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Under 18 Back to Main Menu. All Under Summer Camp in China. High Schools Programs. Summer School in China. Ah, rant over. Nothing more to see here, move along. View all 32 comments. The Doll is a compliation of 'lost' short stories by Daphne du Maurier, most written early in her career and either published or discovered much later. It's safe to say this is a mixed bag, and not a book I would recommend to readers who aren't already familiar with du Maurier's stories.
While I enjoyed the majority of the tales in this collection, they are very different to those I have found in other collections by the author: many of them are about relationships, and the tone of most is more The Doll is a compliation of 'lost' short stories by Daphne du Maurier, most written early in her career and either published or discovered much later. While I enjoyed the majority of the tales in this collection, they are very different to those I have found in other collections by the author: many of them are about relationships, and the tone of most is more sombre than macabre.
I think they're best described as curiosities, and The Doll might only be of real interest if you are a du Maurier completist. That said, I wouldn't categorise myself as such, and I still found it really interesting to see glimpses of themes that would later come to dominate her work. East Wind The peaceful and childlike way of life on a tiny, isolated island is disturbed when a group of foreign sailors arrives.
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A very short story with the feel of a fable, which has the newcomers' presence resulting in some devastating, but rather predictable, outcomes. The Doll The centrepiece of the book is this story, a famously ahead-of-its-time gothic tale about a man who falls head over heels in love with a girl who, pleasingly, is named Rebecca who has a dark secret.
What it has in common with many of the author's later stories is that, if you come to it with no prior knowledge of what will happen, it genuinely does have the power to shock. However, while this is the most macabre and intriguing story in the book, it is also in my opinion anyway by far the most poorly written. The narrator's frequent fits of 'oh! But now I must write about that day when Apparently du Maurier was twenty when she wrote this, and although the theme is brilliantly daring, that immaturity as a writer really shows in the style and pacing.
I wish I could have read a re-written, refined version of this. And Now To God the Father This is really a character study, focusing on a vicar, an outwardly charming character who is in fact vain, manipulative and immoral. It's also something of a satire, of religion in general and of the upper-class women who hang off this man's every word. The main problem with this was that, having read many of du Maurier's stories, I was expecting some dark twist right at the end, I was expecting the vicar to get his comeuppance, but it just stopped.
I have read that this was her first published story, which makes me wonder if there was originally a different ending and it was changed? Or perhaps her style hadn't yet developed that far, and the vicar's underlying unpleasantness was, in itself, the twist. A Difference in Temperament Another very short story about a couple who don't tell each other what they're really thinking and are extremely overdramatic , which also serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of miscommunication. I read a negative review of this book which mentioned that this particular story sounds like the result of a creative writing exercise, and I haven't been able to get that out of my head.
Frustration Another very short story Actually, I'm going to stop saying that now as most of the stories in this collection are very short. This one's about a couple who, after a seven-year engagement, get married and seem to suffer every bit of bad luck imaginable, with the husband beset by frustration that he hasn't yet been able to consummate the relationship.
This could be categorised in much the same way as the previous story, but it's much more amusing: I had a good laugh at 'the useless knob lay at his feet' that's a door knob, by the way.
Robert The Doll Might Be The Most Haunted Toy In History
Piccadilly A journalist meets a prostitute at Piccadilly station, and she tells him her life story - one of love, crime and disappointment. This is more like a monologue, which I can imagine working well on the stage, Talking Heads -style.
Tame Cat A young girl comes of age and, returning to London from France, looks forward to being reunited with her mother and 'Uncle' John. However, she is dismayed to find both of them acting oddly.
The Dressmaker's Doll by Agatha Christie - Agatha Christie
A rather dark portrayal of family relationships in which nobody comes off well - the girl naive and stupid, the mother jealous of her own child, and John a sleazy predator. Mazie A depressing portrayal of a day in the life of a prostitute - the same woman featured in 'Piccadilly'. A poignant vignette, but it doesn't really add anything to the history outlined in that story.
Nothing Hurts For Long A woman excitedly awaits the return of her husband from Berlin: she devotes the whole day to preparing for his arrival, but is dismayed to be called away to the aid of a friend, whose own marriage has just disintegrated.
soilstones.com/wp-content/2020-03-01/4677.php This feels like a formative version of the later du Maurier stories in which the protagonist is slowly revealed as a much less likeable character than he or she initially appears to be, and is dealt some sort of retribution at the end. Week-End Another brief portrait of a couple - this time the pair appear to be madly in love as they head off for a weekend together, but by the end of the story they feel quite differently about each other. As with 'Frustration', there is an emphasis on miscommunication, as both of them are constantly saying things they don't actually mean and telling white lies.
The Happy Valley Again foreshadowing Rebecca , this is an atmospheric story in which a young woman is haunted by vivid recurring dreams about a house in what she comes to think of as 'the Happy Valley'; she also frequently experiences incidences of deja vu in her everyday life - including the moment she meets her future husband. This was by far my favourite tale of the lot, with its evocative description and atmosphere of impending doom. An epistolary story charting the progress of an affair through the letters of the man involved we only get to read his side of the correspondence.
Vaguely amusing in a sad kind of way. The Limpet One of the longest stories in the book, this is another character study: this time the subject is a woman, Dilys, who starts off saying that she has spent her life putting others before herself, a claim which is soon shown to be quite the opposite of the truth.
The story, all told from her point of view, goes on to show she has manipulated a string of figures in her own life: her parents and aunt, work acquaintances, her husband, a lover. Yet despite her manipulation, tricks and flattery, she never quite succeeds in attaining what she so desperately desires. She closes her account by asking 'what is it that I do?
This is more fully-formed than any of the other stories, but had I not known it was by du Maurier, I wouldn't have guessed: again it has a strong element of social satire and comedy, balanced with a note of pathos. View all 4 comments. This collection of thirteen 'lost' stories by Daphne du Maurier has been sitting neglected in my bookcase for a few years now. Since is supposed to be my year to tidy up all such things, I thought it was about time to read it.
I have read nearly every title by this author, and have most of them up in Arizona in Mom's house. So when I heard about this one, of course I had to order it. But it has been many years since I read her work, and perhaps my tastes have changed, or else these earlier p This collection of thirteen 'lost' stories by Daphne du Maurier has been sitting neglected in my bookcase for a few years now. But it has been many years since I read her work, and perhaps my tastes have changed, or else these earlier pieces were not as compelling for me as her later work.
I am not sure, I just know I did not react the way I did forty years ago. Obsession, jealousy, sexual frustration, gruesome surprise endings, the way lies affect people in a relationship, dreams and nightmares coming true. These are some of the themes of the collection. My favorite was The Happy Valley , where a woman dreams her entire life of a house and the countryside around it.