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Publisher's Summary

Exclusively from Audible

'Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.'

So begins Daphne du Maurier's masterpiece, Rebecca. When the story's nameless narrator, a young and unassuming lady's maid, meets a wealthy and handsome widower, she is immediately swept off her feet in what many would've considered an unlikely 20th century match. Maxim de Winter, the owner of a large country estate by the name of Manderley, whisks his new bride away to his home in Cornwall, hoping to rid himself of his sinister past. As the heroine begins her new life at Manderley, she comes to the realisation that the shadow of her predecessor, Rebecca de Winter, lives on through the masonry of the home and through the stern and scathing housekeeper, Mrs Danvers.

A tense and unnerving tale, Rebecca depicts the crippling effect that self-doubt and external manipulation can have on a young and innocent woman's spirit. Due to her own feelings of jealousy, du Maurier based the tale on her husband's first fiancée, claiming that Rebecca would demonstrate the 'influence of a first wife on a second', where 'wife two is haunted day and night' and 'tragedy is looming very close.' Much like her heroine, Daphne du Maurier was said to be solitary, comfortable with her own company and possessed of an incredible imagination. First and foremost, however, du Maurier was an excellent storyteller, and Rebecca is undoubtedly a shining example of her talent.

Narrator Biography

Anna Massey was an award-winning stage and screen actress best remembered for her roles in Peeping Tom, Frenzy, The Machinist, Possession and The Importance of Being Earnest.

On the small screen, Anna became a mainstay of British costume drama, acting in adaptations of Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Anna Karenina, The Cherry Orchard, and Oliver Twist. In 1986, she won a BAFTA for her performance in the BBC adaptation of Hotel du Lac and was made a CBE in the 2004 New Year Honours List.

Her audiobook narration credits include Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, Sense and Sensibility, Hotel du Lac, Nicholas Nickleby, Fairy Stories and Talking Heads.

©2002 Daphne Du Maurier; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

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Riveting

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!

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • bebe
  • South Carolina
  • 04-17-10

one of my all time favorites

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.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley...

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.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Dawn
  • Amelia Courthouse, VA, United States
  • 09-03-10

Now that's what I'm talking about

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.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Wonderful!

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!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • EB
  • Victoria, BC
  • 12-16-10

Can't say enough

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Practically written to be directed by Hitchcock

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

great classic

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Daphne Du Maurier

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!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Gripping

The story is gripping and never lets up - right till the very last moment.

Narrator is superb!

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  • John Nichols
  • 06-30-13

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.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Karen
  • 06-28-12

What a treat...

This is an aural feast; Daphne Du Maurier's superb, atmospheric storytelling combined with Anna Massey's wonderful narration. It has been my constant companion for the past few days, as I snatch time wherever I can to follow the journey of the unnamed second Mrs de Winter through her life at Manderley. It's a story I know well, of course, from the classic film, but I have never read the book. Now it's all coming to life in my head - the sunlit morning room, the air of menace in the cove, the scent of the rose garden and, over it all, the brooding presence of Mrs Danvers, simultaneously repelling and fascinating our shy and puzzled protagonist. I may know the plot, but now it is being fleshed out so vividly that I could almost imagine that I can turn a corner and find myself in the mysterious West Wing at Manderley and encounter the spirit of Rebecca. Absolutely fantastic stuff.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Suz
  • 08-04-13

Eerily beautiful

Any additional comments?

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'..

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Peter
  • 07-25-13

Mixed experience

Would you try another book written by Daphne Du Maurier or narrated by Anna Massey?

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.<br/><br/>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.

Would you be willing to try another book from Daphne Du Maurier? Why or why not?

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.

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Anna Massey?

Perhaps Joanna David.

Did Rebecca inspire you to do anything?

Yes, to watch the film by Alfred Hitchcock again. This is one of the rare occasions when the film is better than the book.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Mamieknits
  • 04-13-13

Rebecca

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!

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Andrew
  • 12-09-12

what a great story.

If anyone is looking for a classic novel, then Rebecca is the one for you. I thought it was wonderful. An atmospheric tale of intrigue and romance with beautifully defined characters and a taut narrative that will hold your attention from beginning to end. As fresh and compelling as the day it was written.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Joanne
  • 09-25-11

Atmospheric

'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.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • E
  • 04-09-13

Firm Favorite

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!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Susan
  • 06-09-10

A stunning lesson

What a great listen! I was engrossed by the narration and recreation of 1950's upper class England.
Recommended

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • sarahmoose2000
  • 04-12-13

Who was Rebecca?

Max de Winter takes on a naiive, new young wife. His ex wife Rebecca continues to overshadow the marriage despite being dead; taking the new bride to breaking point.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • rosewart
  • 04-14-16

Last night I dreamt of Manderlay

Highly recommend this reading.
The book was fantastic when I read it. The film noir was just brilliant but this reading.

Fantastic. The story is timeless.
Loved it then. Love it now. Brilliant.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-25-17

The film is much better than the book

I think the film is much better than the book.The story goes on for far too long than is necessary.

I think the narrator does a good job considering how drawn out the story is but she wasn't my cup of tea with her distinctive voice, which was sometimes annoying and a bit of a distraction.

Also, there's a problem with the audio quality. The volume goes up and down from chapter to chapter and some of the chapters are cut short, with no pause until the following chapter when the narrator booms "CHAPTER SEVEN! BLAH, BLAH, BLAH!" which isnt the fault of the narrator. I found this annoying and distracting.

And this is the only unabridged version on the Australian Audible website, which is a pity.

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  • Lily Davison
  • 06-14-17

Sinister and Sensational!

A fantastic novel narrated wonderfully. From the famous first like "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again", to the final reveal this novel is creepy, curious and an outstanding read.

Anna Massey does an amazing job narrating, bring Daphne Du Maurier's characters a breath of life.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-09-17

Wonderful narrator

Classic text. A timeless piece. Beautifully read by the narrator. Glad to have read it again.

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  • PhilippaB
  • 04-08-17

a great story

a great old story. Anna Massey is superb and makes it come alive. compelling listening

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  • paul
  • 02-17-17

Glad that's over

Like reading a teenage girls diary. The plot twists finally give it some action but can be seen a mile ahead and come way to late to compensate for half a books worth of filling. Could have condensed the story to a short story and kept the essence intact

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  • Stephanie
  • 02-01-15

Engrossing

How have I never read Rebecca, or any other works from DdM?! Excellent book, I listened in three long sessions.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful