©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.
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 read science fiction and fantasy, but I also like literary fiction, the classics, the occasional mystery/thriller, and non-fiction.
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.
Yes. I needed to read this for Book Club and I had stopped ready as 'she' annoyed me. The great thing about an audio book is that it keeps going and the reader gives her a voice and so an extra aspect/insight to her character. The story is a product of its time as are the characters. Their reserve is difficult to deal with. But as the story unfolds you realise that there is so much unsaid as there are secrets that can't be told. The ending makes the story worth reading/listening to. As usual there is so much more underlying the story than the movie shows.
I found most of the characters frustrating but i liked Maxwell's sister as she was honest and straight forward.
Anna gave Max's bride a voice and probably more personality than I could find in the book. I know she was to contrast with Rebecca but I found her insipid and Anna's voice gave her a bit of drama and character.
This is my friends favourite story...maybe just not my style.
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