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The House On The Strand (VMC) [Paperback]

Daphne Du Maurier , Celia Brayfield
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
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Book Description

1 May 2003 VMC (Book 382)

Dick Young is lent a house in Cornwall by his friend Professor Magnus Lane. During his stay he agrees to serve as a guinea pig for a new drug that Magnus has discovered in his biochemical researches.

The effect of this drug is to transport Dick from the house at Kilmarth to the Cornwall of the 14th century. There, in the manor of Tywardreath, the domain of Sir Henry Champernoune, he witnesses intrigue, adultery and murder.

As his time travelling increases, Dick resents more and more the days he must spend in the modern world, longing ever more fervently to get back into his world of centuries before . . .

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Virago; New Ed edition (1 May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844080420
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844080427
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 15,175 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Daphne du Maurier was born in London, the daughter of the famous actor-manager Sir Gerald du Maurier. Educated at home and later in Paris, she began writing short stories and articles in 1928, and in 1931 her first novel, The Loving Spirit, was published. Rebecca made her one of the most popular authors of her day. Many of her bestselling novels became award-winning films. She lived most of her life in Cornwall, the setting for many of her books. She died in 1989.

Product Description


'du Maurier is a magician, a virtuouso. She can conjure up tragedy, horror, tension, suspense the ridiculous, the vain, the romantic' GOOD HOUSEKEEPING

Book Description

* a novel of time travel and drug experimentation

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This is a fascinating story which focuses on Dick Young during a visit to a friend's house in Cornwall. His friend is a professor of science who has developed a drug which seems to take the user back in time. Dick experiments with the drug which interestingly seems to take the user only back to a specific time and place. He becomes enmeshed with the events of that time and place and finds that he gradually loses his sense of the reality of the present.
This is an extremely gripping and atmospheric book and if you like Daphne Du Maurier's books you really should read it.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stick with it. 29 Oct 2009
I was looking forward to reading this as i like du Maurier, but became disillusioned within the first 80 pages. The premise was excellent, but i could not engage with the medieval character. Their names were too similar and the plot did not seem to develop. I came very close on 2 occasions to putting it down. And then suddenly i was gripped and now regard it as an excellent read. The modern protoganists were well drawn, but more interesting than that, was the effects of the 'trips' at a biological level on Dick. The subterfuge that Dick resorted to in order to have just one more fix was truly 'addictive' from the readers point.
Don't give up with this. If you don't feel particularly bothered about the medieval characters, don't worry as it won't detract from the deeper layers of this book, e.g. what does Dick really feel towards his wife, how important to Dick is Magnus.
A great book.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Second favourite Du Maurier after Rebecca 9 Jun 2008
An extraordinary book! It is the story of a man Dick Young whose best friend ( a scientist) has invented a potion which can send those who take it back in time.Magnus (the scientist) lends Dick his house in Cornwall for the holidays and asks him to try the drug as a favor. Dick finds himself in the same place,five hundred years before , a witness to things that occured and over which he has no control.When his wife and two stepsons join him, he finds himself more and more alienated from his American wife and her demands and drawn ever so strongly to have more of the drug and 'visit' the people he has 'met' there and towards whom he feels a connection... Atmospheric and cleverly plotted,an incredible achievement!
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Completely Absorbing 24 July 2001
By A Customer
This is one of my favourite ever books. Its quite a while since I've read it now and I'm always meaning to read it again. It really is one of the best stories, and it draws you in so you feel like your experiencing it all yourself. I've even been to the parts of Cornwall mentioned in the book - just because of reading it. I definately think this her best book.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Time Travel...? 25 July 2006
I have read most of Daphne Du Maurier's well known novels but this book was written in the 1960's. I was gripped from the start when a person was able to take a potion, go back in time and observe people in the past in the same area. Sounds ideal. But like all of Daphne Du Maurier's novels there is a price to pay...I shall say no more other than (All GOOD THINGS COME TO AN END). I recommend you read this book to find out.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing 4 Nov 2007
A fascinating story about time travel under the influence of drugs between 1960s Cornwall and early 14th century in the same places, greatly changed over the intervening centuries. The narrator becomes more and more involved in 14th century life, finally getting confused between details and personalities in that century and his own. It has some shocking consequences, especially the implied final event. Very good, with some of the same air of mystery as Rebecca, albeit very different in many respects. Only slight criticisms are that the characters are a bit cliched and some of the description of the landscape drags a bit. But the author clearly loved her Cornwall.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By Misfit TOP 1000 REVIEWER
While vacationing at the Cornwall home of old chum Magnus, Richard Young is convinced to act as guinea pig for his friend's latest experiment - a drug that enables the mind to travel into the past - although the body stays in the present. Richard's "trips" take him to the 14C where he is soon so wrapped up in the past that it becomes as addictive to him as a drug - or is it the drug itself that is addictive? Are the lives of those in the past so much more important that his wife and step-sons become a hindrance to his journeys? Did these people really exist or do they only exist in Richard's mind? Although Richard's mind is in the 14C while on the drug, his body is not and as he walks in the footsteps of those in the past it leads him into some very close calls when his mind returns to the present. He could be standing anywhere - the middle of a road, on private property or in the path of an oncoming.......

Nope, I'm not telling and to say much more gives the whole thing away - half the fun is the guessing and unexpected twists in the story. Although the segments in the 14C were well written they were a bit confusing to me at times, but don't spend too much time trying to sort those relationships out. IMO they were mostly background and the main focus were the parts in the present day. Du Maurier is superb and understated as always, and this one will definitely leave you guessing all the way to the very last page and beyond. 5/5 stars and highly recommended.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On a night like this ... 26 Aug 2005
I opened the first chapter and wow! a science fiction time travel that asked for my attention every minute until it finished.
It was opened directly to the sensation after drinking the experiment drug which can bring you back into the long forgotten past. The past I am talking here was not in the time span of the narrator, but outreached 600 years, digging from the DNA memory of his ancestors which built his now. The theory of survival. This is not some Einsten Relativity story, where mind and body could be transferred along the time dimension, but it was only a loop of mind travel in which could do nothing to alter the past.
The writing style is the trademark of Du Maurier, with clues, subtleties and irony turn of events whose importance sometimes escape from the first time reading although the sentences themselves are effective but still have the literary beauty. She dared to explore the possibilities and left no stone unturned. The selection of past time itself can raise a debate to whether it was a pure past or already meddled with personal infliction. However, the introduction chapter (warning: read this AFTER you finished the book) by other famous author gave some light to the background circumstances.
The ending is quite open to give the reader freedom of thought, to imagine the meaning of it, whether it was all over, in the real meaning, of both worlds or just for one, or better yet, if an 'alter' ego gone, will the other follow ... or was it 'alter' ego anyway?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic - I loved it years ago and love it still
A classic - I loved it years ago and love it still. Daphne du Maurier is a marvellous author of the 'dark' though we tend to think of her as rather a 'tame' 20th C. Read more
Published 19 hours ago by Miss Jane E Hunt
5.0 out of 5 stars The House on the Strand, or an insight into addiction.
This is one of my favourite novels which I have already read five times.
It helped me understand people suffering from addictions, and is itself compulsive reading. Read more
Published 17 days ago by Pontet39
4.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down
We read this book for our book club and it is a while since I read any of Daphne du Maurier but I loved this book. Great premise and brilliantly executed.
Published 24 days ago by precious stone
5.0 out of 5 stars don't lend people your favourite books
Personally one of my favourite Daphne du Maurier books. Had to replace it for third time as I keep making the mistake of lending it out and not remembering who to only to never... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Trish R
5.0 out of 5 stars House on the Strand
Read this first soon after it was published and enjoyed it then. Second time around the class and quality of du Maurier's writing shines through.
Published 1 month ago by Caroline Cook
3.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing premise, but hard going at times....
Dick Young is staying at his friend Professor Magnus Lane's house on the Cornish coast whilst he is in London, and is encouraged by him to try an experimental drug he is working... Read more
Published 1 month ago by John M
5.0 out of 5 stars The House on The Strand
I throughly enjoyed this book.
I enjoy Daphne Du Mauriers writing. She is a classic author.
A begiining, a middle and an end!
Published 2 months ago by J.F.E Davies
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely delightful
I have not read this book for some time and I'm surprised at how much I had forgotten. I found it riveting. The jump from present day to 400 years ago was cleverly devised. Read more
Published 2 months ago by James Collins
2.0 out of 5 stars A bleak journey through time
This is a time travel story. A rather odd youngish man is persuaded by a Professor friend to take a concoction which takes him back as a kind of disembodied spirit to the 14th... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Pappashanga
5.0 out of 5 stars Du Maurer in fine form
Compelling reading! Full of atmosphere and, although the plot is a bit like an episode from Dr Who, the emotions reflect real life.
Published 3 months ago by Manda (Oxon, UK)
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