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Don't Look Now: Selected Stories

4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  872 Ratings  ·  108 Reviews
An alternative cover for this ISBN can be found here

An NYRB Original

Daphne du Maurier wrote some of the most compelling and creepy novels of the twentieth century. In books like Rebecca, My Cousin Rachel, and Jamaica Inn she transformed the small dramas of everyday life—love, grief, jealousy—into the stuff of nightmares. Less known, though no less powerful, are her short s
Paperback, 368 pages
Published October 28th 2008 by NYRB Classics (first published 2008)
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Nov 29, 2011 David rated it liked it
Shelves: nyrb
Daphne Du Maurier is very British. And I am very not. Her language leaves me at a cool, unengaged distance, mostly—which clearly isn't desirable for the kind of fiction she traffics in (i.e., horror, basically, but of a more cerebral variety). Two of the stories in this collection ('The Birds' and 'Don't Look Now') have been adapted into films by Alfred Hitchcock and Nicholas Roeg, respectively. In the former case, Du Maurier's story easily outshines Hitchcock's goofy, overlong film—and is certa ...more
Oct 31, 2010 El rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Josiah, Rhonda, Kamdine
Recommended to El by: Ivan and some other GR friends
(ETA Movie Review at the end)

It's hard to review collections of short stories. I look at collections of short stories as either being good. Or bad. Rarely am I on the fence about all the stories in the set - there's usually one or two that I enjoy, probably another one or two that I thought were lame, etc.

With Don't Look Now I can't say that I liked some and didn't like others. They were all brilliant. Du Maurier had a knack for writing purely from the imagination. I saw it first in Rebecca and
Nancy Oakes
Sep 23, 2014 Nancy Oakes rated it really liked it
Shelves: uk-fiction
a 3.8 rounded up

If you've read Rebecca and you think that's all there is to Daphne Du Maurier, think again. This collection goes well beyond Manderley, taking the reader into lives that seem very normal until you begin to notice that something is just not quite right -- and by then, it's too late to stop reading.

If you want the longer version, feel free to click on through to my online reading journal ; otherwise, stick with the shorter version here.

You'll find that the author covers a range
Mike Lester
Aug 26, 2011 Mike Lester rated it it was amazing
I've been in some pretty sticky situations during my stay on this rock, planet Earth, Mother Gaia, or whatever the hell we're supposed to be calling it these days, and each time, just when I think I'm about to buy the farm, my mind spins like some out of control Rolodex, memories and thoughts whirling by in an incredible, yet lucid blur, each moment of my life that led me to this point of near-death flashing by, and in that split second when I'm expecting the impact of the bullet, the knife, or ...more
J.M. Hushour
May 18, 2016 J.M. Hushour rated it it was amazing
Du Maurier is difficult to pin down. I see her as a far superior sort of prototype to the drivel of our latter-day "literature". All the Kings, Rices, Rowlings and their ilk. She's also a far superior, off-kilter author in the vein of HP Lovecraft who couldn't move past the same adjective set and increasingly stuffy and impotent imaginary universe.
Du Maurier populates the world with oddly misunderstood clairvoyance ("Don't Look Now"), menacing waterfowl ("The Birds"; yes, that "The Birds"! It wa
David Peak
Oct 29, 2015 David Peak rated it really liked it
Rounding up from 3.5 stars, mostly because du Maurier is such an elegant writer, but this collection is oddly sequenced and very uneven. There are a few shorter pieces included here that feel inconsequential and out of place, other stories are overlong and have payoffs you can see from a mile away, and the much-vaunted "The Blue Lenses" didn't do much for me. All that being said, the title story, "The Birds," "Kiss Me Again, Stranger, and "Monte Verita" are all excellent.
Randolph Carter
I wasn't overly impressed with this collection of stories. Don't Look Now and The Birds were pretty good but having seen the films many times certainly took much away some of the suspense. No fault of the author. I thought that The Birds was better, more menacing, than the Hitchcock film of the same name. I liked the more ambiguous ending better. The Escort I thought was awful. The plot is so hackneyed I knew what the ending would be when the "mysterious" ship appeared. Split Second and Kiss Me ...more
Another well-written book. I'm getting spoiled. I haven't read anything by DuMaurier for years and had forgotten her talent which is well displayed in these stories. No wonder that two were eventually taken for films and one by Rod Serling for The Twilight zone. And I've seen them all. Truthfully, the written word is still better. Even with the images in my mind, the stories manage to give me more feelings of dread. But that has always been the ability of a truly skilled writer in my opinion.

I read the Doubleday version of this collection of short stories, published in hardcover in 1971, and found some of the stories felt dated, especially the story called The Breakthrough, which is about capturing the consciousness of an individual as they pass from life to death, holding onto the life force and attempting to chart its movements. The scientists in this story demonstrated a chilling scientific attitude with frightfully little ethical grounding. It may have been my distaste at the la ...more
Mar 03, 2009 Brooke rated it really liked it
This collection contains nine short stories of varying length, including the one that inspired Hitchcock's The Birds. All nine stories are strong, which isn't something I often find in short story collections. When I was disappointed by the Richard Matheson collection Button, Button Uncanny Stories, I think I was expecting something like this.

As with any classic, ignore the introduction until you're finished unless you want everything spoiled for you.
Kelly B
A wonderful collection of short stories.

My favorite was Blue Lenses, which was about a woman who has an eye surgery so she can see again. The new eye lenses cause her to see people as they really are, inside.

Feb 08, 2014 Ronald rated it it was amazing
There seems to be some confusion in the reviews here. The cover photo of this book is for the book published by NYRB in 2008, not for the book with a similar title published a few decade ago. The contents of this book:

Don't Look Now
The Birds
Split Second
Kiss Me Again, Stranger
The Blue Lenses
La Sainte-Vierge
Monte Verita

I'm giving this book 5 stars due to the strength of the novella Monte Verita.

Some of these stories I've read before, and reviewed here at goodreads. O
Miguel Cane
May 21, 2015 Miguel Cane rated it really liked it
Interesante compilación de narrativa breve de Daphne du Maurier, a cargo de Patrick McGrath, un experto en la narrativa gótica en el siglo XX. Como es natural, incluye sus dos relatos de angustia más famosos, The Birds (que Hitchcock tomó como inspiración para su película, que nada tiene qué ver) y Don't Look Now (que Nic Roeg filmó con pasmosa fidelidad en una de las cintas más influyentes de los 70), pero también incluye algunos relatos menos conocidos, que es donde reside la raison d'etré d ...more
Nov 10, 2008 Aglaia rated it liked it
A collection of Daphne du Maurier's short stories, Don't Look Now reminds readers that du Maurier should be remembered for more than just gothic romances or adapted films. Including gems such as "The Blue Lenses" that tells the story of a woman whose eye surgery leaves her with better sight than she ever could have desired and "Monte Verita" that is a mix of love story, truth quest, and obsession, this collection offers a little bit for everyone. Any collection of du Maurier's would be incomplet ...more
Nov 07, 2014 Kenneth rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, short-stories
This is a wonderful collection of Daphne Du Maurier's suspense short stories, selected by Patrick McGrath, who is himself a master of neo-Gothic suspense (I am a huge fan of Asylum and Port Mungo - reviews here). Each tale explores a different kind of nightmare and is genuinely creepy without relying on cheap, garish frights. My favorites are: "The Birds," which provided the basis for the Hitchcock film of the same name but is far scarier than the movie; "Kiss Me Again, Stranger," which is a sem ...more
Apr 24, 2015 Beth rated it it was amazing
I could read Daphne du Maurier stories for the rest of my life. The title story completely terrified me, even though I've read it before and seen the movie! I'm putting du Maurier up there with Shirley Jackson and Patricia Highsmith in the dread-filled short story hall of fame.
Oct 08, 2011 Declan rated it liked it
Shelves: nyrb
I found this to be an uneven collection, but there are a couple of stories (Don't Look Now and Split Second) which manage to disorientate the reader very well, and by having us see everything through the viewpoint of very unreliable narrators, we become as bewildered as they are by the failure of the world to cohere into any kind of sense. Some stories (Split Second again and Kiss Me Again, Stranger) could have worked very well as subtle interrogations of the British class system and the neuroti ...more
May 25, 2009 Maren rated it it was amazing
DuMaurier's short stories, the source for so many films, including The Birds, are gems. She is a gifted writer at building suspense and creating an eerie or disconcerting atmosphere.

Yet she also seems to tap into deeper human fears and her novels and short stories far surpass other writers of thrillers.

The Birds in particular is strikingly different than the film. Set in a remote British coastal town not long after the end of World War II the fears the bird evokes in the war veteran narrator re
I. Love. This.

Sincerely, I loved every second of this collection of short stories. I had heard of Daphne du Maurier but was never interested in reading her novels. I think that this is one of the reasons I love short stories so much—you are given a perfect amount to discover and taste and relish an author's style.

This collection includes classic stories of love and loss, ghosts and perceived monsters. I found The Birds riveting and rather apocalyptic. At least Hitchcock gave us a taste of hope
Jun 03, 2009 Daniel rated it really liked it
Well-written, well constructed, patient stories that nearly all veer into the supernatural. Sometimes they border on gimicks and a few of them are twilight zone material (one, "Blue Lenses," actually was a Twilight Zone episode, I think). At least one equisite little tale "La Sainte-Vierge" comes to perfect closure and then tacks on a superfluous "explanation" of something that is otherwise fully explained by the story itself. Such sporadic moments of questionable taste exihibit Du Maurier's pop ...more
Jun 25, 2009 Eileen rated it really liked it
Shelves: britlit, nyrb
I usually hate books of short stories.

Now that I've alienated all the fiction people, I'll say that these short stories are very high quality; they are suspense, with some tinge of the supernatural, which is to be expected from DuMaurier. If you want to read the actual story "The Birds," here it is.
Feb 04, 2013 Kathryn rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
The title story, "The Blue Lenses," "The Birds," "Split Second" and "Kiss Me Again, Stranger" are haunting stories, dark and unforgettable. Any one of them could have been a Hitchcock film, but surprisingly the one that was, "The Birds," is much more frightening as a short story. No lovebirds here, and no happy ending: pure apocalypse.
Aug 27, 2012 Alison rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Hitchcock fans
A very tight, creepy collection of everyday gothic short stories. The title piece is a gem. And the original prose version of "The Birds" may well be informative for Hitchcock fans. There is some wonderful postwar English noir (of a sort). My favorite may be the unsettling "Lost Horizon" with Druids of "Monte Verita." Recommended
Jun 18, 2014 Lisa rated it liked it
Reminiscent of Hitchcock's "Tales of the Unexpected". I enjoyed "Don't look now", and "Not after Midnight". "A Border-Line case" was mediocre, and didn't much care for the final two. This book was a random selection at the local Hospice store and will be returned for others to enjoy. An old publication so was a nice find.
Dec 03, 2015 Shirley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-fiction, 2016
Distinct and chilling!
Carla Remy
Jun 27, 2011 Carla Remy rated it really liked it
"The Birds" is an amazing story. "The Blue Lenses" is also pretty phenomenal.
Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sasha Martinez
I don’t really know what I was expecting — something Gothic, something vaguely sepia-hued [a rather curious detail in how I read works older than fifty years]. I suppose I was ready for something quaintly Gothic. I don’t know what that means either.

Well, it was a great collection, ridiculously so — my introduction to du Maurier couldn’t have been any better. Made up of nine very long stories [thus, book's ridiculous fatness], all finely wrought [which makes for a finely wrought fat book?].

What I
Feb 21, 2012 Ben rated it it was amazing
I saw this book on Amazon and knew I had to have it so that I could read the original short story that inspired the film I loved so much. I was pleasantly surprised with my purchase, as it included several other short stories, some of which proved to be even more enjoyable than the titular tale.

Don’t Look Now involves a married couple on holiday in Italy. Their young daughter had succumbed to meningitis several months prior. The wife randomly meets a blind psychic who tells her that her daughter
Aug 12, 2010 Ivan rated it it was amazing
It being my turn to select for my book group in October, I felt something macabre was in order. I considered “The Picture of Dorian Gray” and “The Turn of the Screw,” or something by Clive Barker. I then remembered that earlier this year we read two Maugham stories ("Rain" and "The Letter" - both brilliant BTW) which proved a big hit with the members, so I thought: why not "Don't Look Now" and "The Birds"? Though I had never read these, I had seen both film versions and thought I knew what to ex ...more
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Literary Horror: June 2015: Don't Look Now by Daphne Du Maurier 21 29 Jul 07, 2015 04:54PM  
NYRB Classics: October 2011: Don't Look Now 24 57 Nov 01, 2011 06:53PM  
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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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“- because just by hating it’s possible to be purified from love, just with the sword, with the fire..” 1 likes
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