there wasn’...more
Five of the scariest tales ever encountered but the truly terrifying story was the title offering. It was years before I returned to read it again. It held up very nicely!

Du Maurier's writing does stay with the reader long after the covers of the book are closed and the volume returned to the shelf. I think I'll get a copy of the newer book bearing this title as it appears there may be different stories contatined in it and it will be interesting to do a comparison of the contents -- and to rev...more
Karina Halle
Picked up this copy in a used bookstore in Wellington, New Zealand that was spilling over with Du Maurier and Raymond Chandler novels. HEAVEN! Wish I still had this book in my possession - the short stories were well done, particularly the Chamoix, and provided a quick glimpse into the wicked mind of one of my favorite authors. New goal: track this down again. Re-read.
I am a big Daphne Du Maurier fan. Rebecca is one of my all time favorite books. My copy of Don't Look Now has a different selection of short stories than any of the other reviews I've read here. The title story of course is the same in all the collections. It was very good as was The Birds. Next was Escort a story about a British tramp steamer being followed by a German U-boat in WWII. It was ok, I'm not a fan of sailing stories. Next was Split Second which I liked about an older lady who decide...more
I was very disappointed in this read. "Rebecca" is one of my favorite novels so I was certain that I would really enjoy this collection of Du Maurier's short stories. Unfortunately, the stories were all quite boring and predictable.
I can't decide which was worse: the book or the movie. The book at least made sense of the psychic ability, but the movie had more holding it together, symbolically (the daughter's death, the red coat, etc...)
Moe Hosokawa
1. penguin, level2

2. 04/25~30 80minutes

3. wife, daughter, hasband, sisters, sick, strange, killed

4. I din't like this book.
a couple went to Venice on their holiday. they met old sisters. they and the wife are littel strange like sick. a couple had a daughter, but she died. the wife could't forget her. the old sisters remined her of her daughter. the wife and her hasband were confused.
what I don't like this book is that I could not understand what it tells. at the end, the hasband was killed by...more
The compilation I read included:

- "The Birds"
- "The Alibi"
- "The Blue Lenses"
- "Split Second"
- "Don't look now"

The stories range from bizarre to downright scary, and as much as I love Daphne du Maurier's novels, I wasn't quite prepared for her short stories. While the novels are always mysterious and suspenseful, I would never call them frightening. In comparison, "Don't look now" is one of the scariest stories I have ever read, and while I can appreciate the masterful storytelling, I somehow wi...more
I'm so happy that I decided to read this and I was thrilled to find out that Penguin had released this as a Modern Classic. I fell for its amazing cover.

This contains 5 short stories, and I'm not usually thrilled about collections like this, because I find it sort of hard to read. It takes me a while to get into a new story, but I think this was really good. The stories were all very different, and I enjoyed some of them more than others. My favorite was hands down the first one, Don't Look Now,...more
Linda I
Somewhat interesting short story collection centering around the paranormal. The most famous story of the compliation, "Don't Look Now", is an intriguing look at a couple who vacation in Venice after having recently lost their six year-old daughter. During their vacation the couple meets a pair of psychic twins who warn them to flee the country for their safety. Only, the husband doesn't heed their warning until it's too late. The second story, "The Breakthrough" tells of a scientist who joins a...more
I purchased an old copy of this book from ebay (for about 1€). The pages are yellowed and frail and the spine is falling apart. I don't really know what to do with this, now that I've read it from back to back. Time will tell, I guess.
Whatever, let's move on to the content.

Don't Look Now: Yeah, I don't know. I didn't like the ending and the whole story is kind of pointless and random, and not suspenseful at all. I know the author can built up and create some serious tension, and resolve it just...more
Amo Daphne du Maurier. Sono i suoi primi racconti che leggo e posso dire già da ora che è una delle mie autrici preferite.
Riesce a prendere situazioni normali e a trovare quello spunto in più, quell'elemento particolare che rende queste storie delle perle indimenticabili.

Tre (quattro?) su cinque sono soprannaturali/paranormali: c'è una sensitiva e un fantasma e "una bambina con un cappello da folletto", una maledizione antica, qualcosa di indefinibile e che non mi è sembrato inspiegabile raziona...more
Helen Kitson
It says much for du Maurier's writing that not only some of her novels but also two of her short stories (The Birds and Don't Look Now) have been made into well-regarded movies. Don't Look Now opens this collection of five short stories. Though the plot is simple - a couple take a holiday in Venice as they try to come to terms with the death of their daughter - a sense of menace (brilliantly controlled) permeates the story.

A Border-Line Case is the atmospheric tale of actress Shelagh Money. The...more
Daphne du Maurier is one of those authors who was once seen as trash, but whose literary reputation has gradually improved over the years. She was a writer of strange, sensational, mixed-up fictions that defy easy classification. That she wrote silly, enjoyable thrillers which had a peculiar psychological depth means I’m inclined to label her as pretentious in the best possible sense: always striving after something unknowable, out of reach, and perhaps occasionally beyond the limits of her actu...more
Christian Engler
Daphne Du Maurier's story collection, Don't Look Now, is a must-have for readers interested in the literary elements of the creepy, bizarre and gothic. Primarily known for her gothic novel Rebecca, Du Maurier was equally adept at the short story; her tightly written tales are of upper and middle class English people confronting situations that are outside the box of normality. One of my favorite stories is "Don't Look Now," in which a young English couple is traveling in Italy, trying to recover...more
I picked this up because I saw, in passing, someone's mention of the movie made from the title story. It raised up for me some misty memories of having seen the movie, with Donald Sutherland racing through the streets of Venice, chasing a phantasmal little girl in a red cloak...creepy stuff. I have a sideline in creepy, particularly as written by smart women like Shirley Jackson and Sarah Waters. It's a surprisingly small stable, and I'm always looking for more folks to add to it.

Du Maurier is s...more
I only read the one story, Don't Look Now, but it is definitely one to read. In it, Venice is an, eerie place, a confusing maze, a place of confusing bridges and canals. John and his wife Laura are on vacation in the city trying to recover from the death of their young daughter, when they meet elderly twin sisters, one of whom is blind and claims to be psychic. Most of the story centers on John, who is dismissive of the psychic's claim to see their daughter with them. But then mysterious events...more
Sarah Sammis
Don't Look Now: The book starts of strongly with a perfect mixture of humor, horror and irony. I can see why Hitchcock liked to use du Maurier's works for his movies. A husband and wife recovering from the recent death of their daughter have gone on a well needed holiday to Italy while their remaining child is away at school. A brief joking encounter with a pair of elderly sisters leads the couple into a nightmarish finish to their trip.

One of the sisters claims to be psychic. She says their lit...more
Jul 14, 2010 Alan rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Aficionados of frissons and chills
Recommended to Alan by: Clayton W.
My friend Clayton likes "The Way of the Cross" best, but to my mind that one's actually one of the weaker tales in this small collection of novellas by the celebrated du Maurier. It's an eventful enough story about a party of English travelers in Jerusalem, but I found it too pat, like an episode of Fantasy Island translated to the Holy Land—everyone has grown and learned a little something by the end.

My own loyalties are split between the eponymous title story (also made into a fine and creepy...more
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The ending of Not After Midnight 8 29 Dec 26, 2013 11:32AM  
NYRB Classics: Don't Look Now, by Daphne du Maurier 1 7 Oct 22, 2013 07:02PM  
Creepiness! 1 8 Apr 04, 2013 05:56AM  
More reprints of du Maurier books! 1 11 Nov 30, 2008 06:17PM  
  • Ghost Stories
  • The Selected Stories
  • The Haunted Hotel
  • The Sundial
  • The Haunted Looking Glass
  • Gothic Tales
  • Seven Gothic Tales
  • Japanese Tales of Mystery & Imagination
  • Complete Short Stories (Greene, Graham)
  • Zofloya
  • The Face That Must Die
  • Saints and Strangers
  • The Wine-Dark Sea
  • A Few Short Notes on Tropical Butterflies
  • The Oxford Book of Gothic Tales
  • The Collected Stories
  • Charnel House
  • Black Water: The Book of Fantastic Literature
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 that of a fairy tale. Born int...more
More about Daphne du Maurier...
Rebecca Jamaica Inn My Cousin Rachel Frenchman's Creek The House on the Strand

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