Sara's Reviews > Alfred Hitchcock Presents 14 of My Favorites in Suspense

Alfred Hitchcock Presents  14 of My Favorites in Suspense by Alfred Hitchcock
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Jan 02, 09

bookshelves: horror, short-stories, 20th-century-fiction
Read in December, 2008

Of the fourteen stories featured in this book, my favorite is "The Birds" by Daphne DuMaurier. It is the story upon which Hitchcock based his film of the same name and, while I love Hitchcock and like that film, DuMaurier's short story is tauter, stranger and scarier than the film. All the stories in this collection deserve inclusion in an anthology, but among the others that stood out for me are: H.G. Wells' "The Inexperienced Ghost" in which a dead man requires a pep talk from the living; Charlotte Armstrong's "The Enemy" which dissects the important but slim margin between intent and act; and C.B. Gilford's "Terrified" in which catastrophe does not bring out the best in human nature. As in Hitchcock's own body of work, his selections here display various mixtures of humor and psychological terror where the "bad guys" range from strangers to neighbors to one's self. Apparently, Hitchcock edited a great number of suspense and horror anthologies in the 50s. I have no idea of the general quality of these collections, as I have ready only this one, or to what extent they were a publishing house gimmick to boost sales. Whether a gimmick or not, these 14 of Hitchcock's "favorites in suspense" at least are worth the read.
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