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Don’t Look Now and Other Stories, Daphne du Maurier

Don’t Look Now and Other Stories by Daphne du Maurier

Publisher: Penguin Modern Classics (Penguin)
Pages: 268 (Paperback)
Form: Short Stories
Series: Standalone

Rating: 

John and Laura have come to Venice to try to escape the pain of their young daughter’s death. But when they encounter two old women who claim to have second sight, they find that instead of laying their ghosts to rest they become caught up in a train of increasingly strange and violent events. The other four haunting, evocative stories in this volume also explore deep fears and longings, secrets and desires: a lonely teacher investigates a mysterious American couple; a young woman confronts her father’s past; a party of pilgrims meets disaster in Jerusalem; a scientist harnesses the power of the mind to chilling effect…

Originally published as Not After Midnight, this collections brings together five atmospheric short stories by Daphne du Maurier. They’re a bit of an odd bunch – a mix of the supernatural and the mundane. Some of them embrace the ‘unknown’ with psychics, pagan worship, and life after death, while others seem to be building you up to a similar supernatural element only to have the explanation be something quite simple. Whether you find this second-guessing rewarding or frustrating, though, is probably personal preference. One theme that runs through all the stories, however, is the idea of taking the protagonist away from their home and putting them into an unfamiliar environment, where the setting itself serves to increase the sense of suspense or the character’s alienation. It’s a collection of stories about how people react and adjust when taken out of their comfort zone and thrown into situations they have very little control over. And it has to be said, most characters don’t do so well… Continue reading

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Filed under Reviews, Short Stories