Review: The Birds: Short Stories by Daphne DuMaurier

I have to admit that I’m not a huge fan of short stories, but I am a fan of Daphne DuMaurier and as I received a VMC copy of this book (see here for my love of these editions) I thought that I would give it a go.

The stories included in this volume were:

The Birds
Monte Verita
The Apple Tree
The Little Photographer
Kiss Me Again, Stranger
The Old Man

I really loved the initial story (The Birds). I’ve never seen the film so I can’t compare the two but I can see why Alfred Hitchcock used it. The sense of foreboding is palpable and the level of suspense and dread is beautifully built to a fantastic cliff hanger ending.

I thought Monte Verita was quite an odd little tale, but still an interesting addition to a short story collection. It was almost borderline fantasy (which I would never have expected from DuMaurier) but it somehow worked quite well within the boundaries of this book.

The Apple Tree was classic creepy DuMaurier (about, believe it or nor, a malevolent tree) which again builds layers of suspense to fairly terrifying ending.

The Little Photographer was my favourite story in the collection. I thought it was beautifully written, glamorous and sexy with a wonderfully dark undertone, reminiscent of The Talented Mr Ripley. Very enjoyable.

Kiss Me Again, Stranger was a ghost story that kept me guessing to the end. For such a short story it was very cleverly written – small but perfectly formed.

Out of all the stories, The Old Man is the one that stayed with me the most. It’s very hard to categorise – quite frankly it’s just a weird little oddity – but as the most thought provoking tale I thought that it was a great way to end.

Overall, I really enjoyed this collection of stories a lot more than I thought I would. I thought they all hung together nicely and had enough variation to keep me interested.

Overall rating: 7.5/10

I read this book as part of Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2017 #22 Read a collection of stories by a woman and the Popsugar 2017 Reading Challenge #23 Read a book with a red spine.

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