The Breaking Point
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Breaking Point

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  374 ratings  ·  42 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, fac...more
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.
Nine Stories by J.D. SalingerThe Complete Stories and Poems by Edgar Allan PoeA Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories by Flannery O'ConnorDubliners by James JoyceThe Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
Collections of Short Stories
489th out of 1,582 books — 1,231 voters
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg LarssonIt Lives in The Basement by Sahara Foley1984 by George OrwellCorpalism by Arun D. EllisPride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
amazing books that don't involve vampires
389th out of 415 books — 193 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 802)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Maureen
"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...more
Lobstergirl
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...more
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
Regine
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...more
Donna
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
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
Linda Jacobs
This collection of short stories is riveting. Clearly in the author's haunting style. The characters are all wonderful.
Ahmad
قهرمان داستان خود را یک گوزن میبیند، که از جنگیدن خسته شده، انگار نویسنده به یاد قهرمان مسخ کافکا افتاده که عنکبوت بود
Eustachio
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...more
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...more
Leslie
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
BohoMon
...
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...more
Patty
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...more
Amy
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.
Linda
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.
Nik
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'.
Josie
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.
Amy
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).
Susan
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."
Hetal
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.
Lili
A collection of short stories.
Daphne du Maurier's books are wonderful. They are all mainly set in Cornwall, the county she loved and called her home. They so descriptive and captivating.
Sally
Quite good, a mixed bunch. 'The Blue Lenses' and 'The Menace' were my favourites, a couple fell a bit flat. I do love her haunting style though, one of my favourite authors.
Sophie
Really great. I read the first short story aloud to my younger cousins (who don't like reading) and they loved it, the ending had them talking about it for days afterwards!
Emma
Started out with great promise. First two stories were very good, but then became increasingly dull and I lost interest to the point of not finishing the final stories
Glyn


Interesting story exploring the idea of how people are perceived through the eyes of a blind person undergoing therapy to receive sight.
Judy"Intergalactic Bookworm"
Sep 04, 2007 Judy"Intergalactic Bookworm" rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ficton/British fiction
Shelves: fiction
I only had time to read The Blue Lenses and it was just OK. When I have more time, I will try to read the rest of the short story collection.
Courtney
1) The Alibi
2) The Blue Lenses
3) Ganymede
4) The Pool
5) The Archduchess
6) The Menace
7) The Chamois
8) The Lordly Ones
9) The Limpet
Steph
An intriguing and unsettling collection of short stories. Du Maurier at her distinctive and disturbing best!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 26 27 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Any Daphne Du Mau...: The Breaking Point 6 15 Apr 07, 2012 02:11PM  
  • A Whisper in the Dark
  • The Best of Mystery: 63 Short Stories Chosen by the Master of Suspense
  • Small Avalanches and Other Stories
  • Mosses from an Old Manse
  • Rudyard Kipling's Tales of Horror and Fantasy
  • I Shudder at Your Touch
  • Women in Their Beds: New and Selected Stories
  • The Scandal of Father Brown (Father Brown, #5)
  • A Daughter's a Daughter
  • Stories For Christmas
  • Death Notes (Inspector Wexford, #11)
  • A Curtain of Green and Other Stories
  • The Collected Stories
  • The Fantasy Worlds of Peter Beagle
  • St. Mawr & The Man Who Died
  • Hercule Poirot's Casebook (Hercule Poirot, #42)
  • The Kreutzer Sonata and Other Short Stories
  • The Collected Short Stories of Saki
2001717
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

Share This Book