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53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My first du Maurier - and I now understand all the fuss!
This isn't the sort of book I'd normally pick up, but on a fairly recent visit to the South West, I visited the Jamaica Inn. After eating there and having a look around the gift shop and noting the tourists swarming around, I thought I'd better find out exactly what all the fuss was about. And so I got hold of a copy of this book. I'm glad I did.

Though Daphne...
Published on 19 Jun. 2009 by Lucy Felthouse

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric and haunting
The story is of Mary Yellan. Her mother's dying wish was for her to go and live with her Aunt and Uncle at Jamaica Inn. Mary's Uncle is a large fearsome character who drinks to drown his sorrows and guilt at his crimes. Her Aunt is a woman who has become just a tiny portion of her former self after years of being down trodden. Mary is the strong character in between who...
Published on 29 Nov. 2009 by J. McDonnell


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53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My first du Maurier - and I now understand all the fuss!, 19 Jun. 2009
By 
Lucy Felthouse (Derbyshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Jamaica Inn (VMC) (Paperback)
This isn't the sort of book I'd normally pick up, but on a fairly recent visit to the South West, I visited the Jamaica Inn. After eating there and having a look around the gift shop and noting the tourists swarming around, I thought I'd better find out exactly what all the fuss was about. And so I got hold of a copy of this book. I'm glad I did.

Though Daphne du Maurier is best known for her novel Rebecca, Jamaica Inn appealed more to me because of having been to the place. Though it's undoubtedly changed considerably since du Maurier's time, I can definitely still see how it must have affected her all those years ago. Looking out across the horizon where the moors stretch, I can see how foreboding it must have been; less the hundreds of tourists, village and nearby dual carriageway.

Jamaica Inn is the story of Mary Yellan. Recently orphaned, Mary grants her mother's dying wish by travelling across Cornwall to go and live with her Aunt Patience at Jamaica Inn, a lonely inn on the Bodmin to Launceston road. However, before arriving, Mary hears all kinds of odd tales about the goings-on at the inn, mainly stories to do with the horrible man that it appears her aunt has married. Sure that the people are exaggerating and her uncle is merely misunderstood, Mary continues on her way. But shortly after arriving at her new home, Mary realises that she has made a mistake. The once-happy Patience is now a shadow of her former self, skulking around and pandering to her husband's every whim. It would appear that the rumours she'd heard were true.

There are few visitors to the inn, and the people that do come are just like her Uncle Joss, loud, uncouth and intimidating. Mary also suspects they're up to no good, particularly as her sharp mind starts to question the constant coming and going of carts in the middle of the night, and the reason there's a locked and barred room in the inn. On questionning her aunt, Mary learns little more, but enough to know just how terrified of her husband she is and that what he gets up to on those dark nights is deeply criminal. Mary starts to plot how she can get herself and her aunt away from the brooding presence of Jamaica Inn and it's evil landlord without being implicated in the activities taking place there...

It's very difficult to categorise this book as it doesn't fit neatly into a genre. It's action-packed, is pacey and also contains a love interest and deception. There's a bit of everything in here and it is excellent. I feel most readers would find this book fascinating, particularly if you've been, or plan to visit, the Jamaica Inn. I'd recommend both - that is, reading the book and visiting the inn.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb atmospheric story, superbly read., 18 Mar. 2010
By 
Mr. A. WILSON - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Jamaica Inn (Audio CD)
One of the skills required of a great audiobook reader, is the ability to portray the character and atmosphere of the story. It is in this that Samantha Bond excels. This is a superbly dark, atmospheric story, set on Cornwall's wild and desolate Bodmin moor. A young woman, Mary Yellan, takes up residence with her Aunt and Uncle at Jamaika inn. It soon becomes apparent, that life at Jamaica is not all that it seems to be. Mary becomes entangled in a web of smuggling, danger, murder and romance, where few people are what they appear to be. Samantha Bond brings this story to life, capturing the character, pace, tension and atmosphere of Daphne du Maurier's classic, in a way that few audiobook readers can, in my experience. This is a gem, a great combination of story and reader. This has long been a favourite of mine and is one of the finest examples of the audiobook readers art, that I have heard.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic du Maurier, 1 Sept. 2011
This review is from: Jamaica Inn (VMC) (Paperback)
?Mary Yellan is a simple country girl (oh how I hate this phrase but it's basically true) and when her mother dies, she goes to live in the eerie Jamaica Inn with her Aunt Patience and Uncle Joss. Mary's memories of Aunt Patience are wonderful: all smiles and laughter but this has changed when she reaches Jamaica Inn and her Uncle Joss is less than inviting. The more time Mary spends with her Uncle, the more she realises there's something no good about him and as the story unfolds we find more than one devious character hiding within this novel.I really really enjoyed this book. My favourite du Maurier is My Cousin Rachel, closely followed by Rebecca but now I just can't decide. The atmosphere du Maurier creates upon Bodmin Moor in Cornwall is brooding, dark and sinister and these qualities are reflected in Mary's Uncle Joss' night time companions. Joss himself is a fantastic creation as he somehow manages to be both terrifying and enigmatic. Other key characters include Joss' brother Jem, who Mary takes a unexpected shine to and the seemingly friendly and all-knowing Vicar of Altarnun. I have to say the Vicar's characterisation is definitely my favourite but can't go into detail why without spoiling the plot and I try not to do that.There's an undercurrent of piracy and smuggling in this novel which ties in with the real history of Jamaica Inn in Cornall and this is what makes the novel even more interesting.
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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brooding, mysterious, brilliant..., 28 Feb. 2007
This review is from: Jamaica Inn (VMC) (Paperback)
I defy anyone not to be gripped by the opening chapter where the heroine, Mary Yellan is travelling to Jamaica Inn by stagecoach on a winter's night battling the wind and rain. Like her other books Du Maurier draws the setting, Bodmin Moor in Cornwall brilliantly and this coupled with a feisty heroine and a giant rogue of a villain in her uncle, the landlord of Jamaica Inn all make for a great read. The Inn itself, hinted at early on as being a sinister place, does not disappoint and I was totally drawn into the dark goings on as Mary slowly unravels its secrets and that of her uncle.
Rebecca is better but this is still an excellent book and will keep you hooked to the twistingly brilliant ending. Faultless writing by, in my opinion, the master storyteller.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Passionate romance set in Victorian Cornwall, 25 Jan. 2007
This review is from: Jamaica Inn (VMC) (Paperback)
Like Wuthering Heights, the scenery and setting in this brooding book are extremely important, creating and refelcting mood. Here, rather than the Yorkshire Moors, it's Bodmin Moor in Cornwall. Within these bleak and hostile moors sits the solitary and isolated inn of the title (still there in real life), presided over by the frightening and cruel drunkard, Joss Merlyn. But is he the real villain, or is he just being used by an even more powerful force?

What I particulalty like about this book is that it's set in Victorian times, reads very much like a Victiorian novel, but is not blunted by that era's strict censorship (Jamaica Inn was published in the - slightly- freer 1930s). Mary and Jem actually do frolic quite suggestively, despite not being married, and this behaviour is not damned by the narrative.

It is interesting that Hitchcock made films of three Du Maurier works. As well as Jamaica Inn, The Birds and Rebecca are also based on her stories. He must have been a fan.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply The Best - Leslie Temby, 2 Mar. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Jamaica Inn (Paperback)
So many times I have driven past Jamaca Inn, the wide open moorland has not changed over the years, the Innn is a true place it really exsists, Now it is hard to think of the place back in the early 1800s its now a friendly place to visit so warm,the wreckers have gone but the church at Alternum still stands and for those who have read this thrilling tale of how things might have been in 19th centuary Cornwall stands as a reminder of the Rev Davey. Pick this book up and you will never put it down until you have finished, and then you will want to read it again. As a true Cornishman I can tell you that this book is well worth the read,
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars (4.5) A spooky, gothic tale perfect for a stormy October night, 24 Oct. 2008
By 
Misfit (Seattle, WA USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
"Roads? Who spoke of roads? We go by the moor and the hills, and tread granite and heather as the Druids did before us." Why I have waited so many years to read more of Du Maurier's books I'll never know, but there are definitely more of hers in my immediate reading future!

It's early 19C in Southern Cornwall and Mary Yellen's dying mother asks her to sell the family farm and join her Aunt Patience and her husband at Jamaica Inn in Northern Cornwall. Mary arrives and finds that no respectable person will venture near the inn, nor will the carriages stop there for respite. Her once lively and personable aunt is now a terrified shell of a woman married to drunkard inn owner Joss Merlyn. When Joss prepares to entertain "guests" Mary and her aunt are instructed to stay in their rooms and keep their eyes and ears covered -- although our spunky heroine does peek out the window and sees mysterious comings and goings and Mary suspects smuggling.

Mary also becomes friends with her uncle's younger brother Jem, a ne'er do well horse thief (among other things) and the mysterious albino minister Francis Davey. A mischance on the road on the way home from the village on Christmas Eve puts Mary in the middle of her Uncle and his nefarious companions in the midst of a more gruesome crime than smuggling, thus setting in motion a terrifying set of circumstances building up to a nail biting finish on the Bodmin moors.

While this one got off to a bit of a slow start for me, by the last 50 or so pages I was on the edge of my seat as Du Maurier gradually built up the tension and mystery for a rocking good finish, and a big surprise twist at the end. I really enjoyed the way the author used the spookiness of the moors and the surrounding terrain of Cornwall to set her scenes and it greatly enhanced the feel of the book in general. 4.5/5 stars.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling reading with an unexpectable twist in the story., 16 Aug. 2001
By 
t.w.tomlinson@talk21.com (Staffordshire, England.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Jamaica Inn (Paperback)
I first starting reading this book in 1971 for cse studies at school although I only read about a third of the story. Now, thirty years on I felt that I needed to read it and see what the story was really about and am so glad that I have. I found the story to be interesting, and anyone who likes murder, mystery and suspense, with a hint of romance, then take a step back in time and get absorbed within this twisting tale. Truly, I found it magnificent and unable to put the book down.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderfully atmospheric mystery, 18 Aug. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Jamaica Inn (Paperback)
I first read this book when I was in my teens, along with all of Daphne Du Maurier's other novels. It is a very suspenseful work and I cannot recommend it highly enough. It also really evokes the beauty of the Cornish countryside.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable yarn, 9 July 2011
By 
Bacchus (Greater London - Surrey) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Jamaica Inn (Paperback)
I don't think Jamaica Inn is as well known as Rebecca (which is one of my favourite movies) but it is the first Daphne du Maurier novel that I have ever read.

I have enjoyed reading it very much and plan to try out a few of her other novels.

Initially, I found the language to be a bit dated and a bit `over-written'. However, after a couple of chapters, I got used to it and found myself engrossed in Mary Yellan's story.

Jamaica Inn is the name of a desolate travellers' inn in North Cornwall. No-one ever stops there because of its bad reputation. The landlord is Mary Yellan's uncle by marriage, Joss Merlyn, who appears to be a brooding bully, who has terrorised Mary's Aunt Patience and appears to be using the inn in some sort of criminal activity. Mary is caught in his web through concern for her aunt.

Mary comes into contact with two potential saviours, Joss' younger brother a charming but not entirely straightforward horse thief and Francis Davey, the vicar of the local church, a rather mysterious albino. Throughout the book the reader is kept on tenterhooks as to which of these men Mary should trust.

We find that the crimes Joss is involved with are involved in relate to wrecking, a form of land piracy in which wreckers shine a beacon out to sea to lure a ship to come in and then crash on the rocks. When this happens, the wreckers then enter the ship and take the booty. The description of a wrecking raid in the book is very exciting.

Well worth a read.
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Jamaica Inn (VMC)
Jamaica Inn (VMC) by Daphne Du Maurier (Paperback - 6 Mar. 2003)
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