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The Birds

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  3,072 ratings  ·  292 reviews
"The birds kept coming at him from the air, silent save for the beating wings. The terrible, fluttering wings. He could feel the blood on his hands, his wrists, his neck. Each stab of a swooping beak tore his flesh. If only he could keep them from his eyes. Nothing else mattered."
Paperback, Reclams Universal-Bibliothek nº 9287, 75 pages
Published October 31st 1992 by Reclam (first published 1952)
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Average rating 3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,072 ratings  ·  292 reviews

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Nov 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
"The sky was hard and leaden, and the brown hills that had gleamed in the sun the day before looked dark and bare. The east wind, like a razor, stripped the trees, and the leaves, crackling and dry, shivered and scattered with the winds blast Black winter had descended in a single night."

Indeed, more than just black winter had descended

This past summer my kids demanded a road trip out to Cedar Point, Ohio. The roller coasters at this amusement park are almost as terrifying as this story! I
Mohsin Maqbool
Oct 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Birds about to cook up something.

I absolutely loved reading Daphne du Maurier's "The Birds" and finished it in one sitting. Actually, it is a short story but is really not that short either.

Birds lead their attack.

Even though the cover of the book shown here has a shot from Alfred Hitchcock's film which goes by the same name, the director changed most of the book. The book keeps you guessing as to the outcome of the story, while Mr Hitchcock has the family leaving their sea town towards the end
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Birds, Daphne du Maurier
The Birds is a horror story by British writer Daphne du Maurier, first published in her 1952 collection The Apple Tree. It is the story of a farmhand, his family, and his community that are attacked by flocks of birds and seabirds in kamikaze fashion. The story is set in du Maurier's native Cornwall shortly after the end of the Second World War. By the end of the story it becomes clear that all of Britain is under aerial assault. Nat Hocken, is working part-time for a
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

I cant believe I only discovered a few years ago how many of Hitchcocks films started off as books/stories. In the case of The Birds inspired by may be more fitting. The basics are the same: A peaceful hamlet near the sea full of farming folk and a bunch of birds who decide to get murdery all of a sudden. This short truly is short (no matter what the various editions on GR tell you) and focuses on one family while they try to
While I liked Hitchcock's movie "The Birds", and admittedly it is a classic in film history, to me somehow, it doesn't quite equal Daphne du Maurier's original tale. They are very different, almost unrecognizable, and the novel delivers it's horror much more subtlety than the film, but just as effectively. There are other noticeable differences also, the setting most obvious. The novel is set in Cornwall England on the seashore. The movie, for reasons of convenience, is set in Bodega Bay, ...more
David Schaafsma
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I saw Alfred Hitchcocks The Birds (1963) again last night, and loved it perhaps more than ever, one of his very best films (well, let's say, in the top ten, because there a lot of them, of course). It is based in part on a short story of the same name by Daphne du Maurier, first published in 1952 in her collection The Apple Tree (retitled The Birds and Other Stories). Her story, which I have also now once again reread, is deliciously scary, and different than the film in a few ways, though it is ...more
Connie G
Dec 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very atmospheric horror story about birds attacking humans in England. They come in like the planes in formation during the Blitz. Nat, a resourceful veteran, tries to protect his family. (I shouldn't have read it right before bedtime!)
A very creepy and claustrophobic novel.

I really liked all the WWII references. I have to wonder, how much of England is left alive? How many could have survived? Managed to take refuge in their former bomb shelters, or had a well-built closet they could hide in? Could the London subway system - which was a vital shelter during the blitz - be nearly as secure against an enemy like the birds as it was against German bombs?

And I also have to wonder about all the references to Communism... Cold war
Mar 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I have loved the movie since I was a kid! I have wanted to read it for awhile now! I listened to the Audible version, which is new to me, and I loved it. I wasn't feeling well, and having someone read to me, was so cool! I could get used to that! The book is very different than the Alfred Hitchcock movie, but that didn't bother me at all! I was truly scared and worried for these people. The story really did unsettle me. Even though, I knew what the premise was and there were no surprises, ...more
Dec 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
If all you know about The Birds is the Hitchcock movie, I suggest your go ahead and read the book. The only thing the movie and the book have in common is that Birds go homicidal and attack humans. As different as the movie and book are, there both great stories.
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
For a short story, it's amazingly frightening. du Maurier is brilliant. I had nightmares for months after this one and never felt the same about birds!
Jun 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
I loved the Alfred Hitchcock film taken from this book and that was probably what drew me to reading this novel but although the story is similar the book is a completely different experience. Written in the classic style that du Maurier uses so well the book is thought provoking and although different from the film it is still packed with suspense. Another classic read from this master of suspense.
Nov 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Creepy short story in true du Maurier fashion.
Dec 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Daphne du Maurier is never a disappointment and this short story was no exception. Always atmospheric in her writing and gripping to the end.
I'm a little behind on my reading goal for this year, (4 books!) and so I was counting on Audible to help me out with some short horror that I could listen to and multitask and feel productive. I found this, which comes bundled with "Don't Look Now", on sale, so I snagged it. So what if they are technically novellas? Counts as a book in my... book.

Anyway, so I listened to it last night, and there were things I liked, and things I wanted more of, like story resolution.

I've only read one other
Nov 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant novella (and much better than the movie) which transforms the horrors British families have lived through during WWII into an atmospheric horror story about birds amassing and starting to attack people. The sense of loss of control over their lives and their inability to protect their families as they would wish turn the characters in this story into tragic figures that are at the mercy of unknown powers which can snuff their lives out on a whim, with no explanation given. There is a ...more
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Captivating from the start, this was a thrilling read. Though short and predictable, du Maurier is able to keep the suspense real and evident throughout the story.
A lot more terrifying than the film.

The various species of birds, so different in size, behaviour and place on the food chain, consolidate in a mass homogenous threat, like a natural calamity the humans are helpless to stop or hide from - like a faceless, indifferent force driven by an unknown but relentless impulse to destroy. Attacking as a single unit, they're invulnerable to violence and undeterred by reinforcements. It's not your generic "smart beast" story where animals suddenly gain
September 2017

I read this book in 6th grade, along with Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart, and Hawthorne's Rappaccini's Daughter. All were made for the horror-loving tween. I guess I am trying to relive my youth, bibliographicly so to speak.

At 10 year old, I loved to starkness of the story. A bleak outcropping with a house jutting over the sea. The 43 year old me loves the same.

The movie The Birds is loosely based on this story. And by loosely based I mean they both have birds, and the birds attack
MaryannC. Book Freak
I read this awhile ago and I have to say this book still resonates with me. I'm not one for horror books as this is classified, but I did like this a lot. It creeped me out more so than the movie did.
Missy J
WOW! What a short story!

I haven't watched Alfred Hitchcock's film adaptation of this book and I only vaguely glanced over the book summary. But when I started reading this story today I was instantly hooked. I had to take breaks in between. And boy, did that only add to the suspense of the story!

The Birds is a short, apocalyptic type of story. Nat and his family live on the British coastline when one night a variety of birds attack the children's bedroom. The next day, Nat inquires with his
Andrea (Catsos Person) is a Compulsive eBook Hoarder
BBC audio dramatization.

Less than 1 hr in duration.

Production values: 5 *s

Story: 2 *s

I couldn't stand "Sue," the wife.

the child "Maggie" had too much dialogue for my taste. I don't like much to do with children in books I read unless I am in fact reading a children's book.

Ayesha 🌻
Nov 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
A novella, tells the story of a man (Nat) trying to protect his family from the birds' attack. An evil signal (thats what it is from a human's view) that sends the birds to attack on the houses of people in towns and cities. Breaking window pans, destroying anything and everything, killing people and themselves in the process.
This short story, in my view, tries to portray human strength against odds and crises. The guy Nat puts all his power to protect his family, his safe heaven with the hope
Mónica Aranda
Dec 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was my first du Maurier's book, but won't be the last one. I really enjoyed the whole story, even the fact that it's a short one, cause she perfectly packs horror and philosophy in a few pages. I personally have a rear feeling when around a big group of birds, mostly if they're pidgeons - I don't know why, maybe it is Hitchcock's fault- so I did feel fear while I read how those birds behaved in the book. But beyond that, I think she got it right by choosing birds as the "villains", cause ...more
Jenny Britton
Oct 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
So different from the Hitchcock film. It is dark, sinister, claustrophobic and terrifying. The farmer is clever and a survivor but unlikely to save his family against nature's power in the birds.
No beautiful heroes just a farming family trying to survive. It is so well written that we feel we are living with the family - the poor father trying to protect his family from the birds and the truth of the mayhem they have created. At the end the farmer is smoking his rainy day cigarette and we are
Feb 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
ok, I'm not sure I listened to the whole thing? I downloaded it from my library and it said part 1 but I couldn't find any other parts. what I did hear I liked very much! there is so much going on in the story that is only hinted at and I liked that. I'm looking forward to reading more by this author.
Nov 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-of-2016
So, my oldest casually tells me he has about a page left in his homework assignment... he is reading The Birds by Daphne du Maurier! I tell him to hand over his book so I can finally read this short story by my favorite author of suspense. And that's how I spent the last hour. Thank you to his English teacher, for exposing these students to what truly great story-writing looks like.
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I never found Hitchcocks movie frightening. This dramatization of the original story is horrifying. ...more
Tracey the Bookworm
This is a BBC play based on the book. Whilst not sticking strictly to the original story, it was still well done. Read the story first then listen to this.
Madhulika Liddle
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In a seaside village one night, farm worker Natwhos been seeing small birds flying about in well-coordinated and immense flocks all dayis attacked by a flock that breaks through into his home. Scratched and pecked, Nat realizes that this is just the start, the start of something horrifyingly inexplicable. Something that can bring mankind to its knees, even if Nat and his wife keep reassuring themselves and their two little children that the government is doing something to ward off the birds.

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