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Publisher's Summary

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

The novel begins in Monte Carlo, where our heroine is swept off her feet by the dashing widower Maxim de Winter and his sudden proposal of marriage. Orphaned and working as a lady's maid, she can barely believe her luck. It is only when they arrive at his massive country estate that she realizes how large a shadow his late wife will cast over their lives - resenting her with a lingering evil that threatens to destroy their marriage from beyond the grave.

First published in 1938, this classic gothic novel is such a compelling tale that it won the Anthony Award for Best Novel of the Century.

©2014 Daphne du Maurier (P)2014 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Rebecca is a work of immense intelligence and wit, elegantly written, thematically solid, suspenseful.." ( Washington Post)
"Daphne du Maurier created a scale by which modern women can measure their feelings." (Stephen King)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

One of my favourite novels, ever

This is a great novel, and considered to be one of the best crime/thriller novels ever written. That might be surprising to some, since it's not about the police or a detective, or even really about a criminal enterprise at all, but about a young girl who marries an older, wealthier man and becomes the mistress of a large, famous, classic English manor named Manderley in the early 20th century. She is haunted by concerns that she will not live up to the perfect perception that her husband's friends, family, and staff have of the now-deceased first wife, Rebecca. The struggle of the naive, young second wife against her dynamic and powerful older husband, as well as by the imprint of his first wife still left in their home are palpable. As for the crime and the mystery? Well, it involves Rebecca's death and why she seems to still haunt the memories of everyone who lives and works at Manderley.

35 of 36 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • Easley, SC, United States
  • 10-27-17

Dark, Tragic Mystery with a Twist

I personally did not enjoy this dark and depressing book. It had a very slow start and a disappointing ending. It left so many questions unanswered. At the end of the book, I felt cheated and annoyed.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Dave
  • Whittier, CA
  • 10-26-17

Dreaming of Manderley Again

I would love to read a bunch of contemporary, feminist essays on Rebecca right about now. It's a fascinating book, and once I got past the halfway mark Du Maurier really ratcheted up the tension in a story I'd been pretty bored with. Suddenly, I couldn't stop listening to (in my experience, this rarely ever happens).

There's some weirdness, though. First published in the late 1930s, the protagonist is a nameless narrator who recently married a rich widower and only wants to make him happy and for him to love her. But it becomes increasingly doubtful that the shadow of his dead wife (not to mention her loyal and terrifying maidservant) will ever allow them to find a happily after.

I'm kind of curious as to why Du Maurier never gave her female protagonist a name? Was she supposed to be someone every woman could relate to and see themselves in? Was it commentary on women's role in the 1930s? The narrator is so passive, so bland, and so boring -- pretty much every other character in the book is more interesting than she is. She's almost a precursor to Bella Swan.

Yet, some how Du Maurier makes it work -- particularly through the supporting characters. Mrs. Danvers (who also never received a first name), Frank Crawley -- the widower's business partner, Jack Favell -- the late Mrs. De Winter's cousin, and of course Rebecca herself. Although she's dead throughout the whole story, her presence and spirit haunts every aspect of the story.

Anna Massey's narration is flawless -- there were some scenes between Mrs. Danvers and the narrator that were as sharp as a knife in the dark. Masseey did a strong job rolling between all the different characters and giving them all their own voice and character. Her narration certainly helped me push on through the first half of the story.

I'm really glad I stuck with it to the end of the book. As I said, I'm almost always disappointed when I do this but this time it paid off with a very satisfying story and listening experience. I'm curious to find out what people write about the book, and possibly check out some of Du Maurier's other novels.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Neurotic main character

I love English romance novels and this book has nice twists but her constant neurotic thinking and over analyzing situations is annoying and I found my self skipping ahead multiple times.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great Mystery Classic

This is a good read for everyone, but it will be appreciated by women more. The new Mrs De Winter must live in the shadow of the late Mrs De Winter, Rebecca. It's slightly similar to Gone With the Wind in that the central character is actually a house. Instead of Tara we have Manderlay. This English manor is set on the coast of England and is similar to Downton Abbey with the dozens of house hold staff including the evil Mrs Danvers. The young naive new Mrs DeWinter tries to cope in an environment that overwhelms her. But all is not as it seems. Kind of slow at beginning but it picks up the pace about a third into the book. This was also a great movie with Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine directed by Alfred Hitchcock. (You can find on Utube)

19 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Another Beautiful Gothic Romance

What made the experience of listening to Rebecca the most enjoyable?

The reader was fantastic for this book. She had the perfect diction and voice for this particular book.

What did you like best about this story?

I loved how kind of haunting this story was. It feels along the same vein as Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights but I liked it so much more.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I thought the fact that we never know the main character's name to be fascinating. We hear the name Rebecca endlessly, but never the current Mrs. de Winter.

Any additional comments?

Such a well-written and well-performed book.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it!

If you could sum up Rebecca in three words, what would they be?

Romantic period mystery

What other book might you compare Rebecca to and why?

Jane Eyre, The Women in White

What does Anna Massey bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I'm really picky about my narrator's and one of the reasons I chose Rebecca over other books on my 'To Read' list was because of Anna Massey's narration. Her voice is very pleasant to listen to, and she brings life to each of the different characters without being distracting from the writing.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This book will pique your interest and make you want to keep listening.

Any additional comments?

Very worth a download if you like classic literature (Jane Eyre, any Austen novels, Wilkie Collins). It's a great story and the narrator is wonderful.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Horrible narrator

Voice of Anna Massey sharp, harsh and very uncomfortable to listen to.

The "hook" took a very long time to create; the desire to quit the book was appealing as this drag for the hook was too long.

The story as told could have been edited for one hour less listening time.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

How have I lived 52 years without reading this?

What did you love best about Rebecca?

One of THE best audible books yet. Fantastic writing, character development, depth, and superb narration. Wow. So, so, so good!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

I don't understand all the fuss

This book was extremely slow. I had to fight to stay with it. I kept waiting for the big pay off but it never really came. Things picked up in the last few chapters but it simply wasn't enough.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful