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Rebecca Paperback – September 5, 2006
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From Library Journal
Surely no audiobook collection should be without some version of this timeless classic, arguably the most famous and well-loved gothic novel of the 20th century, and this production would be an excellent choice. Read in wonderfully British cadences by Anna Massey, all the mysterious and oppressive nuances are made immediate and chilling. We even feel some sympathy for the absurdly timid and cowering heroine; it is, after all, easy to imagine feeling woefully inferior to the predecessor and desperately eager to please. Of course the story requires great leaps of credulity... Forget the movie; it makes mincemeat of the actual tale. A wise seven-year-old once told me, "The book is always betterDit goes right into your head." This is a prime exampleDlisten again; it gets even better. Highly recommended.DHarriet Edwards, East Meadow P.L., NY
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
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 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 A brilliantly constructed novel - the ultimate in psychological suspense, instantly gripping and haunting, Rebecca will stay with you for ever. --The DAILY TELEGRAPH --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
The quiet, depressing wave takes a turn when she makes up her mind to hold the dress ball. A cruel joke is played on her, and it seems she's at a worse position than before, but then something happens in the bay. Something is found, something to do with Rebecca, and you don't know what is going to happen to our little protagonist who may have her first chance at happiness.
A very emotional and intriguing story, it goes rather calmly at first, then gives you a grand twist to end in a flourish. As you learn more and more about Rebecca, you start to wonder; about the presumptions the new bride makes about her, and the real character of Rebecca.
The narrator, a young woman who makes her living as a paid companion, meets and falls in love with a wealthy middle-aged widow named Maxim de Winter. He is both dashing and a bit mysterious. She can't believe her good fortune when he asks her to marry him.
After a honeymoon, the new Mrs. de Winter moves into the beautiful estate called Manderly. She should be on top of the world, but instead feels totally overshadowed by the first Mrs. de Winter, who died in a tragic drowning accident. It seems her husband's first wife was beautiful, vivacious, and loved by everyone. But not all is as it seems. There are several twists and turns in the book that keep the reader turning the pages. I enthusiastically give this book five stars.
Daphne du Maurier is my favorite author. I have read every book of hers that I can find - a difficult task since many are out of print and must be found in used books stores. Once in Seattle, I found four of her books - two were hard bound. I have 14 of the 19 I am seeking. My other favorites are My Cousin Rachel, Frenchman's Creek, The King's General, Hungry Hill, and Jamaica Inn. Many of her books were made into movies. Rebecca won the Academy Award for best picture in 1949. The Birds was based on one of her short stories. My Cousin Rachel was Richard Burton's first movie, which he earned $50,000.
du Maurier's books are dark and full of mystery. Many characters are greedy, vengeful, lustful, jealous and destructive in their relationships - Mrs. Danvers the prime example. I won't bother explaining the plot as you can find detailed descriptions all over the internet. I have read it four times and I highly recommend this book. Visit Daphne's official website: www.unmarried.org for information.