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The Breaking Point: Short Stories (VMC) Paperback – 7 May 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Virago (7 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844085759
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844085750
  • Product Dimensions: 12.5 x 1.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 206,537 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

In this collection, Daphne du Maurier's peerless craftmanship, her eerie sense of the macabre, her gift for sheer story telling come to full fruition. (Kirkus Reviews)

She wrote exciting plots, she was highly skilled at arousing suspense, and she was, too, a writer of fearless originality (Patrick McGrath Guardian)

Book Description

A collection of eight chilling stories by the author of 'The Birds' and 'Don't Look Now', introduced by Sally Beauman

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4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
`The Breaking Point', named because "characters are caught at those moments when the delicate link between reason and emotion has been stretched to the breaking point", was originally published in 1959 and hasn't been published since the early 80's. Until this year of course! Daphne has always been known to write quite dark tales however this is said to be one of her darkest which of course added to the thrill of reading the book and I have to say that these are incredibly dark and brooding indeed. Written when her husband was ill, she was relocated nearby to a small cramped flat and then faced with her husband's long term adultery, so possibly in quite a dark place herself.

Now this is a collection of eight of her short stories and me telling you about each and every single one of them might get a little dull and ruin the objective of actually buying the books yourselves. So I will focus on a few and simply say that all of them are quite chilling, even when at first you think that they might not be.

`Ganymede' for example is just one such tale, it starts with what seems like a tale of "the unspeakable act" of a classical scholar who when holidaying in Venice becomes besotted and slightly obsessed with a waiter. Of course in this day and age this really isn't that shocking, however as the tale goes on what could be a romance story has a huge twist that shocks you and is then followed by a small chapter that then makes you completely reshuffle the story and its motive as you read the last line. It's difficult to review any of these without giving away the twists in the tale at the end which all of them have in abundance.

`The Pool' is slightly different, as is `The Archduchess' as they both have a slight, if dark, fairytale quality to them.
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By mel on 14 April 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Absolutely loved this, it was my first foray into Daphne Du Maurier's work and I will definitely be reading more. Quirky tales that are just the right length and hold your interest perfectly. There was one particular story I was most interested in because I had heard it discussed and wanted to read it for myself (The Blue Lenses) but I enjoyed them all equally.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wanted something else by this author after reading the Cornish novels Rebecca, My cousin Rachel, and Jamaica inn. These were well reviewed, so I thought I'd give them a go. I"d read The Blue Lenses some years before, but forgotten it. Now I wonder how I could have! There is an unevenness about the collection: the author was close to a nervous breakdown when she wrote them, and this shows in the desperation of some of the characters, and the lack of polish on some stories. My favourites were The ArchDuchess, the Blue Lenses, and The Pool; the latter in particular.If you are a du Maurier fan and you appreciate her dark side (remember, she wrote Don't Look Now), give this a go.
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Format: Paperback
Excellent as always, a real mixture of stories, but all with a sinister quality that the author does so well. Love "The Blue Lenses" especially, such a good premise - a woman's sight is restored by a new medical intervention, but she finds she now views people in a very unsettling way.
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Format: Paperback
I have several compilations of Du Maurier's short stories, they are all superb. The stories compiled in the "The Breaking Point" are dark, modern, claustrophobic and brilliant. "The Alibi" is a story about a man having some sort of ongoing psychotic episode. "The Menace" is a little more light hearted and tells of a John Wayne type character who is on the brink of losing his movie career. The most horrific, for me, was "the Blue Lenses", just reading it made me feel panicked and claustrophobic. Her description of a mothers careless cruelty towards her dumb son brought a lump to my throat. These stories were first published in 1959 yet they all seem so modern and relevant. These stories were written when Du Maurier herself felt on the edge of madness and her writing has absorbed her paranoia and anguish. Mini-masterpieces from Daphne Du Maurier.
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