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!