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Rebecca [Unabridged] [Audible Audio Edition]

by Daphne du Maurier (Author), Anna Massey (Narrator)
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,104 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews

Rebecca, a dark psychological tale of secrets and betrayal, is Daphne du Maurier's best-loved work and was named Best Novel of the 20th Century at the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention.

After a whirlwind romance and a honeymoon in Italy, the innocent young heroine and the dashing Maxim de Winter return to his country estate, Manderley. But the unsettling memory of Rebecca, the first Mrs. de Winter, still lingers within. The timid bride must overcome her husband's oppressive silences and the sullen history of the sinister housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers, to confront the emotional horrors of the past.

©2008 Daphne du Maurier; (P)2008 BBC Audiobooks

Product Details

  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 14 hours and 52 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Release Date: January 19, 2009
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001Q94PCS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,104 customer reviews)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
224 of 232 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An All-Time Classic August 17, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is one of the all-time greatest works of fiction, combining suspense, romance, and character development, all wrapped up in a mystery that is literally not resolved until the last page.
Modern readers should treat this story as a period piece of sorts; American readers in particular should bear in mind the differences between British and American cultures, and also the historical differences (Rebecca was published in 1938), otherwise they are apt to find the story 'slow' or 'dull.'
Like any great mystery writer, du Maurier throws out subtle clues in the first third of the story; about halfway through, she begins to resolve these clues, and from then on, the story races at full steam. *Don't let* the seemingly slow introduction stop you from finishing the book; patient readers will be well- rewarded when they see how brilliantly du Maurier sets up her surprises.
The story revolves around the unusual marriage of the young, unworldly narrator (whose first name is never revealed, one of the book's charming idiosyncrasies)to the brooding 'landed gentleman,' Maxim de Winter. When she arrives at his grand country manor, Manderly (the house is perhaps the book's most potent character), she is immediately confronted by the other characters' feelings about Rebecca, Maxim de Winter's flamboyant late wife.
Perhaps du Maurier's greatest accomplishment, character-wise, is the way she develops Rebecca, who is already dead when the main action of the story begins, and never really appears 'on-screen,' so to speak. Rebecca is very much alive in the memories of Maxim, the house servants, friends and family members, but most crucially, of her personal maid, Mrs. Danvers (and also of Rebecca's sleazy cousin, Jack Favel). It is Mrs.
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134 of 141 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "We can never go back to Manderley again..." August 8, 2004
Format:Audio Cassette|Verified Purchase
This riveting tale of fear, suspicion, and love opens as the unnamed narrator reminisces about her former home, the grand English estate, Manderley. She had been young and shy, a lady's companion, when she met the wealthy recent widow, Maxim de Winter, fell in love with him, and married him in a matter of weeks. They returned to his home, where she was immediately overwhelmed with the responsibilities of running the house and dealing with her forbidding housekeeper as well as the memory of Maxim's first wife, Rebecca. She had been beautiful, sophisticated, and supremely confident, and the narrator felt lost and helpless in comparison. Her new husband was strangely distant to her, until a horrible secret was revealed that would change their lives and the very existence of Manderley.

Daphne Du Maurier has crafted a wonderfully spooky story with remarkably little action, but a great deal of atmosphere and a steadily mounting feeling of impending doom. The ravishing Rebecca is never seen, and yet she is the main character, dominating the story with her passions and cruelty. Another main "character" is the great house itself, which is described in such fascinating detail that I felt as if I had walked its long hallways, descended its grand stairs, and had tea in the library. The narrator is purposely kept anonymous to contrast her with the larger-than-life Rebecca, and Maxim is a seriously flawed but lovable man.

Anna Massey does not just read the story, she performs it, delighting the listener with her upper-class British accent, giving a different voice to each character. I happily recommend this audio cassette version of Rebecca to those who enjoy exciting tales of suspense, psychological dramas, and mysteries.
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108 of 116 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A murder mystery like no other. April 17, 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A young, naive woman who is the paid companion of an obnoxious rich woman is taken along to Monte Carlo. While she smarts under the rudeness and gauche behavior of her employer, she meets the dark, handsome widower Max de Winter.
What follows is a love story and a ghost story of a woman haunted by the powerful presence of the former mistress of Manderley. We never learn the name of the heroine as she marries Max, moves into the rigid but elegant life at Manderley and tangles with Mrs. Danvers, Manderley's fearsome housekeeper. What unfolds is not only a mystery but a story of obsessions and evil. The end is a shock.
Du Maurier created an unforgettable atmosphere of decaying beauty, frightening spirits and horror mixed with love and death. If you haven't read this, I am envious. You get to experience it for the first time.
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Presence of Rebecca November 5, 2006
It's all about Rebecca. She appears constantly in the mind of the main character telling the story, whose name you never learn, further burying her in the presence of Rebecca. The protagonist is a young woman who quite suddenly marries a man older than herself who was married once before. Maxim de Winter's previous wife, the last Mrs. de Winter, was Rebecca.

Our young bride goes with Maxim to his great home, Manderly, which she loves, but it can not hide her from Rebecca's overwhelming presence. To her it seems Maxim is always thinking about Rebecca, whom everyone loved, who died in a boating accident just a year before. She feels herself being constantly compared to Rebecca; this is not what Rebecca would have done, Rebecca must have done it like this, Rebecca was taller, Rebecca was a social butterfly, Rebecca was very beautiful, Rebecca Rebecca Rebecca. She is 'nothing like Rebecca.'

Having not been brought up in this type of life, she must get used to the grandness of Manderly. The servants, like one Mrs. Danvers who absolutely adored Rebecca; the people, who she must contact and talk to and who are constantly pressing her to hold the great dress ball of Manderly that Rebecca used to run; and the ocean, which stands as a constant reminder of Rebecca's tragic death, with its little boat-house that brings painful memories to Maxim.

Although people must compare her to Rebecca, the poor girl makes it worse by exercising her very vivid imagination; putting words where none were said, and constantly imagining things that don't happen. She does not fit into this life, and Maxim isn't making it any easier. You feel very, very sad for her, as it seems it's quite impossible for her to be really happy.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Rebecca has catapulted into my short list of best books I've ever read
This is not my genre (I generally prefer adventure fiction, i.e. Jack Vance, Stephenson, Gibson, Orson Scott Card, etc). I had to read this for a gothic literature class. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Liane
5.0 out of 5 stars on time
Interesting reading
Published 4 days ago by EL
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A well-written, very intriguing read!
Published 6 days ago by Fine Weather
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
A story worth reading more than once. Du Maurier's writing style is so detailed and descriptive it's easy to understand why there were so many film versions of her 1938 book.
Published 6 days ago by No Trump
4.0 out of 5 stars good book, but give it time to develop
good read, but very slow at first and hard to figure out till the end.
Published 8 days ago by Gerri Hylla
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
I was not eager to read this book, but it was highly recommended by a friend so I gave it a try. It started off slow, but I'm really glad that I stuck with it. Read more
Published 10 days ago by cherie
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this book!
This is an oldie but goodie. Daphne Du Maurier's novel is on my shelf of favorite books.
Published 10 days ago by Mom in OK
4.0 out of 5 stars It was nearly as good as an Agatha Christie book.
In my opinion this reasonably enjoyable book did not quite live up to the hype. I feel that it has been well marketed in conjunction with the Hitchcock film which has made it so... Read more
Published 11 days ago by James Montgomery
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Somewhat dated language and quite slow moving for the first 150 pages. Innovative plotting for its time.
Published 12 days ago by S. S. Rhodes
5.0 out of 5 stars I would very much like to review your books but I just don't have ...
I haven't had a chance to read it. Since my husband passed recently I've been busy. I'm moving to Georgia with my daughter. Read more
Published 13 days ago by kerns grandma
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