©2002 Daphne Du Maurier; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
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mournful, elegant, mystery
The story is very absorbing and contemplative with a sort of still quality that is quite haunting.
I believed Massey's performance and associated her voice very much with the central character.
The sadness of the story has a beautiful aspect to it that I enjoyed, weird as that sounds.
I don't think it's for everybody. My boyfriend would be bored stiff by this genre but if you like quite books such as The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro and The Sea by Iris Murdoch it'll probably be a winner.
"The second Mrs de Winter tells her story"
Worrying manipulative uncomfortable
The cover up - I've listened to Rebecca several times over the years and always been on the side of Max and the second Mrs de Winter, but this time I found it harder to reconcile myself and justify the cover up. Had to remind myself it's a book of its time
Not in one sitting as it's too long for that, but I did listen to it over a short space of time.
Maybe it's my familiarity with the story, maybe it was the performance, but I didn't find Mrs Danvers as nasty as I've found her in previous versions I've listened to.
"Regarded as a classic for good reason"
I'm not wild about the period this story is set in, so it took me a while to get into the mood of the book. Anna Massey, who usually has the capacity to irritate me, turned out to be the perfect narrator on this occasion. Ostensibly a novel about social layers and complexities of the English class system, it soon turns into a brilliantly told crime story. Once you get used to De Maurier's stiff-upper-lip tone it's easy to appreciate the timelessness of the issues touched upon: The social awkwardness and the feeling of being out of her depth on the part of the heroine would be enough to remind most of their first days at a new school or job.
The characters were well drawn, though I had trouble completely believing the relationship between the heroine and the housekeeper (surely nobody can be that frightened of a servant?), and the build-up to THAT dress scene was so ridiculously out of proportion that the climax couldn't help but be a letdown. Having said that, I was truly hooked two thirds in and loved the ending and the many twists and unexpected turns the story took to get there. Elegantly plotted, and regarded as a classic for good reason.
Anna Massey has a lovely voice and style so you forget you are listening to someone reading and feel you are hearing the voice of the storyteller.
I love the film and the book so did I really need it to be read to me - answer, yes. This is a terrific story and read beautifully it would be equally as good for anyone who does not know the story as for those who already know and love it. Despite knowing how it ends you still feel the suspense and the awkwardness of the second Mrs de winter.
"a trip back in time"
I have not read the book - always meant to but this gripped me from the off
the story is gripping and if you listen to this you almost see the story in your mind's eye.
her tone is authentic and takes you back in time. clear formal diction, easy to listen to.
trust your instincts
loved this. don't want to read the book or to see the film as the audio version was so perfect
"A bit of work but gripping in the end"
I found the first half of the book a little trying. The lead character is such a wimp that if I was Mrs Danvers I would have 'decked' her. But the second half is gripping once the heroine decides to stand up for herself. Anna Massey is as good as you would expect. The book is also fascinating in providing the detail and atmosphere of life in the inter war years.
"My first favourite novel"
Rebecca is on its way to becoming a classic but is creaky at the edges to date. Set in the 30s, insufficient time has passed to see if the novel will endure. In particular, the 'heroine' is so unlike today's average woman one is often tempted to give her a good shake! That, however, would ruin the plot which hangs on her timid, often neurotic, mind-set. Indeed, as the novel progresses, she seems to be suffering from clinical depression, poor girl.
Anna Massey's reading of Maxim makes this hardly surprising because he comes across as a dreadful, bullying boor. I don't think he was written as such by du Maurier. It's Anna Massey's rendition of male voices that's to blame. Why couldn't she have narrated the story without these awful attempts? And the less said about her Mrs van Hopper's American accent the better.
Bearing in mind that Anna Massey played Mrs Danvers in a TV adaptation, this character's interpretation is fine as, on the whole, is her reading of the remainder of the female figures.
The main redemption of her narration, though, is her steady voice and accurate pace. That's something in her favour.
I think the novel could have been better presented. But maybe the novel itself is too flawed, as yet, for complete enjoyment.
Absolutely compelling, I had it on my ipod for a long journey and it made the time fly by. The only negative would be that Anna Massey's narration of the male characters is slightly panto, but it didn't impair my enjoyment of the story. Although the story is slightly dated - it appears no one can get in behind the wheel of a car without a stiff brandy - it is still gripping and this unabridged version provides hours of entertainment.
I'm not really sure how I got to the age of 45 without reading this or seeing any of the filmed versions, but I thought it was high time I got round to it. I must confess I wasn't overly impressed - all that stiff upper lip, old chap stuff drove me mad and some of the dialogue was terrible, I wanted to scream at Daphne du Maurier to find another word instead of 'said'. Here's an example:-
'We can sit together,' he said, 'driving up in the car.'
'Yes,' I said.
'Julyan won't mind.' he said.
'No,' I said.
'We shall have tomorrow night too,' he said. 'They won't do anything at once, not for twenty-four hours perhaps.'
'No,' I said.
'They aren't so strict now,' he said.
"Great narration, mediocre story"
At least, *I* was disappointed with the book; the character's were infuriatingly thick and mostly unsympathetic. The plot itself I enjoyed, but wasn't convinced it was deep enough to support an entire novel, instead of, say, a short story. But the narration is wonderful and what I found to be the saving grace of this audiobook more than once. It's worth making your own mind up, though, as the quality of the recording and the depiction of characters is exemplary, but the book itself is something of a 'marmite-er', love it or hate it.
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