Monday, September 22, 2008

is it still Sunday somewhere in the world?


Yes, as usual, I'm behind with the short story reviews. Oh well.

I am both happy and sad to say that I've finished up Daphne du Maurier's Classics of the Macabre. Happy because it's due back at the library today. But sad, because I am so sorry that I've no more of Ms. du Maurier's short stories on hand to read. I simply can't tell you how much I enjoyed this book! I only hope that I'll enjoy her novels half as much as her short stories.

First story of the week was "The Birds". Yes, the story that Hitchcock's thriller was based on. But frankly, while one can see the connection between the two, they are actually quite different from one another. While I fully admit that I've always loved the movie, it somehow just doesn't seem to stack up against the story. Maybe they're just too different to compare. Anyway, the story is far more frightening than the movie. It has such a personal feel. The terror is tangible. As I said when I wrote about the last story I reviewed ("The Blue Lenses"), it's all too easy to put yourself into the character's place. And then I can't help but wonder how long it will be before I've gone mad.

The next story in this collection, "The Alibi," didn't quite have that same feeling. I believe that's because in this story, our protagonist simply isn't the nicest of fellows to begin with. That doesn't not mean this isn't a great story though. As I know others have said, it can be very hard to talk about a short story for fear of giving too much away. So in general, I'll just say that this is a story of a mid-life crisis gone horribly wrong.

And finally, there is "Not After Midnight." While not my favorite of the lot, I still thoroughly enjoyed it. It is the story of a English teacher, who has taken his holiday in Greece. He wants nothing really to do with the historical sites, nor with his fellow vacationers. He simply wants to paint. But through simple misfortune, he ends up staying in the room of a man just recently found dead, and being drawn into some strange goings-on involving Greek mythology.

Thank you, Daphne du Maurier, for some deliciously eerie hours spent amongst the pages of your book!

9 comments:

DesLily said...

I am reading her Rebecca right now and it will be my next "review".. her writing surely is special, no surprise that more than one of her stories became movies!

Nymeth said...

I love the movie The Birds too. And I only realized that she had written the original story the other day...now I realy want to read it. This sounds like such a good collection. I finally started Rebecca today and I'm already in love with her writing!

Trish said...

I've never actually seen the movie movie of The Birds, but when we were little and visiting Universal Studios in Orlando or somewhere we watched it in 3D (just a clip) and it was SCARY!! I've never had a desire to watch it after that. :)

I read a short story yesterday but didn't post about it and probably won't now. :( Boo...there aren't enough hours in a day. So yay for getting your short story out even though you're a day late.

Eva said...

I read "The Birds" during last year's R.I.P., and I loved it! I do not love the movie, so I was favourably impressed...

Dawn said...

I really like reading your reviews. You always think that they are not good, but I have to tell you that you make me want to read what you write about. So for that, I thank you.

take care,
Dawn

Chris said...

It's gotta be Sunday somewhere still, huh? lol...I can't tell you how much I'm dying to read this one after your reviews of it. I totally fell in love with Rebecca and just hearing your review brought it all back again. I looked for this book to buy and it seems like it's out of print :( So I'll have to see if my library has it!

Kim L said...

That is giving me shivers just thinking about all of the short stories. For some reason the movie version of The Birds really creeped me out as a kid. More than any other Hitchcock movie.

Debi said...

Deslily,
I can't believe how many of her stories/books have been made into movies! But I think that The Birds is the only one I've seen.

Nymeth,
I'm glad to hear you're enjoying Rebecca! I can't believe I was so afraid to try her writing. Where do these goofy ideas of mine come from anyway? :)

Trish,
Oh, what short story did you read? You really should still post about it...it's never too late, right? And you know we'd love to hear about it!

Eva,
Aren't her short stories great?!! And definitely perfect for RIP!

Dawn,
Thanks so much for saying that! Because you know, honestly, I do feel really stupid even writing reviews. So many people are so talented at it, and I'm definitely not one of them. But I do it anyway, just because it's so fun reading and sharing.

Chris,
Oh no! I'm so sorry to hear that this one is out of print! The copy I read was the library's, but I fell so in love with it that I had decided that I needed to buy a copy for my very own. :(
But I hope your library carries it, because they really are the perfect little reads for the season!

Kim,
I think that movie still creeps me out even as an adult. And it's nowhere near as scary as the story!

Stephanie said...

I'm definitely going to have to read this one!! I do love du Maurier. To me, she is the uber-Queen of Gothic!!

I'm really glad you liked this one!