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The Doll: The Lost Short Stories by Daphne…

The Doll: The Lost Short Stories (2011)

by Daphne du Maurier, Polly Samson (Introduction)

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Simultaneously naive and cynical. Clever, graceful, emotional, but not worth reading (imo) unless you're either a completist or (like me) wanting to sample her writing before looking at the big novels. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
"The Doll" is the title story of a collection of early stories published in a volume as The doll. Most stories were written in the 1920s - 1930s, some while she was still living at home with her parents. The title story, "The Doll" was written in 1927, when Daphne du Maurier was only 20 years old. Some of these stories were published in magazines, but were long lost or uncollected. They were rediscovered and published, some for the first time, in 2011.

As one might expect of neglected youth work, The doll is a mixed bag. The collection is probably very valuable to scholars and lovers of the work of Daphne du Maurier, but to other readers the quality of the stories varies a lot. The title story, "The Doll" is an outstanding piece of fiction, particularly psychologically very interesting, verging on the pathological. One could read it as a mix between horror and erotica. It is definitely haunting, and will stay with you for a long time.

Most stories in the collection could be described as 'atmospheric'. Blending the atmospheric, rich description with a sense of alienation creates a typical adolescent fiction haunted by sexual repression and death, however, Daphne du Maurier's prose style is clearly very good, and developing. Weird, but interesting. ( )
  edwinbcn | Oct 21, 2015 |
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 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Maurier, Daphne duprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Samson, PollyIntroductionmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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You reach the end of 'The Doll'. (Introduction)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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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