A classic of alienation and horror, The Birds was immortalized by Hitchcock in his celebrated film. The five other chilling stories in this collection echo a sense of dislocation and mock man's dominance over the natural world. The mountain paradise of "Monte Verità" promises immortality but at a terrible price; a neglected wife haunts her husband in the form of an apple tree; a professional photographer steps out from behind the camera and into his subject's life; a date with a cinema usherette leads to a walk in the cemetery; and a jealous father finds a remedy when three's a crowd....
©2013 Daphne du Maurier (P)2015 Hachette Audio
"Anyone starting this book under the impression that he may sleepily relax is in for a shock...continually provokes both pity and terror." [The Observer (UK)]
A selection of (5) short stories, each quite different. "The Birds", of course, is a well-known title, but don't expect much similarity to the famous film. I think the story is much moodier.
The remaining stories are all unique, all are well narrated. ( my personal favorite is "Kiss Me Again, Stranger")
Painter, musician, bibliophile...
Daphne du Maurier was a masterful novelist, and most of her short stories are worth reading, especially most of those included here:
1. THE BIRDS is iconic, and needs no introduction.
2. MONTE VERITA is a story that is at once paranormal and romantic in the several senses of that word. A seventy year-old man looks back on his youth and his passion for mountain climbing. He remembers his best friend Victor's heartbreak when his stunning Welsh bride chose a different life, an existence in an otherworldly mountain community.
3. THE APPLE TREE is a creepy tale with a touch of Algernon Blackwood about it. Our first person narrator, a recently widowed gentleman with little self-understanding or awareness, is tormented by an apple tree in many unusual ways.
4. THE LITTLE PHOTOGRAPHER finds the divinely beautiful Marquise and her children in a seaside resort. La Marquise is elegant, spoiled, entitled, and easily bored. But when she takes advantage of a diversion, she comes to know how ruinous the incidental expenses of travel can be.
5. KISS ME AGAIN, STRANGER is an oft-anthologized story, and one frequently adapted for teleplays, but that's because it's a good one. Again, the paranormal and the romantic intersect in what first appears to be a simple boy-meets-girl affair, but turns out to be something more dangerous.
6. THE OLD MAN is a disturbing, strange sort of tale, almost a fairy story out of Grimm.
The narrations are good overall, but the sound quality and levels are a bit uneven in places.
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