Just a quick post on this hazy Sunday. I can't imagine what they are going through in California, Oregon and Washington state. Since yesterday we've had a low lying haze over the valley. It's much cooler but the sky has this strange orange color and when I take the dogs out for their abbreviated walk, you can taste the air. The only good thing about it is that it's much cooler. I hope there is rain all along the coast next week. If you believe in the power of prayer, please pray for the West Coast of the US.
On that note, here is my ongoing look at my favorite authors.
My Favorite Authors - Daphne du Maurier
|Daphne du Maurier|
English author, Daphne du Maurier, Lady Browning, was lived from 1907 -1989. She has written some classics of English literature. My first and only exposure to her writing for the longest time was a fantastical, time -travel story of sorts, a story that is fueled by the protagonists drug use; The House on the Strand. It's a story that I've read a few times and it's included below. I avoided trying any others of her books for the longest time; I guess I thought they were 'women's' stories. Yes, forgive me please. But since 2000 I've explored others of her books and am so glad that I have. What a great story -teller and author.
"Classics of the Macabre is a collection of short stories by Daphne du Maurier. I had previously read another collection; The Blue Lenses and other books by du Maurier; The House on the Strand and Rebecca and the more I read, the more I've enjoyed her stories and writing style.
Classics of the Macabre contained a couple of stories I'd already read from The Blue Lenses, but I scrolled through them again to remind myself about how much I'd previously enjoyed them. This book contained 6 of her short stories; Don't Look Now, The Apple Tree, The Blue Lenses, The Birds, The Alibi and Not After Midnight. I was particularly interested reading The Birds as I've enjoyed the movie many times. It didn't disappoint and had a similar theme to the movie (obviously, I guess), but was more focused on one particularly family in England. The ending was also not quite so optimistic.
Each story was interesting, not scary really, just odd and strange. Don't Look Now is set in Venice and tells the story of a young couple getting over the loss of their daughter and people they meet who seem to have the ability to see spirits. The Apple Tree tells of a husband who ignores his wife even to her death and is haunted by an apple tree (his wife's spirit?????). The Blue Lenses (a favorite) tells of a woman who has an eye operation with interesting after effects. The Birds tells of an invasion of England by birds, birds and more birds. The Alibi is another tale of a husband who is tired of his life and wants something more exciting... and finds it. Not After Midnight is the story of a man's visit to Crete on a solitary vacation who is caught up in a strange situation.
du Maurier is an excellent story teller and her tales are always unique. Well worth trying (4 stars)"
"An interesting collection of short stories by the author of Rebecca and The House on the Strand. The book was published in 1959 and contains 8 stories, each different and unique in its own right. I particularly liked The Alibi and The Blue Lenses; the first about a man trying to get some excitement into his life and finding that his plan takes an unexpected turn to the left and the second, almost science fiction, a strange tale of a woman seeing life through new lenses, a very strange and disturbing vision. The Pool and The Archduchess were good, but missed the mark somewhat from my perspective. But all in all, an excellent, well-written book. It's continued to whet my appetite for more du Maurier fiction. (4 stars)"
3. The House on the Strand (1969). A while back I posted, over a period of time, my list of my Top 100 books. This story made it into that list.
"Richard Young, tired of his life as a publisher, bored with his wife Vita and his two stepsons, is staying in his scientist friend Magnus' house in Cornwall. Magnus has developed a new hallucinogenic drug which Richard tries. His trips on this drug take him back 600 years as invisible witness to lives more exciting than his own, whose fascination begins to have repercussions in the "real" world.Daphne du Maurier skillfully intertwines the lives of Richard in the present and Roger Kylmerth, his alter ego, in the past, so that two stories unfold simultaneously, both leading to separate, but related, deaths and disasters. Her description of the Parish of Tywardreath in Cornwall in the present and in the past possess an unforgettable vividness." (5 stars)