Collecting five stories of suspense, mystery and slow, creeping horror, Daphne Du Maurier's Don't Look Now and Other Stories includes an introduction by Susan Hill, author of The Woman in Black, in Penguin Modern Classics. John and Laura have come to Venice to try and escape the pain of their young daughter's death. But when they encounter two old women who claim to have second sight, they find that instead of laying their ghosts to rest they become caught up in a train of increasingly strange and violent events. Adapted into a terrifying film starring Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland, 'Don't Look Now' is The four other haunting, evocative stories in this volume also explore deep fears and longings, secrets and desires: 'Not After Midnight', in which a lonely teacher investigates a mysterious American couple; 'A Border Line Case', in which a young woman confronts her father's past and his associations with the IRA; 'The Way of the Cross', in which a party of pilgrims to Jerusalem encounter strange phenomena in the Garden of Gethsemane; and 'The Breakthrough', in which a scientist claims to be able to trap the soul at the point of death ... Daphne du Maurier (1907-89) - English novelist, biographer, and playwright, who published romantic suspense novels, mostly set on the coast of Cornwall. Du Maurier is best known for and Jamaica Inn (1936), filmed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1939, Rebecca (1938), filmed by Hitchcock in 1940, and The Birds (1952), filmed by Hitchcock in 1963. If you enjoyed Don't Look Now and Other Stories, you might like Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House, also available in Penguin Modern Classics. 'Daphne du Maurier has no equal' Sunday Telegraph 'Du Maurier created a scale by which modern women can measure their feelings' Stephen King
About the Author
Susan Hill was born in Scarborough in 1942, and educated at grammar schools there and in Coventry. She read English at King's College, London, of which she is now a Fellow. As well as I'm the King of the Castle, her novels include Strange Meeting, The Bird of Night, In the Springtime of the Year, Air and Angels, The Service of Clouds,The Various Haunts of Men, The Pure in Heart, The Rise of Darkness, The Beacon, The Vows of Silence and The Small Hand. She has written several volumes of short stories, including A Bit of Singing and Dancing; two ghost novels, The Woman in Black and The Mist in the Mirror; and a number of stories for children. Her autobiographical books are The Magic Apple Tree and Family. She is married with two adult daughters and lives in North Norfolk.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Having read and loved du Maurier¿s `Rebecca¿ I was intrigued when I found this collection of short stories. Would they be as atmospheric? As chilling? Would the characters be as memorable?Don¿t Look Back in AngerThe title story focuses on a couple who are visiting Venice in an attempt to overcome the death of their little girl. They meet two strange old ladies, one of whom claims to have the gift of second sight and makes a startling statement. As the couple try to pursue their trip, they quickly become caught up in increasingly strange events and separated.The characters are convincingly drawn, especially in their opposing reactions to the ladies, and the atmosphere is genuinely suspenseful as events become more dramatic. Du Maurier skilfully depicts a dark and foreboding Venice. I enjoyed reading the story right up until the ending, which I personally found ridiculous and thought detracted from the quality of the rest of the story. The ending is a bit surreal, which I suppose is in keeping with a story incorporating second sight, but the dialogue felt out of place to me. That said, I recently saw a discussion on television that made me think the dialogue more plausible, and other readers have suggested to me that my response is a bit harsh, although they also found the ending rather odd.I am aware that there is a film version of this story that is much longer (the story is only 54 pages in this edition) and I can see how that could be achieved: there is the potential to really extend the action and incorporate a lot of creepy setting. However, as I have not seen the film I am unable to comment on how this compares.Not After MidnightA rather strange man takes a holiday and begins to spy on his neighbours, convinced that there is something odd happening. (Pot? Kettle?) Soon, he is caught up in a situation that he doesn¿t quite understand.This story is immediately dramatic because the man reflects miserably on a non-identified `bug¿ that has caused him to quit teaching and contemplate hospitalisation. He blames the events of his summer holiday, which is an intriguing proposition. I did not find him a likeable character but, once again, I did find him a convincing one. This is a first person narration which I found made it more interesting. (I think otherwise I would have just thought `what an idiot¿ and not cared what happened to him.) Gradually, almost imperceptibly, the mood darkens and other characters take on a more menacing aspect. As with the previous story, the psychology of the character is important and most of the threat comes from his interpretation of events rather than from definitive clues. The story developed logically and it engaged my interest throughout. The ending is chilling.A Border-Line CaseAfter the death of her father a young girl seeks out her father¿s old friend for reasons that are unclear even to her. As in the previous story, she becomes caught up in a new and dangerous world through her actions.Once again, du Maurier creates a topsy turvey world where the protagonist¿s interpretation of events is key. However, in this story I found the events unconvincing and the `twist¿ predictable. I felt a bit disappointed.The Way of the CrossThis is a particularly strange story because it isn¿t really a story. A group of pilgrims wander around Jerusalem, all with their own back story and petty concerns, all of whom are concerned with appearances. In turn, each of them suffers as a result of their interactions and choices.I found this a very odd `story¿ to read as it seemed to have no overarching storyline or conclusion. None of the characters were likeable even though several of them were quite vulnerable. However, I did find the characterisation convincing and felt du Maurier had captured the minor jealousies and frictions between the group well. Reading about the pain they endured was a bit sad but as the narrative simply moved on to the next victim I didn¿t really care about them.The timing of their visit to