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The Birds and Other Stories (VMC) Paperback – July 12, 2003

4.5 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

'A remarkable imagination continually provokes both pity and terror' OBSERVER

About the Author

Daphne du Maurier (1907-89) was born in London, the daughter of the famous actor-manager Sir Gerald du Maurier and granddaughter of George du Maurier, the author and artist. In 1931 her first novel, The Loving Spirit, was published. A biography of her father and three other novels followed, but it was the novel Rebecca that launched her into the literary stratosphere and made her one of the most popular authors of her day. In 1932, du Maurier married Major Frederick Browning, with whom she had three children. Many of du Maurier's bestselling novels and short stories were adapted into award-winning films, including Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds and Nicolas Roeg's Don't Look Now. In 1969 du Maurier was awarded a DBE. She lived most of her life in Cornwall, the setting for many of her books.
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Product Details

  • Series: VMC (Book 2164)
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Virago Press Ltd; New Ed edition (July 12, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844080870
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844080878
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #329,688 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is my first taste of Du Maurier but I like it very much :)

The language is beautiful but compact, concise. Fast paced. No extra burden for the eyes.

THE BIRDS, the inspiration of Hitchcock's movie version. Although it is different between the book and movie, the dread they caused

is almost the same with their own focus. In the movie, you'll get the visualization of the dread while through book the description of the attack was violent enough that you couldn't see no end.

MONTE VERITA. It's like reading supernatural story about Maya people at first which was followed by friendship between 2 people, their meeting with a very beautiful enigmatic woman until the strange happening in Monte Verita. In the end, it was still the supernatural one but behind it, there was a horror value in it that makes you see what Monte Verita really was.

APPLE TREE. This is my fav story of this book. A creepy tale of a wife that haunted her husband after her death.

What you thought will not be the same with what you would along the way. A very good material for Outer Limit program.

LITTLE PHOTOGRAPHER. Like watching an Agatha Christie's mytery movie but leave the detective part. This is a story of unintentional villain with heart that was numbed because of life.

KISS ME AGAN STRANGER. Hohoho, this one has a horror surprise!! I wouldn't give any detail what kind of surprise less it would spoil the fun.

OLD MAN. This is my second fav because what I thought when this story began is dashed beautifully at the end ;)
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Format: Paperback
This is still available in England, go to Amazon.co.uk if you don't have luck with the US Amazon. This book is an amazing collection of fantasy and horror by a woman who had an amazing imagination paired with a real skill for writing.
The title story is where Hitchcock got the theme and title for the film, and little else. The Birds takes place on an English farm, and is a great tale of isolation and terror. The Old Man is marvellous, with a terrific twist that makes me envy those who are to read it for the first time. Kiss Me Again, Stranger gave me nightmares, even though the horror is only implied. There's not a weak story in the bunch, and this is definitely du Maurier's strongest collection of short fiction.
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Format: Paperback
The title story of this collection is the story from which Alfred Hitchcock based his famous movie "The Birds". This movie is NOTHING like the story, and it is this original story that brings the terror home in a far more stark and chilling manner.
The story evolves around a farmer and his family in an isolated part of England. The birds gather and attack in more and more numbers as the story progresses, and the tale details the fear the family feels and the lengths they must go to to save their own lives. It is a marvellously crafted story, and one of the greatest realistic horror tale you will ever read. You will never look at birds which flock close to you in the same way again.
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Format: Paperback
Du Maurier's classic, The Birds, is a story of an avian apocalypse. The birds have developed a mass consciousness and decide to take utter revenge for thousands of years of persecution. The story is related by a farmer on the English coast. We see his struggle to understand what is happening and, once he understands, we see his struggle to save his family.

Birds of all species attack during the night. During the day they sit silently and vindictively on their perches. Nat, the farmer, boards over his windows and doors but during the nights there are the terrifying sounds of birds pecking at the weak spots. Even more frighteningly, he hears the ripping sounds as vicious birds of prey tear into his house.

The radio is no help. At first the announcer warns his listeners to beware of attacking birds--then there is total silence. Maybe America will help? But Nat knows that is a hopeless wish. The human race is dying all over the face of the earth.

Hitchcock based his screenplay on this story and he would have been wise to have followed it more closely. Maybe/probably he wanted a positive ending and his hero and heroine escaped out of their bird-ridden area to some bird free area not too far away. Not nearly as ominous.

Ron Braithwaite author "Skull Rack" and "Hummingbird God"
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This edition is far superior to NYRB w selecteds by McGrath. It has one of DdMs best stories, "The Apple Tree," in which a likeable widower finds that the gnarled tree in his yard has taken on the sagging and great martyr complex of his unlamented wife. He must chop down the tree ! (At what cost?)

Another, "The Little Photographer." Dangerous fun. A beautiful & bored wife whose marriage, after 2 tots, lacks passion, indulges in a squash w a disabled younger man who takes the "romance" seriously. When he threatens to tell All to her husby, what's the poor darling to do? Murder ! She'll forever be haunted x the Lost Moment.

Why do dimwit editors always include DdMs worst story, "Monte Verita" ?
A married woman cannot resist the "call" of a mysterious cult where women are promised agelessness. She vanishes into a mountain. What happens there ? I have no idea but all the dames soon have short boyish hair cuts. Hey, James Hilton, I am reminded of your Tibetan paradise, which I hated, in the Valley of the Blue Moon. This DdM is d'Embarrassment.

Jealousy, revenge, hidden desires dominate the startling and, at times, horrific DdM stories that carry the chilled helplessness of life.
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