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

The Breaking Point

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  534 ratings  ·  52 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
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published by Orion Publishing Co (first published 1959)
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 Breaking Point, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Breaking Point

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,159)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Debbie Zapata
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
"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
Aug 30, 2013 Lobstergirl rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
Linda Jacobs
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
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
Jose Moch
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
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 Darkpool
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
Linda Orvis
I am so done with du Maurier's short stories. I'm not a short story fan in the first place, but I wanted to read all her books (I know, it's so OCD). I've read about nine of her stories and haven't liked 8 of them. Her characters are unlikeable, her plots go on way too long, and the endings are usually a disappointment. I'm not torturing myself any more. There...I feel so much better.
I've read the Blue Lenses and it's true Daphne Du Maurier style, a fantastic thought provoking tale of a lady seeing things that aren't quite as she would have expected after an eye operation, the psychology and the intricate emotions that Du Maurier portrays so well.

A must read if you like 'wierd'.
Daphne du Maurier is one of my favorite writers. Since this book was published in the '50s, some of the stories are definitely dated, but du Maurier creates well-crafted stories. Each story is about someone at his or her breaking point, and it's up to the reader to discern if they survive or snap.
This is the second collection of Du Maurier's short stories that I've read, and unfortunately whilst the stories are all still entertaining and well-crafted, I just didn't connect to these as much as the previous collection (Don't Look Now & Others).
I originally read this in the American paperback version published as "The Blue Lenses" over 40 years ago. Scared me then, still makes me uncomfortable now. The sense of unease prevails. I can see bits of "Don't Look Now" in the story "Ganymede."
I love short stories, but found this collection to be very dark. I enjoy Daphne Du Maurier's books, but just couldn't finish this one.
Amy Lambert
Some fantastic stories although maybe the book as a whole is not quite as good as some of the other short story books she has written. However Daphne Du Maurier is a brilliant writer and this book is worth a read.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 38 39 next »
  • Don't Open This Book
  • A Whisper in the Dark
  • Legends of Charlemagne
  • The Wide Net and Other Stories
  • The Best of Mystery: 63 Short Stories Chosen by the Master of Suspense
  • Faeries (Magical Worlds of Fantasy)
  • The Tomorrow-Tamer
  • Small Avalanches and Other Stories
  • The Complete Short Stories: Volume 1
  • Rudyard Kipling's Tales of Horror and Fantasy
  • Poetical Works
  • The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
  • Nightmare Abbey; Crotchet Castle
  • A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys
  • I Shudder at Your Touch
  • Kiss, Kiss / Switch Bitch / My Uncle Oswald
  • Heart of the West
  • The Fantasy Worlds of Peter Beagle
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 about Daphne du Maurier...

Share This Book