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The Birds and Other Stories

4.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,751 Ratings  ·  218 Reviews
The idea for this famous story came to du Maurier one day when she was walking across to Menabilly Barton farm from the house. She saw a farmer busily ploughing a field whilst above him the seagulls were diving and wheeling. She developed an idea about the birds becoming hostile and attacking him. In her story, the birds become hostile after a harsh winter with little food ...more
Paperback, 237 pages
Published December 1977 by Pan Macmillan (first published 1952)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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karen
in calculating my enjoyment of this collection, i might have made a mathematical error. there are six stories in this collection, and i only disliked one of them. granted, the one i disliked was the longest story, which gives it more negative weight, but my love of the last story was so great that i think i shall round this up to four stars.

there.

since there are only six stories, it is not a trial for me to review them separately.


The Birds

yeah, we've all seen the movie.



but du maurier's story
...more
Barry Pierce
The title story of this collection is quite good. I mean, we've all seen The Birds but the original story is slightly different. It's by far the best story in here. The next story is a 60-page story about fucking mountaineering and it's so bad that it literally put me off reading anything for days. In fact, all of the other stories in this collection are strangely sub-par. The only other somewhat readable story in here is last one and that's barely ten pages long. This collection is far inferior ...more
Carol
A unique and bizarre collection of entertaining short stories that certainly ends on a shockingly good high note!

The Birds: Much less to the storyline than the well-known Hitchcock movie version.....with the exception of the killer birds, but still creepy good with an old cottage on a farm for a setting and blustery winter winds to add to the eerie suspense of attack.......but oh so short! (I wanted more)

Monte Verita: This was definitely my least favorite (and unfortunately the longest) of the s

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Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*

“When she smiled it was as though she embraced the world.”

One may assume an anthology with six mere stories would be a little short or lacking, but since she leans towards longer anthology pieces, it works out well for the length. I was excited to read this, especially being such a fan of Rebecca and Daphne du Maurier's gothic ambience. Simply must find more of her stuff, and soon.

The Birds ended up a great story that doesn't disappoint. True to the word of other reviewers, it is much different
...more
Hanneke
Jun 15, 2014 Hanneke rated it really liked it
This collection of short stories was a spontaneous purchase in a secondhand book store. The title story is prominently displayed on the front cover and that made me curious. I really had no idea that Daphne du Maurier was the author of 'The Birds'. Well, it proved to be a very intriguing collection of supernatural stories. They were a joy to read as they are all written in a very elegant and haunting prose. The stories ranged from the apocalyptic to the mysterious, varying in atmosphere from tal ...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Nov 29, 2010 Shannon (Giraffe Days) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories, 2010
Ah how I love du Maurier! Her mind must have been a weird and wonderful place, and I love the window her stories give into it. The stories in this collection are:
"The Birds" (pp. 7-43)
"Monte Verita" (pp. 44-113)
"The Apple Tree" (pp. 114-157)
"The Little Photographer" (pp. 158-201)
"Kiss Me Again, Stranger" (pp. 202-226)
"The Old Man" (pp. 227-237)

I'll go through each of these separately, because they deserve it.

I have never seen Hitchcock's The Birds, but I've seen the famous beach scene and Big Tr
...more
Blair
After loving Don't Look Now & Other Stories, I felt compelled to move straight on to another compilation of Daphne du Maurier short stories. I enjoyed this collection almost as much as Don't Look Now: while they aren't all up to exactly the same standard, each story is intriguing, unsettling and atmospheric, and many of them have an incredible twist which either slowly unfolds throughout the narrative or is suddenly revealed at the very end - sometimes both.

Monte Verità
Told in first person b
...more
James
Oct 22, 2015 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Birds is clearly the strongest story in this re-issued collection of six of Daphne du Maurier's short stories and is rightly the titular one. The inspiration for Hitchcock's classic film of the same name, I was surprised to see how much liberty Hitch had taken with the story. Instead of a couple in sunny Bodega Bay, California, the story is a claustrophobic tale of a farming family in Cornwall when suddenly the birds turn vicious. The story feels very close and dark; the shorter cycles of li ...more
Sketchbook
Jan 21, 2013 Sketchbook rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Film critic David Thomson observes in an intro that Hitchcock only used DdMs basic idea for "The Birds." He's often a dandy writer, but his remarks here pivot on the obvious. Hitch, who had his scripter concoct a romantic story about love birds and a jealous Mum-bird, opted for a Freudian disaster. DdM, it has been suggested, was thinking of Cold War politics as a farmer and his family expect to be pecked to death in Cornwall. It's a horrific tale of Judgment Day.

A writer of best-selling novels,
...more
Diana
Oct 27, 2015 Diana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favoritos
En los primeros relatos de Daphne du Maurier se puede observar cómo la Naturaleza intenta vengarse de la Humanidad, y en los últimos relatos se percibe la crueldad de los corazones humanos, resultando una colección de historias muy especiales. A mí, personalmente, me han emocionado muchísimo, tanto que acabé con el corazón roto. Todas las historias tienen algo en común, pero son muy diferentes entre sí, aportándole al conjunto un halo enigmático. Eso es algo que admiré mucho, pues por ejemplo, e ...more
Simon
Oct 16, 2012 Simon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories, horror
It never really occurred to me that Daphne du Maurier would have written anything of particular interest to me but then I heard about this collection of "chilling" stories, I thought I should give it a go. And I'm very glad I did.

It is a long time since I saw Hitchcock's "The Birds" but, judging by the introduction, that's probably just as well. Anyhow, I really enjoyed this story, it had a great apocalyptic feel to it and a sense of hopelessness and despair for humanity, despite the father's de
...more
Nikki
If only everyone had half Daphne du Maurier's flair with narrators, I wouldn't be wary of first person narratives at all. I love the way she writes: it feels dated, of course, but that just seems part of the flavour of her stories for me. And her skill with twists -- I don't know why her short stories aren't used more in creative writing classes, because they really demonstrate the power of the sting in the tail of a story.

Anyway, I'm not sure which was my favourite story from this book. All of
...more
Maryse
Apr 13, 2007 Maryse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's a chilling quality to the tranquility of Daphne du Maurier's words, and this is clearly evident in short stories "The Birds". Hitchcock based his horror "The Birds" on du Maurier's short story, although the short story is set in the English coast. It starts innocently enough, with a flock of birds suddenly flocking to the ocean. There is no explanation given as to why these birds suddenly behave that way, only that they do. In a way that adds to the heavy chilling silence that brings abo ...more
Diane S ☔
I read the main story in this book many, many years ago but as soon as I started reading, The Birds, I realized how well I remembered this. She is such a fantastic story writer. I also loved "Apple Tree, though sad and Loved "The Old man, whose ending blowed me away.

Copy from NetGalley.
Arun Divakar
These are the five six stories in this book (in my first review, I forgot a brilliant little tale !) :

1. Birds : The inspiration for the famous Alfred Hitchcock movie but entirely different in terms of the story. It tells us of a small family's struggle against the vicious birds on a day-by-day basis. What is frigthening about the tale is that there is no end in sight. The family is gritty and determined to see it through the crisis but the tale ends on a bleak note. The most atmospheric of all
...more
Deborah Sheldon
Feb 17, 2016 Deborah Sheldon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great collection of unsettling, atmospheric and creepy stories, each told in an unhurried and languid manner. However, the stories hold your attention despite their slow pace; du Maurier's character studies and descriptions of the natural world are simply captivating.
Louise
Apr 03, 2014 Louise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I only read The Birds from this short story collection. It was very different than the Hitchcock movie, but almost better because there was no romantic undertones. Very creepy and moody, exactly what I expected of DdM's writing.
Leanne (Booksandbabble)
Another great work by the redoubtable Du Maurier :D
Nicola Mansfield
Apr 15, 2014 Nicola Mansfield rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my very first Daphne Du Maurier read and it will not be the last. The stories varied in quality but I enjoyed them all to some degree. The writing was superb, whether I liked the story or not. Can't wait to read her most famous works.

1. The Birds - This is one of my favourite Hitchcock movies and the story is so different from the movie that it is hard to not compare it to the movie. I can see how Hitchcock used the atmosphere of the story and pulled a couple of scenes from it. I think I
...more
Erin
Mar 07, 2014 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ARC for review.

I vividly remember reading Rebecca for the first time and I loved it so much that I'm surprised I never sought out anything else by duMaurier. This six story collection reinforces that feeling as most of the stories are the type of dark fiction that I really enjoy, very reminiscent of Shirley Jackson.

Don't come to "The Birds" expecting the story of the movie (the foreward to the book discusses the relationship between the movie and the book) but it's wonderfully atmospheric, as a
...more
Elaine
Jul 19, 2015 Elaine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, 2015
A delightful assemblage of the uncanny. If you think you know The Birds from the Hitchcock version, you don't, and you need to listen to or read DuMaurier's much scarier original. The balance of the stories are a little more uneven, some are better than others, but all of that signature DuMaurier menace. Worth the price of admission!
Barbara
Oct 25, 2011 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Although I had previously read several stories in this book, my Japanese ESL student and I have agreed to read it as our next project. She is extremely enthusiastic about it, in part because she remembers Alfred Hitchcock's film, The Birds. I always look forward to reading DuMaurier!
Lisa Dee
Mar 13, 2014 Lisa Dee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant story and one I regularly recommend to friends. I can't imagine anyone not thinking it's cool.

I think critics are quite right is calling this a cold war parable - if only because of the description of the nuclear winter landscape and that bitter East wind.

I love the fact that no one has the slightest explanation for why nature would suddenly turn against mankind in such a deadly and unforgiving way. du Maurier cuts her characters off in such a brutal and claustrophobic fashion that I d
...more
Nose in a book (Kate)
This is an excellent collection of short stories. The tales are all weird, spooky, dark with flashes of humour.

The title story is the one that Hitchcock adapted into the film of the same name, but there is little resemblance between book and film. Both are excellent but I was surprised by quite how different they are. Du Maurier’s story centres on farm labourer Nat who lives on the Cornwall coast with his wife and two children. There’s no glamorous California or pet shop but there is the added p
...more
Johanna Lilas
Jun 13, 2015 Johanna Lilas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
C'est avec plaisir que j'ai retrouvé la plume de Daphné du Maurier pour cette lecture commune du mois anglais. Le livre est en réalité composé de plusieurs nouvelles.

J'ai été déçue par Les Oiseaux car le récit semble être inachevé. En effet, il n'y a pas de dénouement. Le lecteur est libre d'imaginer la suite or je préfère une histoire qui se conclue concrètement. J'en attendais peut-être un peu trop car c'est cette nouvelle qui est mis en avant et qui est la plus connue.

Les nouvelles que j'ai
...more
Alex
May 22, 2016 Alex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The Birds” was excellent and not quite what I was expecting. Daphne does a fantastic job of establishing a claustrophobic mood and slowly building the tension. It has aged amazingly well, where the Hitchcock film has not. Twice now it’s struck me that this short story is effectively the good parts version of HOUSE ON THE BORDERLANDS, but even better.

“The Apple Tree” was an amazing exploration of an unhealthy relationship which haunts a man long after the death of his wife. There are implication
...more
wanderaven
In December, Little, Brown and Company published a new digital edition of Daphne du Maurier's The Birds and other short stories, giving me the opportunity to check out the shorts of an enduring master of the form.

*I don't perceive any flat out spoilers in my review here, but there are a couple of comments that could suggest some events....

The Birds, of course, is the story that inspired Hitchcock's movie. It's been a while since I've seen the movie but I don't remember being all that impressed b
...more
C.L.
Oct 18, 2012 C.L. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What if the birds all got together, I mean all of them, got organized, and decided to take over at the top of the food chain? This means they decided that we would make for good eating.
Here’s the plot in brief. Farm laborer notices that the birds are acting strange. (Sorry guys, no gratuitious blond in this plot that was all Hitchcock.) Farm laborer and children are attacked in their home that same night by swallows. Wife thinks he’s exaggerating the whole thing. (Why do wives always think that?
...more
Jess
Jul 11, 2012 Jess rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'The Birds' is one of the best modern horror short stories I've read in a while. It is extremely gripping and I was hungry for more when it ended. Although the threat seems ridiculous, du Maurier made it seem all-too credible and in a Day of the Triffids-esque way demonstrated how society could quickly unravel when faced with an unexpected and truly weird threat. Aside from that, telling the story through the medium of an everyman family, with their worries firstly not being taken seriously, wer ...more
Almeta
I was surprised to discover that Daphne du Maurier wrote
The Birds, on which Alfred Hitchcock's movie of the same name is based... er, well sorta. The introduction will point out that Alma, Alfred's wife, did the reading and presented a verbal synopsis. Hitchcock would get the idea, but make a movie on his own ideas and with studio interference.

Consequently the story of birds run amok exist in both book and movie but the similarity ends there.

There are six stories in this collection each with a d
...more
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Chaos Reading: The Birds - Daphne DuMaurier 4 32 Mar 12, 2013 06:58AM  
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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 a fairy tale. Born into a fami
...more
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“When she smiled it was as though she embraced the world.” 22 likes
“...as the slow sea sucked at the shore and then withdrew, leaving the strip of seaweed bare and the shingle churned, the sea birds raced and ran upon the beaches. Then that same impulse to flight seized upon them too. Crying, whistling, calling, they skimmed the placid sea and left the shore. Make haste, make speed, hurry and begone; yet where, and to what purpose? The restless urge of autumn, unsatisfying, sad, had put a spell upon them and they must flock, and wheel, and cry; they must spill themselves of motion before winter came.” 21 likes
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