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Don't Look Now: Selected Stories of Daphne du Maurier (New York Review Books Classics) Paperback – October 28, 2008

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Product Details

  • Series: New York Review Books Classics
  • Paperback: 346 pages
  • Publisher: NYRB Classics; Reprint edition (October 28, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590172884
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590172889
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #239,497 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"This excellent collection of [Du Maurier]'s out-of-print and previously unpublished tales is recommended for all collections." --Library Journal

"That whooshing sound you hear is your mind being sucked into the brilliant black depths of Daphne du Maurier's Gothic imagination, the instant you begin reading the eponymous first story in Don't Look Now. ... Novelist Patrick McGrath's introduction reacquaints us with the intense, eccentric, psychologically deft du Maurier, a master storyteller with a touch as smooth as a raven's wing." --O, the Oprah Magazine

"This author was unique in how she set people's attempts to be civilized and fair against the ravages of nature and the deceptions of intimacy--both of which can attack from within as well as without." --Louisville Eccentric Observer (LEO Weekly)

"This new collection of her macabre tales, which features many unavailable for years, is an ideal treat for Halloween." --Thicket

Du Maurier "was indeed a serious writer, a brilliant innovative practitioner of her craft, as these stories consistently demonstrate...Readers of these wonderful stories will go to places and feelings they never dreamed of - all because Daphne du Maurier possessed such an amazing imagination and such a capacity to make it all seem credible in her sturdy prose." --Washington Times

"'Don't Look Now' has remarkable sexual tension and is reminiscent of Patricia Highsmith in some ways, while 'The Blue Lenses' has a central idea that's one of the most original and scary you'll ever come across. She's a writer we think we know but don't really -- hugely underrated." --Los Angeles Times

"Don't Look Now is a stunning collection of du Maurier's particular brand of intricately plotted story. The mesmerizing title story was faithfully adapted by Nicholas Roeg, and the volume also includes the creepily riveting tale "The Birds,"... filmed by Alfred Hitchcock." --The Atlantic

“Daphne du Maurier's genius lay in her plots, which she spun with astounding originality and ease. Her novel Rebecca, her short stories ‘The Birds,’ ‘Don't Look Now,’ ‘The Blue Lenses’ and dozens more have an effectiveness that make them seem almost traditional, belonging not to any one author but to the imagination of the world.”–Albert Manguel

"Her tales of the macabre are among the best of their genre." –Michael Dirda

“Daphne du Maurier’s writing deserves a fresh look. She has long enjoyed national and international fame…and remains one of Britain’s most popular novelists, her books translated into many languages and read all over the world. The renowned film version of her stories…have brought her a global reputation, which is continually enhanced by television, radio and theatre adaptations. However, her status as a household name has sometimes led to patronizing commentary, the tag of ‘romantic novelist’ repeated relentlessly…This is no writer of idealistic and optimistic romance; from her earliest years, with acute observation and irony, Daphne du Maurier plumbed the depths of human betrayal, exploitation and despair, while at the same time evoking life’s unpredictable moments of intense pleasure and desire, often with a wry wit.” –Helen Taylor

“A crackerjack raconteuse…she takes the reader by the icy hand and leads him behind the curtain to view the characters on their ways to their own breaking points.” –The Saturday Review

“When the sky turns to slate and a bitter wind lashes the deserted Piazza San Marco, I long to sink into a corner of the Caffe Florian with 'Don't Look Now' and lose myself in Daphne du Maurier's bleak views of the city as a maze of sinister alleys and shuttered houses and bridges that lead nowhere.” –Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times

“Du Maurier emerges as a unique and complex writer whose mature works proved so disturbing that they've either been ignored or distorted beyond recognition…she's a complex, powerful, unique writer, so unorthodox that no critical tradition, from formalism to feminism, can digest her.” –Carol LeMasters, Harvard Gay and Lesbian Review

“Du Maurier served up more sinister fare than the Brontës…” –The New York Times Book Review

“Du Maurier has no equal” –Daily Telegraph (London)

About the Author

DAPHNE DU MAURIER (1907-1989)was the daughter of the legendary actor-manager Gerald du Maurier and granddaughter of George du Maurier, the author of the vastly successful late-Victorian novel Trilby and cartoonist for the magazine Punch. She grew up in London and Cornwall, where she would settle as an adult. Du Maurier published her first novel when she was twenty-three and would go on to write seventeen more, many of them best-sellers, including My Cousin Rachel, Jamaica Inn, and Rebecca, one of the most popular novels of the twentieth century. In addition to her fiction, du Maurier wrote several family biographies, a biography of Branwell Brontë, a study of Cornwall, two plays, and a good deal of journalism. She was married to Tommy “Boy” Browning and was the mother of three children.

PATRICK MCGRATH is the author of two story collections and seven novels, including Port Mungo, Dr. Haggard’s Disease, Spider, (which he also adapted for the screen), and most recently, Trauma. Martha Peake: A Novel of the Revolution won Italy’s Premio Flaiano Prize, and his 1996 novel, Asylum, was short-listed for both the Whitbread and the Guardianfiction prizes. McGrath is the co-editor of a collection of short fiction, The New Gothic. He lives in New York.

More About the Author

Daphne du Maurier was born in 1906 and educated at home and in Paris. She began writing in 1928, and many of her bestselling novels were set in Cornwall, where she lived for most of her life. She was made a DBE in 1969 and died in 1989.

Customer Reviews

All in all, this is an excellent collection of short stories by a great writer.
Lee Armstrong
I'd already read "Don't Look Now" twice and "The Birds" once before picking up this book.
kevin m antonio
The stories are interesting, if a bit naive in plot, and nice bed-time reading.
Leon Pyle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By C. C. Black on December 26, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Best known for "Rebecca," du Maurier's short stories elevate a tired genre into something truly literary. The premises for such yarns as "The Birds" and "Don't Look Now" (both available here) are compelling enough to have attracted Hitchcock (who played loose with her story) and Nicholas Roeg (who didn't). Her plotting is precise, her characters believable, her style that of an acerbic Edith Wharton. It is so very good to have these tales of terror assembled between two covers.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful By CoffeeGurl HALL OF FAME on March 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
For many years, I'd only known Daphne du Maurier for Rebecca. Even though I loved the aforementioned novel, I hadn't bothered to pick up her other books. Why? I have no idea. But then I rediscovered Rebecca, which compelled me to read Du Maurier's other works. I loved My Cousin Rachel, The Scapegoat and Jamaica Inn, and The House on the Strand has become my favorite. Then I decided to read her short stories. Don't Look Now features a compilation of the creepiest, most haunting and literary work I have read in recent years. I loved "The Birds," and now realize that Hitchcock butchered this wonderful story, turning the film into nothing more than commercial garbage. "Kiss Me Again, Stranger" and "The Escort" have supernatural elements, while "La Sainte-Vierge" and "Indiscretion" show the author's ironic side, with a language that speaks of disdain to marriage and relationships in general. But my favorite story in this book is no doubt "Don't Look Now." This totally creepy tale of clairvoyance and destiny will haunt you long after you've read it.

So, if you loved Rebecca, adored My Cousin Rachel or The House on the Strand, and you're a fan of short fiction, then you will love Don't Look Now. Daphne du Maurier proved that she was much, much more than a commercial bestseller. She was, without a doubt, a gifted writer and a force to be reckoned with.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Christian Engler on June 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
Daphne Du Maurier's story collection, Don't Look Now, is a must-have for readers interested in the literary elements of the creepy, bizarre and gothic. Primarily known for her gothic novel Rebecca, Du Maurier was equally adept at the short story; her tightly written tales are of upper and middle class English people confronting situations that are outside the box of normality. One of my favorite stories is "Don't Look Now," in which a young English couple is traveling in Italy, trying to recover from the death of their daughter. While there, the wife encounters two elderly spinster sisters while dining, one of whom is psychic; the sister with second sight informs the wife that their daughter is with them and not to be too sad. Also, the husband appears to clairvoyant, but he is unaware of it and not in full grasp of his powers. While the set-up is established, the backdrop of the environment is firmly conveyed. But here, there is a story within the story, and that is that there's is a serial killer prowling the area; it is hardly mentioned throughout the tale, if only as an afterthought, something that is out of sight and out of mind and therefore not worth particular in-depth attention. This is where Du Maurier's genius lies. As the reader progresses into the story, the backdrop slowly creeps forward into the aforementioned lives of the couple. And when both separate experiences collide, jaw-dropping horror is the end result. All of the tales possess this type of creepy foundation, and when the foundation is built up, cringing and disbelieving horror is the result. The pages get turned quickly.

Another example is the short story "Kiss Me Again, Stranger," where a young English bloke has fallen in love after meeting an usherette at the theater.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By kevin m antonio on June 19, 2009
Format: Paperback
I'd already read "Don't Look Now" twice and "The Birds" once before picking up this book. The other stories are just as good and compelling... so much so that I put aside time to read each story without interruption.
The story of "The Birds" is much better than the movie. My other favorites are "Blue Lenses' and "Split Second", both real page turners.
WARNING: Read the introduction after you've read the stories, Patrick McGrath gives away key plot points (why, Patrick, WHY?). I was NOT happy about that.
Still, a great book... and great cover, too.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By doctor_beth #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 30, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Du Maurier has a clear talent for writing intelligent, engaging prose in a very accessible, clear style. Her characters are real, and their conversations are completely believable. My favorite of the five tales featured here was the title story; like du Maurier's classic novel Rebecca, this is a taunt psychological thriller with a surprise ending. In the second story, "The Breakthrough," the standard search for life after death is presented in a unique light. My least-favorite story of the book was the third, "Not After Midnight," as it had a disappointing ending which I still don't fully understand. In the fourth story, "A Border-line Case," the characters are less believable than is typical for du Maurier, yet the story is still worthwhile. Finally, for the last tale, "The Way of the Cross," du Maurier takes a different tact by telling the story from the perspectives of several main characters rather than just one, and the positive result is less thriller, more human interest. du Maurier is an excellent storyteller, and most readers are likely to find something to praise in at least one of this book's well-written stories.
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