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Book: Don’t Look Now

October 4, 2010

Well, dang. I was disappointed by this collection of Daphne du Maurier’s short stories.

I shouldn’t be surprised since we all know that I’m not really a fan of short stories, but I’ve been listening to Neil Gaiman’s Fragile Things and really enjoying it, so I was hopeful. Alas, no.

The title story, Don’t Look Now, was pretty good. The ending seemed cheesy. I was more creeped out by the sisters than anything, and I did like a few of the tricks (the husband seeing his wife and the sisters on the boat, although she could not have still been in Venice)… but the ending really fell flat for me, and none of the other stories really grabbed me. There was promise in The Breakthrough, about the search for life after death, but somehow, as is usually the case for me with short stories, it didn’t go far enough. Actually upon reflection I think I preferred The Breakthrough to Don’t Look Now. One of those stories that grows on you and gets more horrifying as you move away from it (though at the time, it also suffered from a bit of cheese).

I tried to soldier my way through but I ended up skimming through the last half of the book, hoping for something that would make me want to read a story more carefully, but they all seemed the same, and they all had some sort of overly complicated yet simple (how is that possible? I don’t know, but that’s how it seemed) surprise or twist ending. I usually like twist endings, but these were a little dated, I guess. Maybe these stories fall into the category of “shocking and innovative at the time, but have now been copied and overused to death and so seem cheap and dated.” Which is too bad, since obviously du Maurier is a good writer and I grudgingly appreciated some of the suspense. I love Rebecca to bits, however.

So, I wanted to like it. I did. But I didn’t. Still, it’s another RIP read.

Now, on to a truly noteworthy literary masterpiece (I’m sure), Dracula In Love. Told from Mina’s point of view, this was mentioned to me by one of my fellow book-clubbers, since we both tend to like darker books. I’m not sure if this will qualify as “dark” or if it will turn out to be a cheeseball romance (albeit with Dracula; how bad can it be?), but it sounds like fun. “For grownup Twilight fans,”… guilty as charged.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. October 4, 2010 1:44 pm

    I hate it when I want so badly to like a book…and just can’t. It’s a unique kind of disappointment.

  2. October 4, 2010 2:39 pm

    this book sounds like crap.

    but Dracula in Love sounds AWESOME. i hope you review it here.

  3. October 5, 2010 4:28 pm

    I would have had high hopes for a Daphne D.M. book. Too bad. I haven’t been sucked into the whole vampire thing, though the daughter is dying for me to. I just picked up a stack of books from the library, so I’m going to be vampire-less for yet another month.

    • October 7, 2010 8:05 am

      The vampire thing is sort of fun. I used to have a thing for them WAAAAAY back in high school so the current craze is sort of nostalgic and good entertainment.

  4. AKM permalink
    November 4, 2010 7:52 am

    Did you ever see the movie Don’t Look Now? Worth seeing once, if you like suspense/thriller/horror. Of course, if you read the story — which I didn’t realize until now was the basis for the movie — you know how it ends. Still, if you dig 70s flicks or Donald Sutherland, check it out.

  5. November 4, 2010 8:29 am

    You know, it’s funny, we just tried to watch this over the weekend. It was good, and we liked it, but it was a little too slow and we already knew how it ended, so we didn’t finish it. Although it was a good movie and nicely filmed.

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