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The Doll: The Lost Short Stories

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  2,347 ratings  ·  321 reviews
The lost stories of Daphne du Maurier, collected in one volume for the first time.

Before she wrote Rebecca, the novel that would cement her reputation as a twentieth-century literary giant, a young Daphne du Maurier penned short fiction in which she explored the images, themes, and concerns that informed her later work. Originally published in periodicals during the early
Paperback, 224 pages
Published November 22nd 2011 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published January 1st 2011)
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Average rating 3.68  · 
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Petra-X Off having adventures
The Doll is a very creepy story, way ahead of its time. It is a very dark tale about a woman's total obsession with a mechanical male sex doll. She drives her lover mad with jealousy with the intensity of her passion for the doll and consequent indifference to him. The story is short, very sexy, gothically dark, and still cutting-edge although it was written in 1928. The other stories - blah.

Hitchcock loved du Maurier - three of her works were the basis of films he made - Jamaica Inn, Rebecca a
Apr 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
This collection of some of Daphne du Maurier's earliest writing was very absorbing. I am quite glad I have had the opportunity to discover stories she conceived in the beginning stages of her very accomplished career. In these thirteen short stories du Maurier demonstrates her skill at depicting the very subtle nuances of human behavior and thinking. The overall tone is quite somber. She explores jealousy, egocentricity, obsession, manipulation, degeneracy, fear and foreboding, and disappointmen ...more
Nandakishore Varma
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
*Mild spoilers*

These are the so-called "lost" stories of Daphne du Maurier - meaning uncollected and unpublished. Most of them, except the last tale, was written in the time period of 1926 - 1932: that is, while the author was in her late teens up to her mid twenties. Reading them, one would never feel that it was written by a writer just starting out in her career: the sheen and finish of the stories are such. But then, that's Daphne for you - whatever one might say about the literary quality o
Jul 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
loved you too much, wanted you too much, had for you too great a tenderness. Now all of this is like a twisted root in my heart, a deadly poison in my brain. You have made of me a madman. You fill me with a kind of horror, a devastating hate that is akin to love – a hunger that is nausea. If only I could be calm and clear for one moment – one moment only…
I found it impossible to say any of the things I wanted to say.
Help isn’t any use […] you have to go through it alone.
Zuky the BookBum
I didn't love this as much as I had hoped. I was excepting more creepy, but a lot of the stories were domestic-based and that bores me... ...more
The Doll is a compliation of 'lost' short stories by Daphne du Maurier, most written early in her career and either published or discovered much later. It's safe to say this is a mixed bag, and not a book I would recommend to readers who aren't already familiar with du Maurier's stories. While I enjoyed the majority of the tales in this collection, they are very different to those I have found in other collections by the author: many of them are about relationships, and the tone of most is more ...more
Sep 21, 2020 rated it liked it
These are stories that were written by du Maurier in the late 1920s and 1930s, very early in her writing career. There was one exception, “The Limpet” published in 1959. They all appeared to be published in journals and magazines shortly after the time of writing them except several were not published until years later. This collection is called “the lost stories” apparently because they all were out-of-print until 2011, when the stories were published as a collection by Virago in the UK and by ...more
Feb 22, 2011 marked it as to-read

Here's why:

I have too many GR friends and books. I mean, who needs a review or friends to read it? Much better to let a book like this languish in the never-never land of 0-books-0-friends world. Much better that a giveaway junkie who really just wants a freebie will win this instead of a 3 year member who takes the time to read and review books.

It's not as though I'm a du Maurier fan or anything. Nah, not me. Nope. Nuh-uh.

I think I've been black
Debbie Zapata
Jan 09, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dar
This collection of thirteen 'lost' stories by Daphne du Maurier has been sitting neglected in my bookcase for a few years now. Since 2018 is supposed to be my year to tidy up all such things, I thought it was about time to read it.

I have read nearly every title by this author, and have most of them up in Arizona in Mom's house. So when I heard about this one, of course I had to order it. But it has been many years since I read her work, and perhaps my tastes have changed, or else these earlier p
Sep 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Daphne Du Maurier brings both her skill for writing atmospheric and brooding stories, and her undoubted understanding of human nature, to this excellent anthology.
Some of these stories were better than others, but the writing was consistently good, with some of the pieces containing powerful messages about the society she found herself living in.
There were some memorable characters, such a clergyman, who is such an odious hypocrite....not really a man of god at all, but a man full of vanity and
Jul 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Loved it. She was morbid and weird and crazy, at least in her writing. I've recently read a book about her, her father and James Barrie, author of Peter Pan. It's a wonder she got to age 23 with her brain intact.

I look forward to 2039, and hope I am still around, to read her adolescent diaries, which she forbid to be published until that date.

Still, even if I knew nothing of her background, these stories would be great. 'The Doll' itself is one of the weirdest things I've ever read, but knowing
Josephine (Jo)
This was an excellent book of short stories written by Daphne du Maurier mostly in the years between 1926- 1932 although some were not published until later. They are written in the recognisable style of du Maurier with that hint of the cruelty and spitefulness of life.

Most of the stories are about relationships viewed from just one side, many from the point of view of the woman but some from the man’s point of view too.

East Wind - Passion disrupts the peace of a tranquil island.

The Doll – A Cre
Iza Brekilien
Reviewed for Books and livres

Usually, when you pick a book of short stories, there are a few stories you really love, others that are good, others that you don't care about. What struck me about these short stories is that I loved them all ! Well, maybe not adored Mazie's first appearance - not that I didn't like it, just that this kind of story had been told before, though I loved the narrative. Until I got to the second Mazie story, that was so poignant I still feel bad for her. A third story
Dec 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audio, 2017
Some things should stay lost! While these stories show the seeds of DuMaurier’s way with atmosphere and menace, they are obvious and one-notedly meanspirited in a way that her best work would never dream of being.

The narrator had a somewhat sharp grating voice that added to the general feeling that these very short stories were somehow too long.
Mar 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I don't know what happened this time. The first time through I could not get through this collection. My mind was wandering, I couldn't even get through the sentences. I just took it off my reading shelf and ignored it for more than a year. This time though, I flew this collection. Daphne du Maurier is able to tap into the deepest/darkest parts of people and is able to wrap it up in just a few pages. I thought all of these stories were great.

East Wind (4.5 stars)-This story is just giving you a
Lydia Presley
Nov 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Original review posted here

I don’t know which short story to gush about in this review. From the creepy, ick factor of the book’s title story, The Doll, to the heartbreaking loss experienced in East Wind, to the funny, but bittersweet tale of Frustration… I could go on and on.

I think one story though really got to me. I loved them all for their tragic, gothic-like settings, stories and people.. but there is one story that is all letters that move from the thrilling moments of a new, forbidden lo
Jan 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I adore a well written short story more than I do the same writing in novel form. The skill needed to tell a finely honed story in such a small amount of space, when down well, never fails to impress me. This collection of thirteen stories blew me away, every single one of them made me laugh, shudder, and stare in amazement once I was done.

I don't know what to type next or even what to say if someone were to ask me about this one. I think I would just stand there, tongue-tied, unable to fully ex
The Doll is a collection of du Maurier's early short stories. The introduction (by someone I'm not otherwise aware of) seems to suggest that the main interest here is in the beginnings of themes that later haunted her work, and the glimpses of the things that haunted her personally. I'm not that interested in that, though, but I still found the stories well-crafted and interesting. Daphne du Maurier certainly had a way with her narration; 'The Limpet' made me smile in recognition...

Not as fine a
Beth The Vampire
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: collections, gothic

East Wind – 4 Stars
This was such a well written little piece that really gave the initial sense of isolation on the island, of the lost souls among it, and then the jubilation at having visitors from the outside world that brought them drink and showed them how to dance. The women discovered themselves, were tempted by things unknown to them, consumed by passion. But this comes at a cost, in this case with an axe to the head. Underneath all the jubilation, there was an ap
Haunting, claustrophic, powerful and surprising.

I cannot believe that these short stories were written so early in Daphne du Maurier's carrier. They have no traces of insecurity, of inconsistency or even a vague hint of cliché. They are entirely original, fresh and haunting. I'll always describe du Maurier's work as haunting.

The short stories are connected by a theme of obsession; unreliable narrators experiencing sinister events. My particular favorite was of course the title story where a man
Not as multi-textured as her later stories, but still...damn impressive. And not a happy ending among them ;-)
Lovers who are misaligned, married couples uneven in their love for one another, mother-daughter pairs where the daughter dotes, the mother competes... There is humor here too, but not as much as in the later works. If there is a fault it is that you can often tell to what ending the story is headed, which is not so much true of her later work. Still, the journey there is not to be misse
May 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned-read
The second work of Daphne du Maurier’s that I’ve read. I’ve recently purchased her entire fiction catalog and a few non-fiction as well, and these are some of her earliest writings, before she wrote any novels. It was fascinating to see themes that would pop up again in Rebecca, the only other book of hers I’ve read; and knowing her biography and general writing career, I’m sure other themes and similarities will pop up in her other works when I get to them.

I’m not much of a short story reader,
Asha Seth
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shortstories, 2019
And to believe that she wrote this when she was only twenty
There's never been a time I haven't loved her books.
But this was totally captivatingly beautiful and haunting, all at once.
Bestest of the lot:
*The Doll*
*The Doll*
*The Doll*
An Excerpt:

And there is no one; I have never been so unutterably alone. Why should it help me to write this? Vomit forth the poison in my brain.

For I am poisoned, I cannot sleep, I cannot close my eyes without seeing his damned face . . . If only it had been a dr
May 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my firs encounter with Du Maurier and I must say it will not be my last. Like any volume of short fiction, the stories are of varying quality, but they are all extremely well-crafted and written. Not all of them hit the mark for me in the emotions evoked (a couple seem shallow), but Du Maurier captures the dark comedy and light tragedy of life in scintillating fashion.

"The Doll" is the centerpiece and masterpiece of this collection of early Du Maurier short stories. It is melancholic and
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
Daphne du Maurier is one of my patron saints, one of the handful of writers who indelibly shaped me and my tastes in literature, so I expected I'd love this collection of 'lost' short stories. I wasn't disappointed: the pieces here are wry and a little dark and deliciously British. These stories span her career, from her start to her post-Rebecca and post-The Birds days, and it's really exciting to see her entire career captured here.

While du Maurier is known for her deliciously Gothic novels,
Apr 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
I'm not typically a fan of short story collections, however I really enjoyed this collection. Daphne du Maurier is an outstanding author and she really understands the nuances of human nature. This is exhibited time and again in this short story collection. Most of these were written early on in Daphne du Maurier's career, with one being written later on. I seemed to get the impression that she prefers certain names for her characters or no name at all. I believe she went on to explore some of t ...more
Dec 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Dark, atmospheric, in some ways even amusing, without unnecessary/forced shock elements, this stories exposing human behavior and thinking in relation to the other people. Thirteen short stories, some are excellent, some slightly awkward, but I like them all, mainly due to the excellent dynamic tension between the characters, and I can easily qualify this collection among my favorite books I've read this year. ...more
Nov 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lovely set of short stories by Daphne du Maurier, author of Rebecca and the short story The Birds is based on. Some of them are sinister, some a little sad, all have a tinge of darkness to them. I wouldn't classify them as horror or even really suspense, but the darkness is more of an atmosphere like the fog you get on a winter's morning.

Very enjoyable set. I highly recommend it.
Diane S ☔
Dec 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
3.5 As always Du Maurier's writing is extremely atmospheric. Some of these stories are ironic, some are very dark and some such as "The Doll' are very chilling. Definitely could have given Stephen King a run for his money had they been writing and publishing during the same time period. ...more
Oh, how I love this book. The stories are creepy, cynical, tragic and funny all at the same time.
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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

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