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Rebecca (Virago Modern Classics) [Paperback] [Jul 16, 2015] Daphne Du Maurier (VMC,VMC Designer Collection) Paperback – May 3, 2016
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"The Devil Wears Black" by L.J. Shen
From author L.J. Shen comes a second-chance romance about love, loss, finding yourself, and getting lost in the right person. | Learn more
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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
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
It is the greatest psychological thriller of all time. I see du Maurier as a forerunner to Patricia Highsmith, Ruth Rendell, Gillian Flynn: she is the giant whose magnificent shoulders the rest of us stand upon―Erin Kelly
I loved the fact that at the start of the story, Rebecca is dead and yet she influences every action and thought of all the other characters in the book. The moment I finished this story, I turned to page one and started it over again.―Malorie Blackman
Her masterpiece . . . Seldom has a dead woman exercised such power beyond the grave. Rebecca will live for ever because du Maurier touches a fearful nerve, buried deep in the unconscious―Kate Saunders, The Times
Her masterpiece . . . Seldom has a dead woman exercised such power beyond the grave. Rebecca will live for ever, because du Maurier touches a fearful nerve―Kate Saunders, The Times
From the opening sentence - "Last night I dreamed I went to Manderley again" - to the final - "And the ashes blew towards us with the salt wind from the sea" - I was hooked ... Rebecca is one of the underrated classics of the 20th century ... Rebecca is a masterpiece in which du Maurier pulls off several spectacular high-wire acts that many great writers wouldn't attempt―Jim Crace, Guardian
Excellent entertainment . . . du Maurier created a scale by which modern women can measure their feelings.―Stephen King
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.―Daily Telegraph
Addictive and breathtaking. Its blending of melodrama and subtlety is ingenious. The Cornish setting never quite leaves the imagination―Independent
Addictive and breathtaking―Joanna Briscoe, Independent
A mesmerising novel which reveals more on each reading―Helen Dunmore
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.
- Publisher : Virago; Reprint edition (May 3, 2016)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 432 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0349006571
- ISBN-13 : 978-0349006574
- Grade level : 7 - 9
- Item Weight : 11.9 ounces
- Dimensions : 5 x 1 x 7.75 inches
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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(1) It takes away a lot of the suspense because you will know a few things about what happens in the end. Big shocks are watered down in what is supposed to be a suspenseful book.
(2) It takes a lot longer to get into the book. I started to read and put down a few times, and it took a few months to get passed the first two chapters because it was all descriptions of a place I didn't care about (yet).
(3) The book ends rather abruptly and it needs an epilogue. Myself, I went back to re-read the first two chapters for a sense of finality -- and then they meant something to me as a reader because I did care.
(4) Because it needs an epilogue, the publisher of the paperback provides an old, draft version of one in the back. Not realizing that this was never part of the book, I read it with confusion. A character's name was different, plot points were different, the implied future was in conflict with the ending I had just read, and large chunks of text were the exact same as in the first two chapters (as they were originally meant to be that missing epilogue after all). After reading this draft, I wondered why they moved the final epilogue to the beginning in the first place. And why give us a conflicting and confusing draft? ...
So, hope this helps if you are eager to read this classic. Skip ahead to chapter 3 (or the last paragraph at the end of chapter 2) and save the rest for a much-needed epilogue after an abrupt ending.
All this aside, the book isn't for everyone. If you're not already a fan, this checklist may help you decide whether or not to add Rebecca to your own secret treat shelf:
1. Do you like gothic fiction?
Although it was first published in 1938, Rebecca ages exquisitely and i's not hard for a modern reader to fall deeply in love with it. The style and turns of phrase are no barrier--it's the genre itself that will either draw you in or leave you cold. I loved Jane Eyre as a child, and this love abetted my love of Rebecca, which is famously derivative of Jane Eyre's general plot: woman falls in love with a man haunted in mysterious ways by his former wife. If the idea of women wandering windswept grounds of great houses, plagued by mysterious barriers to love, sometimes in the form of the ghost (literal or figurative) of another woman sounds cozy to you, if you loved Catherine and Heathcliff or Darcy and Elizabeth, and you fancy dark psychological acrobatics, give Rebecca a shot.
2. Does a warm bath, a hot drink, and a new sweater sound good to you right now?
Rebecca is a fall read, hands down. It's rainy, it's morose, it's the dominating presence of a grand old mansion in a remote location.
3. Have you seen the movie Rebecca (1940), did you like it, do you like old movies at all?
The movie does not follow the plot exactly, but having loved the movie for a long time and now having read the book, the tone of the movie feels authentic and true to the novel. Once every few years, I go on an autumn binge and watch The Uninvited (1944), Vertigo (1958), Rebecca, and to end on a lighter note, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947).
4. Are you a feminist?
Old fashioned gender roles in Rebecca's setting will definitely irk some readers. As a feminist, I was less annoyed than interested. The mirroring of the protagonist (shy, inexperienced, subservient) and the dead Rebecca (domineering, brave, selfish, accomplished) added a great sociological layer to the experience of reading. Sally Beauman's excellent Afterword offers a wonderful explanation of the gendered forces at work in Rebecca, and also addresses several misinterpretations of the novel at the time of its publication.
If you've answered yes to any of the questions above, I absolutely recommend that you read the first 30 pages at least. Get past the description of Manderly in the dream, and begin to read about when the protagonist first meets widower Maxim de Winter, and if you're liking it by then, you'll love the rest.
Top reviews from other countries
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 24, 2018
One thing that annoyed me a little and I don't think it was the fault of the seller. The book was put inside a box without any protection along with another none book related item I had bought another seller and as I am a collector, I am glad that through some miracle nothing was damaged. I would have expected a bit more consideration when packing, as this book is after all not some cheap paperback. The fact that it mentions "80th Anniversary Edition" should have been a good enough give-away. Therefore only 3 out 5 stars and this is simply due to the way Amazon packed this rare book of the future.