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The Doll: The Lost Short Stories
     

The Doll: The Lost Short Stories

4.0 5
by Daphne du Maurier
 

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“Du Maurier is in a class by herself.”
New York Times

Perhaps best known for her immortal gothic masterwork Rebecca—the basis for the Academy Award-winning motion picture directed by Alfred Hitchcock—Daphne de Maurier began her illustrious writing career penning short stories. In The Doll, thirteen

Overview

“Du Maurier is in a class by herself.”
New York Times

Perhaps best known for her immortal gothic masterwork Rebecca—the basis for the Academy Award-winning motion picture directed by Alfred Hitchcock—Daphne de Maurier began her illustrious writing career penning short stories. In The Doll, thirteen of du Maurier’s early shorter fictional works have been collected—each story written before the author’s twenty-third birthday and some in print for the first time since the 1930s. Compelling tales of human foibles and tragic romance, the stories in The Doll represent the emergence of a remarkable literary talent who later went on to create Jamaica Inn, The Birds, and other classic works. This breathtaking collection of short fiction belongs on the bookshelf of every Daphne du Maurier fan.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This collection of early stories, some originally published in a now out-of-print volume, vividly portrays with humor, candidness, and detail du Maurier’s fascination with the problems of human connection, particularly when it comes to love. Characters feel neglected, desired then abandoned, and often confused as they try to understand their partners. A man becomes obsessed with a beautiful stranger named Rebecca, but the closer he gets to her, the more sinister she seems, in “The Doll,” a precursor to the eponymous novel: “I loved you too much, wanted you too much, had for you too great a tenderness. Now all of this is like a twisted root in my heart, a deadly poison in my brain. You have made of me a madman.” A young couple find that their affection may easily unravel, given a few wrong turns, in “Week-End.” In “The Limpet,” Dilly, who worries that her weakness for wanting to help people will ruin her, becomes a servant to the wishes of others. But doting Dilly may not be quite what she seems. Characters in du Maurier’s world are often lost, manipulative, or misguided, and these stories, written before she was 23, foreshadow the themes and preoccupations of the work that would bring her literary fame. (Nov.)
New York Times Book Review
“…delectably florid….”
Kirkus Reviews
Early work by the author of Rebecca and other bestsellers, some written while du Maurier (1907-1989) was still in her teens, brings back the era when short stories were popular entertainment. There are no impressionistic mood poems or anything else in the oblique, meticulously crafted style favored by creative-writing workshops in this collection. From the opening story of adultery and murder on a remote island ("East Wind") to the closing narrative of a woman who sucks the life from everyone she knows, all the while asking "What is it that I do?" ("The Limpet"), du Maurier favors strong plots, overt irony and heavy foreshadowing. When the protagonist of "Nothing Hurts for Long," waiting eagerly for her husband to return from three months in Berlin, listens to the confidences of a friend whose spouse wants a divorce and learns that the couple has been on the rocks "ever since he came back from America," readers can be quite sure the post-Berlin reunion will not be blissful. And only the narrator of "The Doll" can't guess before his tale's final pages the perverted nature of his beloved's relationship with a life-sized mannequin she calls Julio. They may not be subtle, but all 13 stories are effective and gripping. "And Now to God the Father" is a scathing portrait of a smug, self-satisfied minister who worships nothing but social success. "Piccadilly" and "Mazie" paint a grim picture of a prostitute's life. Two persuasive chronicles of love affairs going sour strike contrasting notes: one couple breaks up over the course of a grimly funny "Week-End," while "And His Letters Grew Colder" takes six painful months to trace the downward spiral from a romance's ardent beginning to the man's cold-as-ice departure. Du Maurier's prose style is serviceable, her understanding of human nature basic, but her storytelling gifts are formidable, and a good story is what was demanded by the mass-circulation magazines that published her. On that level, she never disappoints. Old-fashioned fun.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062080363
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
11/22/2011
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
208,195
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Daphne du Maurier (1907–1989) has been called one of the great shapers of popular culture and the modern imagination. Among her more famous works are The Scapegoat, Jamaica Inn, Rebecca, and the short story "The Birds," all of which were subsequently made into films—the latter three directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

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The Doll: The Lost Short Stories 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
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ACDCGIRL More than 1 year ago
I have a friend who just loves Daphne du Maurier and you should have seen her eyes when she opened this! I'm sure it is a great book for du Maurier lovers!