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The Doll: The Lost Short Stories by Daphne…

The Doll: The Lost Short Stories (2011)

by Daphne du Maurier

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I have never read a book that reflects so much human insight. The stories are made hilarious by exaggeration. The only reason why I don't value the book with five stars is because I prefer novels to short stories. ( )
  Johanna11 | Feb 14, 2014 |
The Doll is a collection of du Maurier's early short stories. The introduction (by someone I'm not otherwise aware of) seems to suggest that the main interest here is in the beginnings of themes that later haunted her work, and the glimpses of the things that haunted her personally. I'm not that interested in that, though, but I still found the stories well-crafted and interesting. Daphne du Maurier certainly had a way with her narration; 'The Limpet' made me smile in recognition...

Not as fine as her later work, but worth a look if you're interested in du Maurier and the kind of stories she wrote. ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
This is a collection of little-known short stories, mostly written in her youth before she became a household name with Rebecca in 1938. For someone still in her early twenties, and several years before her marriage, she displays an extremely acute sense of observation and psychological insight. The majority of the stories tell of unhealthy obsession, deceit and the deception of others and oneself. My favourite was the rather darkly funny and psychologically acute ‘Week-End’, where Du Maurier inhabits both the male and the female point of view and pits them against each other; anyone in a relationship or marriage will recognise themselves or their partner in it.

I doubt anyone unfamiliar with the author’s work will choose this thin volume before such well-known novels as Rebecca or Jamaica Inn, but it is well worth reading to better appreciate Du Maurier’s later skills with the pen and to ponder whether the seed for Rebecca and other works might not have been sown within one of the stories on offer here. ( )
1 vote passion4reading | Apr 3, 2013 |
The Doll is a very creepy story, way ahead of its time.
Its short, very sexy and still cutting-edge. The other stories - blah. Hitchcock loved du Maurier - three of her works were the basis of films he made - Jamaica Inn, Rebecca and most famous, the horror film The Birds. In a more modern era, he would have had fun with The Doll.

( )
1 vote Petra.Xs | Apr 2, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I’d only read one of du Maurier’s stories (“The Birds,” which I loved) before reading this collection, which I’ve seen some readers classify as lesser du Maurier. If these are her less successful stories, I’m excited to dig into her best ones!

Most of the 13 stories in this collection were published either in the 1920s and 1930s in various magazines and anthologies or in the 1955 collection Early Stories. All were written before du Maurier was 23 years old, and her potential as a storyteller is present in each and every story.

All of these stories have some sort of dark element at their core. Sometimes the darkness is in the form of a nasty twist at the end, as in the opening story “The East Wind” in which a temporary madness overtakes a seaside village. At other times, the main character is shown to be unaware of the potential disasters around them ("Tame Cat"). And then there are the characters who aren’t what they seem ("And Now to God the Father"). Sometimes the darkness has a comic twist ("Furstration").

Perhaps the oddest story in the collection is the title story. The revelation on which this story turns is excessively strange, but what interested me about it is what the secret he discovers represents. The horror here is not in what he learned, perhaps, but in two ideas: (1) That a woman can be utterly self-sufficient, not needing a man and (2) That a woman can have a strong sex drive. Which of these facts sent the narrator over the edge?

Although there were aspects of every story that I liked, a couple of them stand out as less successful. “The Happy Valley” is underdeveloped. “The Limpet” is sometimes wickedly funny, but it goes on too long.

See a longer version of this review at Shelf Love. ( )
  teresakayep | Dec 17, 2011 |
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Book description
In 'The Doll' a waterlogged notebook is washed ashore. Its pages tell a dark story of obsession and jealousy. But the fate of its narrator is a mystery.

Many of the stories in this haunting collection have only recently been discovered. Most were written early in Daphne du Maurier's career, yet they display her mastery of atmosphere, tension and intrigue and reveal a cynicism far beyond her years.
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A selection of
early, psychologically
mature short stories.

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Thirteen stories, some of which have only appeared in magazine form, that Du Maurier wrote when she was just beginning her career. Taken together, the collection demonstrates the growth of her storytelling skills.

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