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Gregory S. Buzwell "bagpuss007" (London)
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Don't Look Now and Other Stories (Penguin Modern Classics)
Don't Look Now and Other Stories (Penguin Modern Classics)
by Daphne Du Maurier
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Nightmares, 30 Oct. 2011
Daphne du Maurier had many gifts as a writer. She was blessed with a prose style that purred like a contented cat curled up by a warm fireside; she had a rare ability to pitch convincing narratives from both a male and a female perspective and she could create atmosphere like few other authors of her generation. And yet, above and beyond everything else, what for me makes her work genuinely unique, and genuinely great, was her imagination, her ability to come up with plots and stories that were, quite simply, darker and more sinister than those anyone else could have dreamt of. This air of the macabre and sinister is perhaps shown to its best effect in her short stories, here character and plot are necessarily restricted and what we are left with is often raw, pure, deliciously unsettling atmosphere. There are five stories in this collection - all of them excellent and all told with her characteristic style, wit and insight - but it is the first ('Don't Look Now') and the last ('The Breakthrough') which show Daphne's ability with the dark and the gothic at its most devestating.

The title story concerns a grieving couple, Laura and John, attempting to begin their lives again following the death of their daughter. They take a vacation in Venice and drift through a rain-shrouded landscape in which their wrong-turnings and frequent habit of becoming lost amongst the side-streets and canals of the city mirrors their emotional doubts and uncertainties. Into this haunted, opaque world enter two elderly ladies - one of whom is blind but gifted (or cursed) with second-sight - who may, or may not, be as amiable as they seem and a small figure in red who flitters about, always on the periphery, always glimpsed briefly and then moving out of view. The set up is so loaded with enigmatic strangeness that in the hands of a lesser writer the whole thing would have fallen apart but such was du Maurier's skill she manages to construct a wonderfully poisonous little tale which continually frustrates expectations. Just when you think you know where it is heading she removes the rug from under your feet and the picture you're left with is oh so much darker than you had previously imagined. 'Don't Look Now' really is a scary little tale. One of the few stories I've ever read that left me feeling uneasy, alone, worried about what I might glimpse from the corner of my eye....

The tale that ends the collection - 'The Breakthrough' - is again bewitchingly strange. A small group of scientists holed up in a bleak little establishment perched on a dreary expanse of coastline conduct experiments into capturing the essence of life and storing it at the moment of death. Again, as with 'Don't Look Now', the elements of the tale - a young man with a terminal illness; a machine which can induce a trance-like state and a small girl with latent psychic abilities - are all a touch disturbing and the atmosphere du Maurier creates is genuinely unsettling. The story reminded me of Arthur Machen's 'The Great God Pan' - another tale of scientific transgression and the unleashing of forces which would have been better left dormant.

Daphne du Maurier was such a unique talent, someone who combined the gifts you would expect of a talented writer with a unique and brilliantly dark imagination. All of the stories in this collection are fascinating (the second, in which a painter meets a couple while on holiday and is invited up to visit them but 'not after midnight' is a terrific example of how to hold the reader's attention with a baffling and enigmatic set-up) but it is the first and the last that, for me, show why Daphne du Maurier was such a gifted writer. Both tales are very clever, and very, very dark.


A Wreath Of Roses (VMC)
A Wreath Of Roses (VMC)
by Elizabeth Taylor
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gently Beguiling, 5 Oct. 2011
Perhaps the best place to start when discussing a novel by Elizabeth Taylor is with the prose: it has a beautiful flowing silkiness and every word sits comfortably within its sentence, and every sentence fits smoothly into its paragraph. Taylor's prose is deceptively light but beneath the surface elegance it has real bite. Although her subject matter is quite different at times reading A Wreath of Roses I was reminded of Daphne du Maurier. Both authors were blessed with a prose style that purred like a contented, well-fed Persian Blue. Talent will get you so far but beyond that you need a touch of genius; both du Maurier and Taylor were definitely so blessed but whereas du Maurier tended to look outwards at large and often slightly surreal themes (time travel, and the desire to escape from the dreariness of being yourself day after day, in The House on the Strand for example) Taylor looks inwards at the emotions that bubble beneath the surface of tranquil-looking and apparently unremarkable lives.

A Wreath of Roses tells the story of Camilla who believes love and the chance of happiness have passed her by, and two of her friends - Liz, who is married but perhaps not happily so, and Frances, an artist whose work has effectively become her life. Camilla and Liz spend a few weeks over summer in Frances's house, observing, talking, quietly analysing each other's lives and measuring the happiness of their friends and acquaintances against their own situations. Into this frothily fermenting female atmosphere comes Richard Elton - charismatic, charming but with a definite edge, a hint of the brutal and unpleasant. So far so conventional but such were Taylor's gifts as a writer that she manages to take these elements and twist them into an emotionally intense little tale full of perceptive comments on the human condition and wreathed throughout with beautiful imagery (flowers are everywhere, and the mysterious hills surrounding the village take on romantic or sinister overtones depending upon the person discussing them). A Wreath of Roses has been described as Taylor's darkest book and the ending is, indeed, genuinely creepy, beguiling and disturbing in equal measure.

I'm surprised, like a lot of people I suspect, that Taylor isn't better known. She was good on character, good on observation, terrific at atmosphere and positively brilliant at analysing what makes people tick. Her work may be quiet and understated - there is a picnic scene towards the end of the book where through touches so deft and subtle you barely notice them she manages to create an air of tension so icy it positively chills - but it weaves a magical spell. A Wreath of Roses is an excellent book and for all its genteel appearance it casts some very long, and very dark shadows. Superb.


The Water Theatre
The Water Theatre
by Lindsay Clarke
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ghosts past and present, 4 Oct. 2011
This review is from: The Water Theatre (Paperback)
The Water Theatre is a difficult book to categorise. In part it is a reflection upon youth and the path not taken; in part it's an exploration of freedom and our ability (or otherwise) to make a better world for ourselves and in part it's a quasi-mystical examination of letting go and the ways in which we seek redemption. Not surprisingly, therefore, the novel works more successfully in some places than in others. For example I found some of the scenes set in Africa with their descriptions of corruption and their examination of the betrayal of ideals a little bit false - too artificial somehow, too rigid in the way they push the plot forward - whereas the accounts of youthful friendships and youthful love affairs set in a snowy England are quite beautiful in their eloquence and in the way they describe the transcience of that moment between childhood and adulthood where everything seems possible.

The plot concerns Martin Crowther, a war reporter who finds himself undertaking a journey to the small Italian village of Fontanalba at the request of his mentor, Hal Brigshaw, in an attempt to reconcile the latter with his estranged children. What makes the journey all the more prickly is Martin's relationship to the two children in question - both close friends from his youth. One is the woman he never quite got over losing while the other is the best friend from whom he suffered an apparently irreconcilable split. Put all of these seething anxieties and emotions together; sprinkle liberally with a few peculiar local legends, add a couple of village inhabitants who are not quite what they seem and then stir gently under some heat-stricken stormy Italian skies. Just as with Clarke's earlier novel The Chymical Wedding the air of things being 'not quite right' becomes almost palpable. Clarke has always been brilliant at creating an aura of subtle mystery, a sense that the ground beneath your feet could shift at any point and that what you think you are dealing with is, in reality, something altogether more mysterious and dangerous. This is exactly what happens here and Martin's physical and spiritual journey becomes entangled with ghosts from his past and also, perhaps, from his future.

I found The Water Theatre a really enjoyable read. It kept me thinking and it had me looking back upon situations from my own formative years while all the time keeping me captivated with its fascinating and enigmatic plot. In parts it reminded me of John Fowles's The Magus (especially in the sense that Martin is playing a part in a game the rules of which he does not understand) while at other times it appeared to share a common ground with Iain Banks's The Crow Road (in the sense that it makes a great deal of the possibilities of youthful friendships and youthful love affairs). The novel also deals with father - son relationships in a brilliant and emotionally quite devestating fashion. Ultimately, however, the novel follows its own path and reaches its own beautifully realised conclusions. Definitely recommended for those looking for something a touch out of the ordinary in their reading.


The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Other Tales of Terror (Penguin Classics)
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Other Tales of Terror (Penguin Classics)
by Robert Louis Stevenson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Beast Within, 21 Sept. 2011
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is one of those books - rather like its Victorian fin-de-siecle counterparts Dracula and The Picture of Dorian Gray - that transcends its limits as a novel. The idea of the scientist who discovers a potion that transforms him from a mild-mannered and respectable citizen into a beast who tramples upon children just because they are in his way has entered the public consciousness; it has become the stuff of legend with the result that even those who have not read the book feel they know the story. All the same, even allowing for the fact the novel's success has rendered its surprises common knowledge, the original is well worth returning to: Stevenson's prose is so elegant it positively purrs and the ideas underlying the story are troubling, fascinating and compelling in equal measure.

It's quite easy to see why the novel is held in such high regard. To begin with it taps into a very primal fear, one swirling through the fog of late-Victorian Britain following the work of Charles Darwin and the revolutionary ideas emerging from the new sciences of psychology and psychoanalysis, namely that we are all at the mercy of our genetic past. We may be civilised on the surface but scratch away the thin veneer of respectability and you discover the beast within. Secondly the story is told in such a brilliant fashion. Now we all know the answers but the original readers of the book must have been fascinated as to just why the vile, brutish Mr Hyde had such a hold over the charming Dr Jekyll. Similarly why is Jekyll so reluctant to engage the help of his friends? Why, in particular, does he spend so much time in his laboratory. The descriptions in the novel are beautifully handled: the fogs in the streets; the echoing footsteps; the brutal murder. Jekyll and Hyde was published two years before the Whitechapel murders and readers at the time must have linked the two and been terrified by the resulting possibilities. Jack the Ripper was clearly a monster, but if we passed him in the street in broad daylight wasn't there a possibility that he could be just as likeable, just as respectable as the urbane Dr Jekyll? Finally, what struck me upon rereading the book recently, is the fact that Jekyll rather likes being Hyde - not in the sense that he likes what Hyde does (he clearly doesn't) but he likes Hyde's ability to act free from moral constraints. If we thought we could get away with something evil and reap the rewards without being caught would we give it a go? It's easy to say 'of course not' and act the perfect citizen but really, if opportunity presented itself? Could we be so sure?

In short I cannot recommend this fascinating little tale enough. It's frightening, thrilling, beautifully written and it makes you think. Like all the best ideas the notion of a fractured personality made manifest is brilliant and simple at the same time. Fabulous stuff - and fully deserving of its iconic status.


Basil (Oxford World's Classics)
Basil (Oxford World's Classics)
by Wilkie Collins
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love and Madness, 16 Sept. 2011
For its time - the book was first published in 1852 - this is actually a remarkably brave telling of a strange, unsettling and rather racy tale. Basil, the sober but idle second son of a monstrously straight-laced and formal father becomes besotted with a young woman whom he first sees on an omnibus. Margaret Sherwin, the focus of his infatuation, is considerably beneath Basil in terms of social standing but via some shabby dealings on the part of the young lady's father a deal is struck whereby the pair marry but live apart as single people for the space of a year. From this slightly tortuous set-up Collins then begins to unweave and shred the fabric of poor Basil's romantic notions. Margaret Sherwin, alas, is not exactly the innocent young woman she seems.....

Basil appears early in Collins's career. The heights of The Woman in White and Armadale were still some years away and, at this stage, Collins is clearly still learning his craft. All the same his handling of pace and character is remarkably assured, as is his ability to create an air of cloying menace. About a third of the way through the novel the enigmatic Mr Mannion appears - a man who has a remarkable ability to learn all the useful details about others while revealing nothing of himself. There is one scene in particular between Mannion and Basil which takes place in the former's house during a violent thunderstorm (absolutely everything in this novel is signposted by the weather at the time) which positively crackles with understated menace. Collins was always great at creating an atmosphere of enigmatic dread and this brilliant piece of descriptive writing early in his career is a superb early example of his talent for creating the uneasy and the worrying; that delicious sense of things being 'not quite right'.

It's not true of all writers but with Collins I think it holds that his best-known titles are also his most accomplished books. If you haven't read him before then starting with The Woman in White, The Moonstone or No Name makes sense but after those great novels from the midpoint of his career a book such as Basil is a great place to begin when it comes to exploring his less well known work. The writing cracks along at a great pace; the characters are interesting and the plot certainly holds the attention. Also there is a scene in the novel where Margeret occupies one hotel room while Basil is in the room nextdoor listening through the wall which for its queasy nature is unlike anything else I have read in Victorian fiction. Read it to find out what I'm refering too, and then rethink all those notions you have about the Victorians being stuffily correct and respectible at all times. Well worth a look, for those who wish to find undiscovered gems in the career of one of the nineteenth-centuries most exciting authors.


The Damnation of Theron Ware (Classics)
The Damnation of Theron Ware (Classics)
by Harold Frederic
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.43

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Damnation, 3 July 2011
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Theron Ware, a promising young Methodist minister, is appointed to the small town of Octavius where, through hard work and diligence, he begins to make a name for himself. He acts generously to those who support him, stands up to those who attempt to undermine his work, is affectionate towards his wife and has good intentions with regard to his own and to Church funds. And then, very slowly, everything begins to unravel and Theron Ware finds himself unwittingly walking along the pathway to hell.

What makes this Faustian tale so brilliant is the subtle way in which Theron Ware is gently steered towards his embrace with the devil. Ambition, desire, passion and the thirst for knowledge seep into Theron's life. He encounters a Catholic priest, Father Forbes, who has a charasmatic but dangerously loose approach to theology. Forbes introduces him to Dr Ledsmar, a Darwinian scientist who - in the finest traditions of the unhinged scientific genius - lives in a hill-top house and carries out veiled, sinister experiments on lizards, bees and even on his Chinese manservant. Finally, and most damagingly (and most beautifully), Theron meets the very gorgeous Celia Madden - a firey redhead who embodies all the qualities seen as so dangerous about the 'New Woman' who emerged in the Victorian fin de siecle. Celia Madden: beautiful, intelligent, quite possibly amoral and a walking embodiment of 1890s decadence is one of literature's great creations. If the devil truly had designs on a man's soul then Celia Madden is just the sort of unobtainable feisty beauty he would place in their path. Theron Ware, rather than remaining true to his original ideals and talents, suddenly wants to be more like his new friends. Inevitably, there is a price to be paid in order to feel at home with such colourful companions.

Many scenes in the novel flicker in the mind long after the book has been read: the description of Celia Madden's rooms, for example, where paintings of the Madonna and Child vie for attention with heavy velvet drapes and nude sculptures; Theron's intoxication as a result of Celia's rendition of Chopin; Dr Ledsmar's icy explanation of his sinister experiments and amoral observations on the Human Condition; Theron's confusion when he sees a stained glass window in the church where the Virgin looks, momentarily, like Celia. The entire novel is beautifully written and full of wonderful images; the characters are all fascinating and Theron's descent into hell is all too plausible and convincing. On one level the story acts as a simple tale of a good man unwittingly turning bad, on another the tale mirrors the uneasy relationship the late Victorian era had with religious doubt and the often unnerving advances in the field of science. I can think of few other novels that so closely mirror the doubts and concerns of the age in which they were written, nor one that plays upon them so eloquently.

In conclusion I simply love this novel. It deserves to be better known, indeed it deserves to be considered alongside the best work of Nathaniel Hawthorne who, in terms of style and subject matter, is as close a companion to Harold Frederick as I can think of. It's an amazing, strange, beautiful, unnerving, mystifying and fascinating novel. Definitely one of the very best novels I have ever read, and positively the most haunting. Majestic.


The Invisible Man (Penguin Classics)
The Invisible Man (Penguin Classics)
by H.G. Wells
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Darkness Invisible, 23 Jun. 2011
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The opening scenes of this novel are superb and evocative of any number of mystery stories. A stranger, his face heavily wrapped in bandages, arrives during a violent snow storm in a small out of the way town. Seeking shelter in a wayside inn his strange behaviour and secretive ways soon arouse suspicion, distrust and ultimately hostility. What makes this novel different from any other with a similar set-up is that the mysterious stranger isn't on the run from the law, or his partners in crime, but rather has put himself at odds with his fellow humans by his scientific, and brilliantly successful, experiments into invisibility. Something so keenly sought, and something which has long been a dream for many, turns out to be a curse beyond all imagining.

H.G. Wells was very good at portraying the dark flip-side of scientific research. For every brilliant scientific advance that helps mankind there is something destructive and unpleasant that crawls from the laboratory and causes misery and chaos. Having studied under T.H. Huxley Wells was uniquely placed among the popular authors of his day to address the debates surrounding the dark directions, and casually abandoned ethical codes, that dogged scientific advances during the twilight years of Queen Victoria's reign. Griffin - the Invisible Man - shows by his fanatical adherence to his scientific work how brilliant results can be achieved but, all too frequently, only at the expense of terrible suffering.

Having successfully discovered the secret to invisibility Griffin finds himself hounded and attacked by everyone who senses his presence. Obtaining food, finding shelter, even walking down a crowded street become nightmarishly difficult tasks. The difficulties of surviving, combined with the strain caused by years of research at the expense of all else, turns Griffin's mind into a very dark place indeed. From initially being something to welcome invisibility ultimately becomes a means by which vengence can be taken against the human race.

Wells was always a terrifically good descriptive writer and the accounts of the mayhem the invisible man causes in the small community in which he finds himself have a terrific power; he was also good at portraying the twisted imaginings of Griffin as the people begin to turn on him. What perhaps slighty counts against the book is the fact that Griffin ultimately does become a typical 'mad scientist'. As his behaviour becomes ever more extreme the novel drifts close to cliche but, all the same, as a warning against the obsessive pursuit of a dream, The Invisible Man is one of the best books out there.


The Island of Doctor Moreau (Penguin Classics)
The Island of Doctor Moreau (Penguin Classics)
by H.G. Wells
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The Devil's Eden, 17 Jun. 2011
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The Victorian fin de siecle wasn't exactly short of mad scientists but, even in a crowded and highly competitive field, Doctor Moreau stands out. He is, if you like, the Mad Scientist's Mad Scientist: the deranged genius lesser madmen in laboratories aspired to be. Moreau is Frankenstein, but without the self-awareness that what he is doing transgresses Nature.

Wells's tale, published in 1896, tapped into contemporary fears regarding the gloomier conclusions arising from Darwin's theories of evoultion. Doctor Moreau, a brilliant biologist who believes the pursuit of knowledge is such a worthy aim that feeble debates regarding right and wrong shouldn't be allowed to impede his research, sets up a laboratory on an idylic island and conducts experiments into accelerated evolution. Taking animals and putting them under the knife he attempts to turn them into something closer to human beings. His experiments meet with varying degrees of 'success' but, as the pain-wracked creatures escape and stuggle with their newly acquired human characteristics, the island becomes transformed into a ghastly inversion of Eden - complete, as one memorable episode relates, with its own serpent.

As ever with H G Wells the serious investigations into contemporary concerns are wrapped inside an engaging story. Edward Prendick, the somewhat self-pitying narrator of the tale, finds himself trapped on the island following a shipwreck and the gradual realisation of what Moreau's work entails, and where it is leading, is revealed through his eyes. There is a great deal of adventure and some brilliantly described action sequences, but ultimately, after reading the book, it is the horrifying nature of Moreau's ethically barren scientific research that lingers in the mind. As mad scientists go, Moreau really is up there with the true greats.


Two on a Tower: A Romance (Penguin Classics)
Two on a Tower: A Romance (Penguin Classics)
by Thomas Hardy
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Above us only sky, 12 Jun. 2011
'Star-crossed lovers' feature heavily in the novels of Thomas Hardy but here the term is given a literal emphasis. Swithin St Cleeve, young, handsome, intelligent and penniless finds himself the object of desire for Lady Constantine, ten years his senior and with a husband off exploring the wilds of Africa. Swithin has set up an astronomical observatory at the top of a tower which lies in the grounds of Lady Constantine's estate and together the young scientist and the bored lady of the manor spend cloudless nights gazing at the heavens. What makes this premise so interesting is that Hardy had clearly done his research into the current scientific beliefs and, just as Darwinism had caused many to question their religious convictions, so the astronomers of the day were revealing the earth to be a tiny, isolated speck in a bewilderingly vast and terrifying universe. As Swithin comments as he sweeps the night sky with his telescope, observing the multitude of distant stars: 'It is just the same in everything; nothing is made for man'.

What makes the novel work - and as 'lesser' Hardy novels go this is one of the best - is the way Hardy never quite sticks his colours to the mast and reveals where his sympathies lie. Everything is kept neutral and opaque, which makes the drama appear more akin to real life than a clock-work plot with stock characters. Swithin is largely so passionate about his scientific research, and thus so cold to his companions, that he has little time for the lovestruck, beautiful and intelligent Lady Constantine. In turn Lady Constantine finds herself unable to escape the conventions of Victorian morality sufficiently to successfully pursue he man she loves. Further spanners are thrown into the works in the shape of a local bishop - a man of influence and rather pompous self-regard - who has designs on Lady Constantine; and the local beauty, Tabitha Lark, who, in Darwinian terms, with her youth and vivacity, would make a much better mate for Swithin than the gently fading Lady Constantine. Hardy is quite brutal in the way he sets out these competing characters, but then so was Darwin, so is life.

As ever with Hardy the descriptions of the countryside, whether bathed in warm summer sun or shivering in the frosts of winter, are exquisitely beautiful. Similarly the rustic locals provide quaint humour and profound wisdom in equal measure while, all the time, observing the triumphs and tragedies of the lovers in their midst. Hardy is also quite daring in the way he pushes the boundaries of what makes for an acceptible subject for a novel. The pages of text provide one narrative, what one can read between the lines provides quite another. Two on a Tower is not up there with the likes of The Mayor of Casterbridge or The Return of the Native, but it's still well worth a read for anyone with a love of the countryside and an interest in how human passions were played out against the icy scientific advances, and the staid morality, of late Victorian Britain.


The Doll: Short Stories (VMC)
The Doll: Short Stories (VMC)
by Daphne Du Maurier
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sinister Beauties, 12 May 2011
The majority of the short stories in this collection date from very early in du Maurier's career, and while they may, on occasion, lack some of the polish of her later tales they provide a terrific insight into her development as a writer. Most tellingly perhaps the collection proves that those beautiful, sinister twists she was so accomplished at in later life were a gift she had from the very beginning. Similarly the effortlessly elegant prose and the ability to carry a story. Very few writers have ever been quite so good at telling a tale as Daphne du Maurier.

The title story, 'The Doll', is a good example of her ability to twist expectations. The set-up is very simple - an impressionable man becomes besotted with a beautiful and mysterious young violinist - but the conclusion, involving the mechanical doll of the title, is so bizarre, and works so well, that Edgar Allan Poe would have been proud to claim it as one of his own. I can't think of another author who could write about the macabre and the twisted quite so confidently, and carry her readers with her quite so effortlessly. Similarly the tale 'East Wind' in which the inhabitants of a far-flung island find themselves playing unexpected hosts to the crew of a brig sheltering from a storm turns on two totally unexpected, and shockingly violent, events.

One of the other themes that emerges from the collection is how well du Maurier could flitter between her characters; she gives them equal space, and allows her readers to see a narrative from several perspectives. Frequent notions emerge: the impossibility of love lasting; the fickleness of beauty and youth, and the way the old distrust the young, and vice versa. There is also one very clever ghost story, 'The Happy Valley' which is in some ways an early sounding for her most famous novel, 'Rebecca'. Other stand-out stories include 'Tame Cat', in which a daughter unwittingly incurs her mother's wrath, and 'The Limpet' which relates the clinging-horror of a woman's life and career and its terrifying effect on those around her.

It's true that du Maurier went on to write better stories - her later collections such as 'The Breaking Point' and 'The Birds' contain some of the best short stories of the 20th century - but, all the same, there are some real gems here and as an insight into the mind and early years of a great and unique talent, this is a fabulous little collection of quite sinister and very beautiful tales.


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