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Group Reads > 2018 Rebecca Read - Spoilerville!

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message 1: by Critterbee❇ (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 352 comments All spoilers here! Looking forward to reading opinions of first time readers and re-readers!


message 2: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1964 comments Whew- what a book! The last half just piles on more and more. Max's revelation that not only did he not love Rebecca but that he had murdered her, cleaned up the blood, and sunk her boat with her body in it would be enough to end most thrillers, but it's just the beginning. Du Maurier's writing is gorgeous, lush and insanely descriptive, but it's the plotting of this book that sends it above and beyond the "good" novel. The inquest, the horrid Mr. Favell and his blackmail, Mrs. Danvers and her obsession, Colonel Julyan's growing worry all collide in an ending that hinges on the one thing the reader never expects: The villain of the piece has lied.


message 3: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1414 comments Whew is right - so glad I read it. Just finished, and I was gob-smacked by all the plot twists and revelations- I was afraid to review it, didn’t want to blurt out any spoilers!


message 4: by Andrea AKA Catsos Person (last edited May 18, 2018 05:32AM) (new)

Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 157 comments The film with Lawrenece Olivier is amazing—I’ve seen it many times. It is so well-cast. Max De Winter, Mrs De Winter, Mrs Van Hopper, Mrs Danvers, Favell—the actors are all what you want the characters to to be after having read the book.

How many times have we read a book and then the film for a much-loved book casts actors that don’t fit the roles? This film is pure perfection.

Trust me, Laurence Olivier IS Max De Winter!


message 5: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1964 comments There are so many spoilers! I was thinking of how the very best directors can do them in very good films, but how easy it is to fail at it and leave the audience feeling a bit flat. Spielberg has a bad habit of it, I think, and Arsenic and Old Lace is an example if doing it right.

I think I saw the Olivier Rebecca a zillion years ago. He is who I picture as Max, anyway! Was Joan Fontaine our heroine? Did Hitchcock direct it or am I thinking so because he directed her in Suspicion?


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 157 comments @Karlyne

Joan Fontaine was Mrs De Winter, the role was made for her and Hitchcock was the director.

Neither Hitchcock nor whomever wrote the screenplay, tried to “improve” on D DuMs work—and thank heavens!


message 7: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1964 comments I just looked it up! And now I need to find a copy and watch it this summer. In the daytime.


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 157 comments Karlyne wrote: "I just looked it up! And now I need to find a copy and watch it this summer. In the daytime."

You won’t regret watching it. It’s too, too good.


message 9: by Susan in NC (last edited May 18, 2018 07:29AM) (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1414 comments Karlyne wrote: "I just looked it up! And now I need to find a copy and watch it this summer. In the daytime."

Yes - I never saw the film, but I did see a Carol Burnett spoof of it at some point in my childhood, and kept seeing that in my mind! Of course, it’s such a classic, I see now it’s been copied and spoofed for decades to in books and movies! Now I want to see the actual movie, also in daylight!


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 157 comments Susan,

I didn’t see the Carol Burnett spoof of Rebecca, but I did see the spoof of Gone With the Wind.

I feel so sorry for these young people. They just have horrible “reality” shows on TV and horrible music.


message 11: by Mr.ROBO (new)

Mr.ROBO X (fedted24) | 1 comments i don't


message 12: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1964 comments My kids developed an early taste for the "classics", because they were little when I discovered early films. Thank heaven they got into ballet, or I might never have found classical music!


message 13: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1414 comments Andrea (Catsos Person) is a Compulsive eBook Hoarder wrote: "Susan,

I didn’t see the Carol Burnett spoof of Rebecca, but I did see the spoof of Gone With the Wind.

I feel so sorry for these young people. They just have horrible “reality” shows on TV and h..."


That was one of her funniest bits - I can still see her coming down the stairs with those curtains on! I agree wholeheartedly- that’s why I read so much, TV isn’t really very worthwhile...


message 14: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1414 comments Karlyne wrote: "My kids developed an early taste for the "classics", because they were little when I discovered early films. Thank heaven they got into ballet, or I might never have found classical music!"

Lol! I developed a love of old movies through my mom, too!


message 15: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1964 comments My mother loved tv, but not movies. My mother-in-law detested black & white movies and had a fit if anyone mentioned them!

I think it was old Fred Astaire movies that got us all started (the kids and me, I mean).


message 16: by Andrea AKA Catsos Person (last edited May 18, 2018 11:56AM) (new)

Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 157 comments I developed interest in old movies from my dad. He had what we might now call “coffee table books” or picture books of old movie stills and and he’d tell me about the movies and the actors. One of his mother’s jobs in the 40s when he was little, was at a movie theater (back when movie theaters looked like elaborate opera-houses) He used to sit up in the projection room with the projector-guy while his mother worked.

I lot of the movies that he told me about when I was a child, I had no idea at that time that they were from books.


message 17: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1964 comments What great memories!! I don't recall my parents ever going to the movies, but my MIL worked as an usher when she was a teen. What a shame she hated the films!

I remember detesting the Shirley Temple version of A Little Princess that I watched on tv as a kid, because it bore so little resemblance to the book. I've been suspicious ever since of adaptations!


message 18: by Barb in Maryland (new)

Barb in Maryland | 499 comments Andrea (Catsos Person) is a Compulsive eBook Hoarder wrote: "Karlyne wrote: "I just looked it up! And now I need to find a copy and watch it this summer. In the daytime."

You won’t regret watching it. It’s too, too good."


The movie is absolutely marvelous! Dame Judith Anderson as Mrs Danvers will send shivers down your spine. Hitchcock was in fine form with this. And it is easy to believe Olivier and Fontaine as a romantic couple (which is something I found hard to do with book Max and nameless bride).


message 19: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1414 comments Karlyne wrote: "My mother loved tv, but not movies. My mother-in-law detested black & white movies and had a fit if anyone mentioned them!

I think it was old Fred Astaire movies that got us all started (the kids ..."


Classics - love Fred and Ginger, such grace and style, and fun, too!


message 20: by Linda (last edited May 18, 2018 02:05PM) (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 57 comments Susan in NC wrote: "Karlyne wrote: "I just looked it up! And now I need to find a copy and watch it this summer. In the daytime."

Yes - I never saw the film, but I did see a Carol Burnett spoof of it at some point in..."


I remember watching Carol Burnett on TV when I was a child in Barbados. I don't know if she was on TV in England. Don't remember the spoof in question but I thought she was very funny.
It is many years since I read the book, I must re-read it and buy the film.
PS another US comic I remember is Flip Wilson - SO funny.


message 21: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1414 comments Linda wrote: "Susan in NC wrote: "Karlyne wrote: "I just looked it up! And now I need to find a copy and watch it this summer. In the daytime."

Yes - I never saw the film, but I did see a Carol Burnett spoof of..."


Oh wow, I loved Flip Wilson, I even had a stuffed Flip Wilson doll when I was a little girl! Pull the string and Geraldine’s voice would come out!


message 22: by Linda (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 57 comments Susan in NC wrote: "Linda wrote: "Susan in NC wrote: "Karlyne wrote: "I just looked it up! And now I need to find a copy and watch it this summer. In the daytime."

Yes - I never saw the film, but I did see a Carol Bu..."


Oh yeah - Miss Geraldine Jones - so funny. He was the first bloke I ever saw dressed as a woman. Since then, a Brit comic who made a brill woman character was (he retired her) Paul O'Grady's Lily Savage :D


message 23: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1414 comments Never saw him(her), but in the 1970s saw a lot of the Monty Python gang - they were expert cross-dressers!


message 24: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1964 comments On Jeopardy tonight the question was Rebecca's last name! And, no, none of the contestants got it. I could have made a fortune!😁


message 25: by Elinor (new)

Elinor | 209 comments Do you think the poor little wife doesn't care when she finds out that her husband is a murderer? I suspect her feelings for him changed, but she was too passive to leave. She seems to be one of those people who just goes along with the flow and lets others plan her life because it's easier.


message 26: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1414 comments I think she loves him so much that he is her entire life - she has no friends or family or career. He’s all she’s got, in her mind - what else can she do, go to New York and find Mrs. Van Hopper?

I think she’s become warped in her own mind from fighting the legend of Rebecca; to discover he doesn’t and never did love Rebecca would be an amazing gift. I think if Rebecca popped up suddenly and gave her the opportunity, Nameless would kill her a second time!


message 27: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1964 comments I agree, Susan; I think she's so passionate about Max that all she sees is how Rebecca deserved what she got. In her mind, justice has been served and now, as a nice bonus, she has Max all to herself! She doesn't see Max as a murderer, but as someone who committed "justifiable homicide".

I think when she found out the truth about Rebecca and instantly grew up, her relationship with Max reversed in a lot of ways. Suddenly, she's strong and Max is grateful...


message 28: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1414 comments Exactly! Plus, she’s got something over him - they are the only two who know the truth! Others might suspect, but I think in her mind, it binds them together...I don’t think she’d hold the truth over him, but it appeals to her to share the ugly truth and shield him from the consequences if she can.


message 29: by Skye (new)

Skye | 58 comments I think the narrator is more complex than most realize, and I believe we have to also look at the time frame. Women were not aggressive then, and of course, neither was she.
Sociologically, she was also impoverished and had been bullied by many for years. I do believe she was madly in love, but the lifestyle Max offered her also played into this.


message 30: by Skye (new)

Skye | 58 comments Susan in NC wrote: "Exactly! Plus, she’s got something over him - they are the only two who know the truth! Others might suspect, but I think in her mind, it binds them together...I don’t think she’d hold the truth ov..."

Yes, exactly; for the first time she can share something with him; something that could destroy him, too. Good point, she relishes this.


message 31: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1964 comments Well, Rebecca was certainly aggressive! But then, she hid her true nature quite well. 😁


message 32: by Skye (new)

Skye | 58 comments She was a controlling monster in every imaginable way!


message 33: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1964 comments One of the best descriptions in the book is where Max says, "I remember her eyes as she looked at me before she died. I remembered that slow treacherous smile." Right up until death itself...


message 34: by Skye (new)

Skye | 58 comments WOW; I do believe this book is quite revealing about the human condition and relationships.


message 35: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1964 comments Skye wrote: "WOW; I do believe this book is quite revealing about the human condition and relationships."

As Miss Marple would say, "oh, yes, she reminds me of Rebecca, so I'd be careful, dear..."


message 36: by Skye (new)

Skye | 58 comments :)


message 37: by Elinor (new)

Elinor | 209 comments Susan in NC wrote: "Exactly! Plus, she’s got something over him - they are the only two who know the truth! Others might suspect, but I think in her mind, it binds them together...I don’t think she’d hold the truth ov..."

@Susan Now that I reflect on it, I believe you are right . . . the murder itself becomes the tie that binds Max to her forever, and for that she is grateful.


message 38: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1964 comments When she finds out about the murder, their roles are reversed.


message 39: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1414 comments Karlyne wrote: "One of the best descriptions in the book is where Max says, "I remember her eyes as she looked at me before she died. I remembered that slow treacherous smile." Right up until death itself..."

No foxhole conversion for Rebecca- if she was truly that devious, she may have been a sociopath, or is it psychopath? I can never remember- whichever is the one with no conscience, where the subject draws people to them, then uses them shamelessly.


message 40: by Susan in NC (last edited May 26, 2018 07:51AM) (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1414 comments Elinor wrote: "Susan in NC wrote: "Exactly! Plus, she’s got something over him - they are the only two who know the truth! Others might suspect, but I think in her mind, it binds them together...I don’t think she..."

I really think so, warped as it sounds, because as Karlyne said, their roles are now reversed- she’s fiercely protective of Max. I hope they never have children! Not a healthy relationship to bring kids into, to put it mildly.


message 41: by Skye (new)

Skye | 58 comments Du Maurier always has a profound manner of creating unusual characters. I think there is something over and beyond the new Mrs. de Winters beyond protecting Max; I believe when one is so down beaten, there is an odd satisfaction to finally upstage that image. Mrs. Danvers is equally monstrous---one of the most interesting characters I have ever come across.


message 42: by Skye (new)

Skye | 58 comments Susan in NC wrote: "Karlyne wrote: "One of the best descriptions in the book is where Max says, "I remember her eyes as she looked at me before she died. I remembered that slow treacherous smile." Right up until death..."

They are very similar, but I do believe she had motives and realized them.


message 43: by Skye (new)

Skye | 58 comments Mrs. Van Hopper was also a nasty person and treated her abysmally. Has anyone read My Cousin Rachel?


Christmas Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 1750 comments Mod
Skye wrote: "Mrs. Van Hopper was also a nasty person and treated her abysmally. Has anyone read My Cousin Rachel?"

We had a group read of My Cousin Rachel last year. Another DuMaurier masterpiece.


message 45: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1414 comments Just added to TBR list - thanks Skye and Carol!


Christmas Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 1750 comments Mod
Susan in NC wrote: "Just added to TBR list - thanks Skye and Carol!"

That's ok - I have The Scapegoat on my physical to read shelf - hoping to get to this year.


message 47: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1964 comments I know that I've read The Scapegoat, but I cannot remember it!


message 48: by Kavan (new)

Kavan | 85 comments Elinor wrote: "Do you think the poor little wife doesn't care when she finds out that her husband is a murderer? I suspect her feelings for him changed, but she was too passive to leave. "

This! Max knows it too. He refers to having killed Rebecca and then killed Nameless. And that final dream in the car is also telling she and Rebecca being the noose around his neck... Nameless knows Max should be punished and worse she knows he will do absolutely anything to avoid being punished. Any romantic notion of him is clearly over in the early chapters, and at the end you know precisely why.

The irony is she escaped from Van Hopper only to reemerge at the end as the companion of Max. All the self-efficacy and romance she imagined has vanished. She's the companion of a cranky, damaged, manipulator, precisely where she started out.


Christmas Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 1750 comments Mod
Wow Kavan that is great analysis.
It was always obvious they would never be happy.


message 50: by Amy (new)

Amy (aggieamy) | 39 comments I'm not to that point yet in my reread but I rather thought after he revealed that he killed Rebecca and that she was awful that he and Nameless had rather "an intimate moment*. I thought she was a bit pathetic BUT that in the end she got her man, so to speak.


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