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64 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric classic.
Rebecca is a timeless classic in the gothic literature genre. Daphne Du Maurier weaves a tale full of tension and suspense that grips the reader from the start and doesn't let go.
Max de Winter brings his new bride to Manderley, the home he shared with his beautiful first wife Rebecca, before her untimely death widowed him. Rebecca's presence still seems to permeate...
Published on 23 Feb 2005 by Ms. H. Sinton

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Soppy Heroine, Marvelous Book !
Read on the back of "The Haunting of Hill House" & dimly remembered images from the film version, I found the book much as I'd expected... Essentially the same 'story' as that told in the film, but without the Hollywood happy ending...
Overall, I enjoyed it, though I have to say that the nameless 'heroine' of 'Rebecca' is still on my list of irritating &...
Published 4 months ago by RazorGrrl


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64 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric classic., 23 Feb 2005
By 
Ms. H. Sinton "dragondrums" (Ingleby Barwick. U.K.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Rebecca (VMC) (Paperback)
Rebecca is a timeless classic in the gothic literature genre. Daphne Du Maurier weaves a tale full of tension and suspense that grips the reader from the start and doesn't let go.
Max de Winter brings his new bride to Manderley, the home he shared with his beautiful first wife Rebecca, before her untimely death widowed him. Rebecca's presence still seems to permeate Manderley, haunting the new Mrs de Winter and sapping her confidence. The housekeeper Mrs Danvers who loved Rebecca and resents her place being 'usurped' feeds the young brides insecurities at every opportunity and makes her doubt her husbands love for her. When whispers of murder start to be heard, Mrs de Winter starts to doubt her new husband as well as her own sanity.
A fantastic tale that can be read time and time again without becoming stale or boring.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most gripping tale ever, 14 Jan 2007
By 
Miss LG (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Rebecca (VMC) (Paperback)
This is without exaggeration my most favourite book in the world. A truly dark, fascinating story where the house, Manderley, plays the main role. Rebecca was Maxim de Winter's first wife - although dead she seems more alive than any other character. Especially at Manderley, where her memory is forever cherished by the sinister Mrs Danvers, the housekeeper, whose love for her late mistress and hatred towards the second Mrs de Winter becomes an obsession...

The second Mrs de Winter is the narrator here, at the beginning practically still a schoolgirl, making her living by being a companion to an American lady in Monte Carlo. Here she meets the wealthy widower Maxim and falls for him instantly, despite the big age gap. She accepts his sudden marriage proposal and after a short honeymoon finally comes to live to Manderley, the very place she's been dreaming about so much. But here she learns that being a Mrs de Winter is not just that easy and her youth, inexperience, and shyness are no help when competing against the mesmerizing, bold, beautiful, sharp, fashionable, and admired by just about everybody Rebecca. Can she ever get it right, beat her fear, and capture the heart of her husband and become the real queen of Manderley?

Maxim comes across as a mysterious, enchanting but a very cruel man. The end is surprising and will certainly make your jaws drop.

Maybe if I get to Cornwall one day, I'll go looking about the coast for the traces of this fantastic piece of literature, which has never been out of print - since 1938! Anyone alse dreamt last night they went to Manderley again?
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85 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books ever written, 22 Aug 2005
This review is from: Rebecca (VMC) (Paperback)
Daphne du Maurier's classic novel "Rebecca" is, in my opinion, the most touching and thought-provoking of all of her works of fiction, and possibly one of the best books ever written. The story follows a young woman who, after accepting the much older Maxim de Winter's sudden proposal of marriage merely days after they meet in Monte Carlo, must contend with Maxim's stunningly beautiful late first wife, Rebecca, as she takes her place at her new husband's equally beautiful home Manderley.
This is a haunting tale, and as you would expect from du Maurier every aspect is conveyed fantastically through her rich, expressive writing style and vocabulary. No characters in a du Maurier novel are ever under-developed, and "Rebecca" boasts the most interesting set of characters I have ever seen in a novel. My favourites include the mysterious, somewhat frightening Mrs Danvers, who is undoubtedly the most stricken by Rebecca's death and remains obsessed with her a year after she was "drowned"; Maxim's sister Beatrice, who seems to be the only one who immediately takes to the new Mrs de Winter out of sympathy and sheer heart; and Frank Crawley, Maxim's agent, a quiet character who somehow reminds me of myself. Of course, there are then the marvellous creations of the two main characters, the most unlikely people ever to fall in love. Du Maurier injects me with a stab of pain every time she allows a character, paricularly Maxim, to refer to the new Mrs de Winter as a "child", and she emphasises her lowly status even more by not revealing her first name throughout the entire novel. Mrs de Winter, therefore, constantly finds herself under scrutiny and, like everyone around her at Manderley, becomes increasingly haunted by Rebecca. But this wonderful woman was not all she appears to have been...
As ever, du Maurier provides her reader with many twists and turns, none of which are escalated out of proportion to make the plot mindblowingly exciting and unbelievable, instead assisting in establishing "Rebecca" as a work of genius from one of the greatest authors ever to have lived. I cannot urge you more strongly to read this novel.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as its reputation, 29 July 2007
By 
Net (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Rebecca (VMC) (Paperback)
This was an extremely absorbing read and kept me interested from start to finish. At times I so wanted to shake the narrator for not having some much needed backbone but such is the beauty of the story..her change from weak to confident. Rebecca's power comes entirely from the new Mrs de Winter's isolation and the unspoken mysteries of Manderlay. The way the threat grows and grows in her mind set against other dramatic events is brilliant and leads to an exciting finale. I was so into this book the abrupt ending left me feeling rather bereft.

Do pay heed to a previous reviewer's warning: don't read the introduction first if you are new to this novel - it completely gives away the whole plot!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favourite Book Ever, 19 Sep 2007
This review is from: Rebecca (VMC) (Paperback)
Oh, my God. This book is the best book I have read in my life, and I have read quite a lot of books. Before I continue, I just want to say that whoever does not like it is quite mad- no offence.
The mystery surrounding this novel makes it gripping from the beginning. I thought the emotions of the un-named heroin were very well described, and I could imagine just how she felt, lonely and out of place.
As well as all the mystery there is comedy. For example, the outrageous Mrs Van Hopper at the beginning of the book. She made me laugh out loud at some points.
There were some creepy parts to the story. When Rebecca's boat was found with a body in it I went cold all over. And when Maxim was explaining to the un-named heroine about his relationship with Rebecca, and the reason she died, I could not put the book down.
And of course, there was one last shock and mystery to Rebecca. This mystery keeps you guessing for a very long time. Of course I can't say what happens, it would spoil the book. But what I will say is this: Read it, you won't regret it.
*****
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reflections in a very dark mirror, 31 Aug 2009
By 
Gregory S. Buzwell "bagpuss007" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rebecca (VMC) (Paperback)
Daphne du Maurier's most famous novel often finds itself bracketed as 'romance', which is rather like shelving 'Anna Karenina' in the chick-lit section. Rebecca is pretty dark and heady stuff - a love story perhaps, but only in the twisted and haunted fashion that Dracula and Wuthering Heights can be described as love stories. There are some very, very dark corners in Rebecca.

The nameless narrator, shy and unsure of herself, meets the brooding Max de Winter while working in Monte Carlo. Within weeks they are married and the new Mrs de Winter finds herself whisked back to Maxim's stately pile, Manderley, in Cornwall. Here she finds herself cowering in the magnificent shadow of Maxim's first wife Rebecca - a woman who was dashing, beautiful, loved by all and, so it would appear, the victim of a tragic boating accident in which she lost her life. Gradually mouse-like, shy wife number 2 finds that stunning, gorgeous and rather wild wife number 1 still rules the roost at Manderley. Rebecca lives on, her memory kept alive by the icy-cold and vampire-like Mrs Danvers (one of the most chilling characters I have ever encountered in any novel) and a whole host of maids, butlers and family friends who all seem, to one degree or another, still to be in loving thrawl to their former mistress.

Daphne du Maurier was an intelligent writer and a gifted story-teller. Here she paints a subtle picture, allowing the reader to view the novel either as a tale of a young woman growing in maturity and facing down 'the other woman' to win the love of the man she adores or you can read it as the ultimate triumph of wild, unbridled female sexual magnetism which - in the form of Rebecca - completely dominates the novel even though she herself never makes a living appearance in the book. Everything is ambiguous: lovely, heroic Maxim has a very dark secret. The corpse-like Mrs Danvers is arguably the most passionate character in the book and the shy narrator who supposedly acts as the heroine of the novel pales to a rather shifty furtiveness in comparrison with the tempestuous and wild Rebecca.

It is a gorgeous book - darkly inventive and haunting with layer upon layer of ambiguity. It's one of those novels where, on the surface, everything seems clear and straightforward but once you delve a little deeper you discover the waters are very dark and troubling. Hats off to Daphne du Maurier - she really was a very gifted writer and 'Rebecca' shows her at the peak of her game.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic, 2 Aug 2005
By 
Tealady2000 (Edinburgh) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Rebecca (VMC) (Paperback)
This a cracking read - a real page-turner. I was hooked right from the start. The opening chapter is so atmospheric, and Daphne du Maurier expertly conjures up Manderley as a dark and dramatic backdrop for the events that unfold. There are numerous twists and turns in the plot and a wonderful cast of grotesque but believable characters. Rebecca herself casts a long shadow that reaches right to the very last sentence. When I finished the book I was not sure where my sympathies lay, but for me that was part of the enjoyment.
A word of warning - if you buy this edition DO NOT read the introductory section before reading the novel - it gives away too much of the plot.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true page turner, 23 Dec 2009
This review is from: Rebecca (VMC) (Paperback)
Is there a book-loving female in the world who has not read and loved Rebecca?
It is so much more than just a mystery story.
Even when you know the plot, the depth of the characterisation is such that you are drawn in afresh every time.
The descriptions of Cornwall led me to nag at my family to go there on holiday, and now it is our favourite destination.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rebecca, 29 April 2010
By 
S. A. Scott (Peterborough, Cambs. England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Rebecca (VMC) (Paperback)
I've wanted to read this book for a very long time, and now that I have it I am delighted with it. I didn't see the film, but knew part of the story. Once I started to read it I couldn't put it down and would thoroughly recommend it. If it was possible to give it six stars I would have.
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40 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Put your hands in the air, step AWAY from the introduction, and you won't get hurt., 7 Mar 2007
This review is from: Rebecca (VMC) (Paperback)
The book itself is a classic and was recently promoted in the media as something people *must* read. Well, yes, read the book by all means, it is everything the glowing reviews say it is.

Bear in mind, however, that since this book was being touted as an introduction to good literature (whatever that is!) you might expect that many people who were new to the book would be expected to buy it. If you're someone who has never read the book previously - SKIP THE INTRODUCTION!

If Ms Beauman had any concern about new readers, she doesn't show this in the rather overblown introduction in which she gives away the story complete with the twist. It is arrogance itself to presume that "everybody has read the book" because it is "great literature" and therefore think it is fine to blather on about what made the book great (it certainly wasn't any introduction I ever read).

I'd read the book many years ago and bought it for my wife who'd never read it. Ms Bauman was personally responsible for reducing my wife's enjoyment of the book to merely an appreciation of the quality of the prose that followed.

Buy Daphne du Maurier's work by all means, just skip the pointless and counter-productive ego-trip that Ms Beauman begins the book with.
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