Saturday, 7 September 2013

Don't Look Now and Other Stories by Daphne Du Maurier

"The twins were standing there, the blind one still holding on to her sister's arm, her sightless eyes fixed firmly upon him."

The slight problem I have with considering a collection of short stories is that rarely do they all deliver the same standard of efficacy. It is quite possible that one tale might blow you away, while another might leave you cold.
I have long been a big fan of Du Maurier's work, particularly Rebecca, Jamaica Inn and My Cousin Rachel. I had not stumbled upon this particular collection previously. When I realised that the author was behind the titular tale and its 1970s cinematic interpretation, replete with a whole lot of Donald Sutherland (and the requisite infamy about its love scenes), I was intrigued  to visit the source material.
The first tale is rather short and it is quite unexpected, reading it in a vacuum, that its interpretation could warrant an entire film. Having said that, it remains moody and intriguing, while suffering by comparison to the film version.
The remaining stories are a bit of a mixed bag, devoid of a unifying thread, but interesting, nonetheless. I particularly enjoyed A Border-Line Case. However there were other tales which were less engaging.
 4 out of 5 psychic twins in Venice are a bad sign.

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