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....moreI 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 down."
"Oh well, I think you'll really enjoy this too. I love your outfit by the way. Great colours."
I gave her my two dollars and left.
And the gray hair, scrunchied, old lady was right. I fell in love with this book. Daphne Du Maurier leaves a note to her readers in the book:
"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. In this collection of stories, men, women, children, and a nation are brought to the breaking point. Whether the link survives or snaps the reader must juge for himself."
Du Maurier is an effective, but subtle story teller. She doesn't try to drive a nail through your head to get her point across, but in every story, each character's breaking point is clear. The stories in this book are so wonderfully dark and unsettling, it's like reading a collection from the twilight zone.
But what's even more unsettling is how believable the characters are. In the alibi, a man bored of his mundane life decides to go on killing spree, and instead finds solace in painting his would-be victims. It's an illustration of how regular people just SNAP and go into the realms of insanity. The Archduss portrays the idyllic kingdom of Rhonda as it is torn down by two men because of their spite and their greed.
However, the true piece de resistance is The Blue Lenses, where a woman is cursed (or gifted?) with the ability to see people as they truly are-- as animals.
if you have the chance to pick up this book, do it. Even the less impressive stories in this collection are still pretty good. (less)
1) You don't like ghost giraffes 2) You don't like ghost giraffes acting as sex therapists 3) You don't like ghost giraffes...moreYou won't like this book if:
1) You don't like ghost giraffes 2) You don't like ghost giraffes acting as sex therapists 3) You don't like ghost giraffes with big boners 4) You don't like ghost giraffes perfoming cunnilingus 5) You don't like ghost giraffes impreganating your wife
I you happen to be partial to ghost giraffes, and you also happen to be a pervert, this will be your cup of tea. Three stars. (less)