Stephanie's Reviews > The House on the Strand

The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier
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Dec 10, 07


Wonderfully eerie and entertaining book. I listened to an audio version that was really well produced. The musical interludes between each chapter actually heightened the spookiness.

This is DuMaurier at her best. Set in Cornwall (which, haven't been there, is a really good setting for spooky stories. Lots of craggy coasts, dense fog and and end-of-the-earth feeling) in the early 1960's (maybe the late 50's but I can't look at the title page for a date because this is an audio book), the story is about two old friends experimenting with a psychotropic drug that allows timetravel "trips." The main characters make a clear connection to LSD and the medical, academic and recreational experiments with that drug. The drug in the book is an untested concoction made by one of the characters who is a scientist. Very fun to read about two rather stodgy middle-aged British men experimenting with drugs.

The drug has some side effects that only become clear later in the book and make for a chilling but interesting story. The drug enables users to travel back in time but they always travel back the same place and are always following one particular person. The users are spectators only and cannot be seen or heard. I don't want to give anything away except to say that, of course, all does not end well. Like a lot of drug stories (and time-travel stories) the action seems to straddle the border madness and real life.

A really interesting take on the idea of time travel and not too tech-ey -- I definitely wouldn't call this sci-fi.
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