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Rebecca (Virago Modern Classics) Paperback – 30 Jan 2003

4.6 out of 5 stars 617 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Virago; New Ed edition (30 Jan. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844080382
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844080380
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 3 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (617 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 455 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

One of the most influential novels of the twentieth century, Rebecca has woven its way into the fabric of our culture with all the troubling power of myth or dream. A stunning book (Sarah Waters)

Addictive and breathtaking. Its blending of melodrama and subtlety is ingenious. The Cornish setting never quite leaves the imagination (Independent)

Possibly the best crime novel ever written. Right from page one you are gripped by a palpable sense of suspense (Hilary Bonner Express)

With one of the most evocative first lines ever, Daphne du Maurier's fifth novel has everything a reader could ask for . . . Psychologically astute and disturbingly romantic, Rebecca was an immediate bestseller on publication in 1938 and has cast a sinister spell ever since (Marie Claire)

A brilliantly constructed novel - the ultimate in psychological suspense, instantly gripping and haunting, Rebecca will stay with you for ever. (Alex Barclay Psychologies)

I am reminded of how profoundly du Maurier changed the way I felt about myself, how she engaged and excited me with her writing. (Julie Myerson)

The DAILY TELEGRAPH (‘As a new generation of readers are introduced to the wicked housekeeper Mrs Danvers and learn Maxim de Winter’s terrible secret, this chilling, suspenseful tale is as fresh and readable as it was when it was first written, more than 60 years ago.’)

Excellent entertainment . . . du Maurier created a scale by which modern women can measure their feelings. (Stephen King)

Review

'Addictive and breathtaking. Its blending of melodrama and subtlety is ingenious. The Cornish setting never quite leaves the imagination' (The Independent)

'Rebecca was an immediate bestseller on publication in 1938 and has cast a sinister spell ever since.' (Marie Claire)

'Excellent entertainment ... du Maurier created a scale by which modern women can measure their feelings.' (Stephen King, bestselling author) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fantastic mystery story. I enjoyed re-reading this wonderful book. Daphne called it a 'Study in Jealousy' and it is based on her own jealous feelings towards her husband's former fiancee, a beautiful socialite named Jan Ricardo. Daphne found some love letters from her all signed with a distinctive 'R', the same motif that the second Mrs de Winter keeps finding at Manderley and which makes her feel inferior. She really gets inside the mind of the second Mrs de Winter (who is never named) and as the story unfolds, the mystery surrounding Rebecca's death deepens, and the pace quickens at the end with brilliant suspense. Manderley is Menabilly, Daphne's Cornish home, and Mrs de Winter's dream in the first chapter is actually a description of how Daphne and her sister first found the uninhabited Menabilly along the 3-mile drive overgrown with trees and bushes.
Love it - love Maxim de Winter, Manderley and the evil Mrs Danvers.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Finally I have unearthed this celebrated classic. It is, indeed, a wonderful novel, holding rapt attention throughout, yet offering so much more than mere suspense. It has its roots in the great novels of the nineteenth century “Jane Eyre” in particular perhaps, but it offers the same wide expanse, the same in-depth characterisation, in a far more compact form. I know that the book is often slotted into the gothic pigeon-hole, but it is far more than that. Sally Beauman’s “Afterword” is stimulating and penetrating, though not all would want to push the feminist analysis as far as she does. Nonetheless, her bold, imaginative linking of the novel with Sylvia Plath’s poetry opens up some very worthwhile lines of enquiry. This is Du Maurier at her very best.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is Daphne Du Maurier's finest and a classic in the true sense of the word.

It's riveting, haunting and chilling at the same time. Mrs Danvers has got to be one of the most creepiest housekeepers I've ever read about in any book. The story is about a young orphan girl who works as a companion to an unbearable lady Mrs Van Hopper and while they are in Monte Carlo she catches the eye of Maxim De Winter a wealthy widower. Although twice her age he takes her off and marries her and brings her to his home Manderley. When she arrives she finds she is completely out of her element and her shyness and inexperience works against her. She finds everyone compares her to Maxim's first wife as she is completely unlike her in every respect. She feels inadequate and not worthy. Rebecca is rarely mentioned between Maxim and the second Mrs De Winter and so she draws her own conclusions however wrongly.

When the truth is finally uncovered and no matter how shocking it is you do still feel some sympathy towards the person who commits the crime. The second Mrs De Winter is changed forever by it and it's the point where she finally grows up. I felt alot of warmth for her and was very sympathetic of her situation as the second wife/other woman living in the shadow of the first one who outshone her it seemed in every way to start off with. I even felt myself getting upset for her and really wanted her to pull through and win over Rebecca. Although in the end she does , Rebecca's ghost will always haunt the marriage even while the current Mrs De Winter and Maxim are in exile.

Very sad and haunting book, worthy of being a Hitchcock Classic!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It took me a while to get into the story as I found it at times over-descriptive and slow-paced. It wasn't easy for me to sympathise with the characters at first, he seemed cold and condescending, her self-esteem so low. However it is so beautifully written I just thought I would continue, and I'm happy I did. I thoroughly enjoyed the second half of the book, how Du Maurier creates a captivating atmosphere and makes you see the story from the narrator's perspective, I ended up liking the characters and I couldn't just put it down. Highly recommend to give it a chance.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sally Beauman in her afterword to the Virago edition I have of Rebecca makes exactly the statement I want to make about the book: "It has been dismissed as a gothic romance, as `women's fiction'..." which is precisely the impression I'd received and been hitherto uninterested in reading. So when I perused reviews and decided to try it after all, imagine my surprise that I could not put it down!

There are many motifs that at first led me to believe the book might be just as I'd always thought it would be; a sort of Jane Eyre brought forward to the age of the motorcar, but I read on. I'm not a great fan of Jane Eyre but I read on and from chapter 7 onwards, a sinister chill began to set in and didn't stop.

Writing in the first person, Du Maurier uses the perspective to its best, capturing the paranoia, mistrust, isolation and fear of the heroine perfectly whilst at the same time allowing the readers to know that she is not at all paranoid and something very dark is in fact going on.

In many ways Rebecca is a psychological thriller and comparable to Collins' The Woman in White. This is no insult from me; I also could not put that book down. It is not about the romance although romance there is. It is very much about the unravelling of secrets, nerves and plots, the shattering of illusions and the events that conspire to test a personality in what amounts to a tense but beautiful read.

I could put this book down neither physically nor pejoratively. There is something for everyone within those pages. I'm glad I bought the book which will no doubt become well-thumbed in years to come.
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