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The Birds And Other Stories
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The Birds And Other Stories (Paperback)

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Synopsis

How long he fought with them in the darkness he could not tell, but at last the beating of the wings about him lessened and then withdrew ...' A classic of alienation and horror, 'The Birds' was immortalised by Hitchcock in his celebrated film. The five other chilling stories in this collection echo a sense of dislocation and mock man's sense of dominance over the natural world. The mountain paradise of 'Monte Verita' promises immortality, but at a terrible price; a neglected wife haunts her husband in the form of an apple tree; a professional photographer steps out from behind the camera and into his subject's life; a date with a cinema usherette leads to a walk in the cemetery; and a jealous father finds a remedy when three's a crowd ...

Fiction & PoetryClassic fiction pre 1945Fiction & PoetryModern & contemporary fiction post c 1945 Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group Publication Date: 12/07/2003 ISBN-13: 9781844080878  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
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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.

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The long short story 'The Birds' was first published in a collection called The Apple Tree in 1952, then was reprinted in this renamed edition in 1963. Du Maurier was an atmospheric, brooding novelist - using the landscape - in particular of her beloved Cornwall - as the backdrop to clever, skilfully plotted and character driven stories. But it's in her short fiction that she gave full rein to her Gothic, often macabre, imagination. Set in a small Cornish seaside town, the weather suddenly shifts from Autumn to Winter and large numbers of birds appear to be massing over the Peninsula. The lead character, Nat Hocken, hears a tapping on his bedroom window at night and, when he investigates, sees a flock of tiny birds flying into the house and the children's bedrooms. This is just the beginning. Both the stories in this collection - and The Doll & Other Stories - remind us how significant and individual a writer Du Maurier was, ahead of her time, in her ability to take the everyday world by the throat, twist it, and produce the most terrifying stories.

Kate Mosse - 08/09/2014

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