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Simon T

You wouldn't think I could get Miss Hargreaves into this post, would you... but I can! Frank Baker wrote a novel called The Birds, which I've got but haven't read, with essentially the same idea as Daphne du Maurier's short story. Except Frank Baker wrote his first! Reading Daphne du M's letters to Oriel Malet, she says that Frank Baker sent her a copy of his novel, after she'd written the story, and she was surprised when she thought it was very good! I wonder if Alfred Hitchcock knew about Baker's version?


Simon--I take it DMM hadn't read the novel before she wrote her story? I'd be very curious now to read the Baker book now. DMM's story is pretty compact. She managed to fit quite a lot in to those 40 odd pages, but Hitchcock apparently felt there wasn't enough material there for a whole movie, hence his padded and very different version. I wonder, too, if he was aware of Baker's book? Perhaps I'll do a little digging around in the books on him at the library. I really do need to get to Miss H--sooner than later....


Being made extremely anxious by your review Danielle! I've never read the story but saw the movie and am now vividly remembering being terrified to go to school the next day - yikes! I must make a point of adding at least one Du Maurier title to my collection before the year is out.

Btw, I started Miss H this afternoon and it's delightful!


Darlene--I think this is one story that might just make someone have bad dreams! You know I've never seen the whole movie--just bits and pieces. My favorite DMM is Rebecca, but I've pretty much loved everything I've read by her! And if I didn't already have too many books started I would start Miss Hargreaves, too! :)

Table Talk

I once tried to watch the film of this. Never again! I'm not, as you know, much of a short story reader anyway, but that put me of trying Du Maurier's shorts for ever.


Sounds terrifying! I haven't actually read this story, and whilst I knew it was different to the film, I didn't really think about it being different to the film, if you can possibly make any sense out of that. I really should get around to reading this - you've whetted my appetite (but I don't think I'll read it late at night -lol!).


Sounds terrifying and brilliant and I WANT TO READ IT RIGHT NOW! Isn't the woman a genius? I have seen the film and I'm glad it's not the same. We don't need Tippi Hedren in print too, she's annoying!

And I had to chuckle at Simon managing to find a link between this and Miss Hargreaves..must read that too, one of these days...


So many wonderful things to read! This one (well, the volume) has been on my wishlist for what seems like forever and must be rectified. Great review; it really captured the intensity for me.


Wow, I had no idea the movie was based on a work of fiction. Interesting how a book can build the suspense in such a different way than a movie can.


I remember reading the story and wondering where on earth they'd got the plot for the movie from. LOL. To be honest I prefer the story... I seemed to be one of the few that didn't find the movie that scary. I must read some DdM for the RIP challenge.


Oh all your posts on Daphne DuMaurier just want to make me rush out and get more books by her! I remember seeing The Birds when I was a teen. Scary. Unfortunately I don't really remember much of the story line... Gosh, maybe I didn't even see the whole film. Anyway, I guess that's good as I'd love to read the story!


Wow! I didn't know she wrote the story the movie was based on. It sounds even better than the movie actually.

Dorothy W.

I saw and was totally terrified by the film, but I didn't know the story was so different. It's great that it's equally scary, in its own way. It sounds like perfect autumn reading!


Todate this is the ONLY Du Maurier that I've read, though I did snag a collection of her stories for RIP IV and will dive in soon. I used to teach high school students, and we listened to this story on audio and they really liked it. Creepy is an understatement!


Table Talk--I think you definitely have to be in the right mood for short stories. I never thought I would get into them, but I find some of them surprisingly good and hard to put down. DDM has some great novels, though, so you won't miss out on her work altogether if she appeals at all.
Litlove--Don't read it with the lights dimmed (which is what I did--and it was raining out, too--a little too atmospheric I think). I do know what you mean by not really expecting much from the story. For some reason I was being a little dismissive at first, but I quickly fell into it--I don't know why I found it so 'shocking' but I did!
Rachel--Even though it's a longer short story it really does read pretty fast. If you do happen to read it soon please let me know what you think. I think she's a marvelous writer as well! And I, too, need to read Miss H. Simon's been recommending it for a while--it's just a matter of squeezing it in!
Paperback Reader--This is a great collection of stories, and those NYRB books are so nicely made. The cover is a little freaky, but beyond that I'm really enjoying the stories and can't wait to start the next one!
Kari--For a very long time I had no idea as well, until I discovered DDM's work in earnest anyway. And she does an amazing job of making things very suspenseful--I wasn't really expecting that.
Cath--I do wonder who wrote the screenplay--Hitchcock himself? I don't recall ever seeing the whole thing through but perhaps I did. The story was for me most certainly intense!
Iliana--This is a great collection of stories, if you are ever tempted to get it. I'm really enjoying them and am wondering how the rest will compare. I also saw at least part of the movie when I was younger, though I've pretty much forgotten the plot now.
Stefanie--I'll have to watch the movie at some point. I think the story was much bleaker than the movie--if that's possible!
Dorothy--I think it helped that I was reading the story at dusk with only a low light on and it was raining out. And I was alone--all the right elements to make me nervous, but it was still a well constructed story--very intense. I'm curious about the movie and will have to watch it at some point--my library has it so I can easily get a copy to watch.
Andi--I think this is supposed to be her masterpiece, so if you're going to choose one...! :) I bet this was creepy to listen to--and I bet the students loved it.


>The story was written in 1952 and could probably be read as a cautionary tale either politically or ecologically. Very much a product of its time with the Cold War on everyone's minds, it still looks forward.

Wonderful insight! I've watched the movie, am a big DMM fan, and have never read this one. Sold...I'm 99% sure I'm going to do the RIP challenge, so it goes on the list after Turn of the Screw...shudder.


I had no idea the movie The Birds was based on a book, let alone by Daphne DuMaurier. *squeak of delight* It sounds so deliciously frightening.


JaneGS--I saw your post on Henry James--I have it saved in my Google Reader. He is a formidable writer to say the least. At least Turn of the Screw is short--and I depended heavily on the intro as well. You might give Washington Square a try if you want to read one of his easier novels (the only one I've read actually). This DDM collection is great!
Lesley--The two are very different, but the story is excellent--as you'd expect from DDM. I really should watch the whole movie sometime--maybe closer to Halloween! And I'll keep on with her stories.

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