©2002 Daphne Du Maurier; (P)2008 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
This was my first purchase from Audible and I selected this book because I kept seeing its title on lists of great novels. The first few minutes contained lots and lots of descriptions but I was still hooked. Every time I would walk my dog, ride in my car, clean the kitchen or iron I would listen and I must say I was never bored a minute. The reader was awesome!! She had so many different voices that it was like being at a play. If you like romance and mystery then you should give this a try. I did not like the way the book ended very much, but I love how hooked I became to the plot right up until the last minute. I just purchased my second book and the bar is set very high after "Rebecca", I hope it can measure up!
I first read Rebecca when I was in high school and was completely absorbed in the story. Now, over forty years later, I can still remember how fascinated I was reading the book. When I ran across the title while browsing Audible.com, I decided to purchase it to see if the book still held the same power and delights. It did. The story line is gripping - the personality and mystery of Rebecca creep over all like a heavy mist. The reader is excelleent - her tone is just right for the story and her expression is top notch. I can't imagine anyone doing a better job. One thing I still find interesting about this book is that the main "living" character (the narrator) is never given a name, which makes it difficult to refer to her. I believe the reason for this is to make Rebecca an even more overwhelming presence. Rebecca dominates the book, but the narrator is the person I love. If you like Jane Eyre, you will also like this book. The atmosphere created in both books is similar. Rebecca is truly a great book and this is truly a great audible version.
To me, "Rebecca" was one of those stories that, "I'd seen the movie" and just wasn't interested in reading the novel. Then, I saw the novel in one of those, "One hundred books that you should read" and that sparked an interest in me. I must say I was blown away not only by Du Maurier's story telling abilities, but also her beautiful writing prose.
The narration by Anna Massey is superb. She makes the story her own. I can't imagine anyone else narrating this novel.
Say something about yourself!
This type of book was exactly what I think audible.com was invented to provide. The traditionally trained british speaker made this classic absolutely delicious! I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Rebecca is a must read, a classic. I have watched the movie many times (directed by Alfred Hitchcock), and I finally decided to see if there was more to the story. I can honestly say that there isn't that much that the movie left out! The majority of the dialogue from the movie is word-for-word as written by Du Maurier.
Read, listen, watch...or do all three!
I can see why this creepy mystery is a classic: it combines the gothic atmosphere of Jane Eyre with the suspense of an Alfred Hitchcock thriller. The young bride of Maxim de Winter is brought back to his English estate, Manderley, after a whirlwind courtship, and finds the shadow of his first wife, Rebecca, lingering over everything. Young, insecure, unsure of herself, she is easily cowed by the domineering housekeeper Mrs. Danvers, who resents the woman usurping her mistress's place.
The mystery of Rebecca is nicely maintained throughout the book. Who was she, what kind of a woman was she, and how did she die? Even when the big revelations come, the story isn't over, as there are several more plot twists skillfully spun out right up to the end.
Two things made me enjoy it less. The first is the protagonist, who's basically a timid ingenue with barely any will of her own. She's completely dominated first by her employer, then by her older husband, and then by her catty, vindictive housekeeper Mrs. Danvers. She spends most of her time tormenting herself with what she imagines everyone else is thinking about her, and when she finally starts taking a tiny bit of initiative, she's still completely self-involved. As for Max de Winter, well, du Maurier is writing in the grand old Brontë tradition of creepy, abusive control-freaks being portrayed as romantic.
The second thing I didn't enjoy was the long, tedious descriptions of everything: Manderley, the cliffs, the furniture, the flowers and vases, the clothes, the meals, etc. A little descriptive detail is great; a little more can be described as "lush"; Rebecca is just plain wordy. Along with the narrator's long, tedious internal monologues, this book really seemed to drag in places. I was eager to get to the climax and the unveiling of all secrets, and relieved once it was over.
I enjoyed this book very much. It was a wonderful depiction of the times and influence of class on people’s lives. It kept my interest as the story unfolded and quite unexpected truths were revealed. I wished it continued so that I would know what happened to the characters. I felt like I wanted to wish the central characters well after all they had been through. Highly recommended.
I enjoyed listening to Rebecca. I was not familiar with the story before and I had heard many good things about it and was curious. I don't know if I would listen to this story again, however. After listening to the book I watched the movie and although they are not completely the same - I felt justice was done. I would suggest anyone who is curious about this story to watch the movie first and if they REALLY want to use a credit to get the audiobook go for it!
The wonderful Anna Massey does a fabulous job reading this book. Never mind that I'd read it before, and seen the movie and every miniseries the BBC has ever churned out using this story--including the one from the 70s starring Anna Massey. When Massey started reading, I was as captivated as if I'd never heard the story before. She captures all the characters perfectly and lends the story a depth I hadn't really picked up before. The elegiac first chapters resonate through the rest of the book. Another reviewer said that this is the kind of project that Audible was made for, and I agree. It's the perfect marriage of narrator and novel.
The night of the fancy dress ball
Neither. Just moments of mild irritation at how naive the main character was.
Not a bad book with an unexpected twist at the end
Anna Massey has the perfect voice to narrate this book. Her voice expresses just the right amount of menace for the sinister housekeeper Mrs. Danvers.
An excellent choice for listening to while sipping a cool drink in the sunshine. I have awarded it five stars and it is worth them all. A super audio book.
I listened to it last summer while sitting in the sun doing my knitting - perfect!
No. As much as I admire Anna Massey as an actress, she can't really find the right voice for the male characters in the book. Her reading of Maxim de Winter is in a constantly angry tone, which makes him a big bore and the moments when he IS angry or annoyed, go for nothing because he has been sounding like that all the time. Maxim had a few charming moments, especially at the start of the book. Massey doesn't bring them out.
For other male characters (Colonel Julyan, Jack Favell) Anna Massey goes for a kind of nasal caricature so the dramatic climax scene in the library at the end of the book with all the three male characters sounds like something out of a Bertie Wooster book: hilarious. Her American accent for Mrs. Van Hopper sounds what it is: and English woman doing an impersonation of an American caricature, all wrong.
Perhaps. Rebecca might be Daphne Du Maurier's most famous books, but MY COUSIN RACHEL was better and also her short story DON'T LOOK NOW. I think Rebecca is a bit dated, it has a famous reputation but I think modern readers will have a hard time with it. The 'I' character (the second Mrs. de Winter) doesn't need Mrs. Danvers to slap her down, she does it herself in about every second sentence.
Perhaps Joanna David.
Yes, to watch the film by Alfred Hitchcock again. This is one of the rare occasions when the film is better than the book.
"A classic story of love and life."
A true wonder in the world of the others. Rebecca transports you to a world of decadence, to a world of a young girl who falls in love with an older man. She follows him home but finds there is a skeleton in the closet and that skeleton nearly destroys her world. More twists and turns than a ride at Alton Towers.
Well read and played out. You are transported into the lives of the characters and feel an affinity to the main characters.
'Rebecca' is one of my favourite novels and I couldn't resist buying this audiobook to listen to Anna Massey's narration. I wasn't disappointed as she gives an excellent reading with distinctive voices for all the characters, Mrs Danvers and Beatrice being particularly good.
'Rebecca' is a brilliant novel. The descriptive writing is beautiful and full of memorable images, and the plot goes in several surprising directions before a haunting ending. I'm glad to have this book in my audiobook library and will definitely listen to it again in the future.
This has always been a book I return to again and again, the story never fails to please after many times of reading it. The added bonus of having the delightful narration of Anna Massey is a joy. I am once agin transported from the south of France to the rugged coast of Cornwall with the ever-present Rebbeca hovering in the background of the story. Lovely easy listen and I will without doubt listen again and again!
I really enjoyed this - I am a big du Maurier fan but have not read Rebecca for years. It is rather old-fashioned the story is still brilliant, with the evil Mrs Danvers and the memories of Rebecca haunting the newly married heroine. Very well narrated. At times the dialogue is a bit wooden but I think it was done like that for effect as it is usually when the heroine is under a lot of stress.
Can't say I was overly gripped by the story but nonetheless found it very intriguing. Not quite 5/5 for me, I'm probably too young to appreciate the generation, but a good story about coming of age, plenty of well-known emotions and a massive unseen twist! I think on some level every girl can relate to the new Mrs D'Winters. Anna did the book a great justice and I found her very good to listen to, she has a pure interpretation of the emotions written.
"A stunning lesson"
What a great listen! I was engrossed by the narration and recreation of 1950's upper class England.
The book is truly atmostpheric and transported me back into another era. I felt that I was 'there ' in the room by listening to this book and was truly hooked. This is even more remarkable because I had read the book before listening to it.
A turning point in the book was when it became apparent that Rebecca was terminally ill and this changed the thinking of the reader.
I have listened to Anna Massey narrating one of Alan Bennett's pieces which was highly entertaining.
I reacted in disbelief sometimes purely because of how women were viewed and treated in those days. It was also amazing to have glimpse into the life of a country manor and of the hierachies within such a household.
This book was so enjoyable to listen to. A bygone era described beautifully and a tangled tale to boot.
This was a deliciously eerie 'get-away', the story itself a classic and the very solid narration of Anna Massey made it a wonderful experience. An easy, yet a little gloomy listen which takes one back to the 'good old days'..
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