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I'll Never Be Young Again by Daphne du…
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I'll Never Be Young Again (1932)

by Daphne du Maurier

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Showing 4 of 4
I loved the first part of this book but was left disappointed by the second part. The first had so much life and adventure, while the second was much more somber and portrayed Richard in a fairly negative light. He turned into a whiny, petulant, selfish child. I understand that this was a part of the story the author intended, but it did not flow as well as the beginning of the book. Though I appreciate how Richard ultimately ended up, I don't necessarily think the story needed to flow in the direction that it did. Who am I to question the story a particular author chooses to tell though? This certainly wasn't as good as Jamaica Inn or Rebecca, but was still mostly enjoyable. ( )
  Heather_Brock | Nov 23, 2016 |
I'll Never Be Young Again was Daphne du Maurier's second novel, written when she was only twenty three years old. It's different from the other books of hers that I've read so far. It doesn't have the suspense or the gothic feel of some of her other works – this is more of a psychological, character-driven book. It's the story of Richard, a young man who has grown up in the shadow of his famous father, and his struggle to find his own identity. I'm not really a fan of 'coming-of-age' novels, b...more I'll Never Be Young Again was Daphne du Maurier's second novel, written when she was only twenty three years old. It's different from the other books of hers that I've read so far. It doesn't have the suspense or the gothic feel of some of her other works – this is more of a psychological, character-driven book. It's the story of Richard, a young man who has grown up in the shadow of his famous father, and his struggle to find his own identity. I'm not really a fan of 'coming-of-age' novels, but I'm glad I chose to read this one. It certainly seems to be one of her least well known novels - and I was concerned that this might mean it wasn’t very good. Well, I can tell you that it is good and I enjoyed it a lot more than I was expecting to.

The book opens with Richard – or Dick as he prefers to call himself – standing on a bridge, preparing to jump. Immediately the reader is intrigued, wondering what has happened to drive him to suicide. At the last minute Dick feels a hand on his shoulder – this is Jake, a complete stranger who saves his life and becomes his closest friend. The first half of the book follows the adventures of Dick and Jake as they leave England and sail to Scandinavia together in search of a new life. The second half is the story of Dick’s relationship with Hesta, a girl he meets in Paris.

The whole book is written in the first person from Dick's perspective, which is significant as it was apparently the first time Daphne du Maurier wrote from a man's point of view – and I thought she captured the male voice perfectly. The only problem I had was that I just didn't like Dick very much. I found his immaturity and whining very irritating – although I understood that the point of the book was to follow his development from an insecure, selfish youth into a sensible, mature adult. Eventually he does begin to grow up and want different things out of life, but this comes too late in the book for me to be able to warm to him. However, the book is so well-written I could still enjoy it even with such an unsympathetic narrator. Her writing is absolutely beautiful and quite dreamlike, as she lets us get right inside Dick's head and share his thoughts and emotions. There are also some vivid descriptions of the mountains and fjords of Norway and the other places that the characters visit, particularly Paris with its cafés and boulevards.

This would probably not be the best Daphne du Maurier book for a newcomer to begin with, but it's a good choice for someone who wants to venture away from Rebecca and read one of her less popular novels. A word of warning, though – if you're going to read the Virago Modern Classics edition, leave the introduction until last as it gives away the entire plot, including the ending (this is good advice with any book – I’ve learned from experience never to read the introduction first) ( )
  SheReadsNovels | May 6, 2010 |
"But then dreams are apart from the business of living; they are things we shed from us gently as we grow older"

Du Maurier's second novel begins in London as Richard (Dick) is snatched from attempting to take his own life by wanderer Jake. The two men strike up an instant friendship and begin a devil-may-care look at life and jump on the first ship leaving town and head for Sweden. They trek the mountains and party with tourists as a steamboat cruises the fjords until they finally end up in a brawl that sends them catching the first boat out of Stockholm - although that boat is destined for a fate that forever separates the two friends.

Adrift again but no longer suicidal, Dick leads a shiftless life in Paris drifting from job to job as he dreams of becoming a writer like his famous father, until one day he meets young music student Hesta and they settle into a relationship - although Dick still shrugs responsibility and puts off writing his "great book". Dick eventually begins to mature through his relationship with Hesta, but the relationship becomes strained as Dick's influence in her life changes her from a sensible grounded student into a carefree partying drifter no longer interested in her music lessons.

Ironic, isn't it? But so true to life - didn't we all hate our parents and do really stupid things when we were young? I believe this is the first time Du Maurier used her famous "male voice" and she shows remarkable insight into Dick's not so very likeable character (I did want to smack him on Hesta's behalf a few times). While not up to what she wrote in her later years, if you're a fan of Du Maurier's you might want to give this one a whirl - It’s one that will definitely stay with you for a bit as you reflect back on your own misspent youth. I almost gave it three stars, but then it _is_ Du Maurier after all. 4/5 stars. ( )
2 vote Misfit | May 24, 2009 |
Dick is contemplating throwing himself off a bridge, but is 'saved' by Jake. They take a long, rambling journey through Norway, and possibly some other places, but I don't know for sure because I just couldn't read it anymore. Dick is trying to escape the influence of his 'famous poet' father, but it seems like the book is an excuse for du Maurier to feature her poetic descriptions of the fjords. Dick himself seems to be suffering from bi-polar disorder, alternately in love with and disenchanted by any experience he engages in often swinging from moody to moodier almost instantly. It's enough to make the reader just as crazy. ( )
  EmScape | Jan 10, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Maurier, Daphne duprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dundy, ElaineIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
'If it must be so, let's not weep nor complain
If I have failed, or you, or life turned sullen.
We have had these things, they do not come again,
But the flag still flies and the city has not fallen.'

Humbert Wolfe
Dedication
First words
When the sun had gone, I saw that the water was streaked with great patches of crimson and gold.
Devotees of Daphne du Maurier will find in I'll Never Be Young Again a rich source of self-revelatory material. (Introduction)
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Book description
'The iron of the bridge felt hot under my hand. The sun had been upon it all day. Gripping hard with my hands I lifted myself on to the bar and gazed down steadily on the water passing under... I thought of places I would never see, and women I should never love. A white sea breaking on a beach, the slow rustle of a shivering tree, the hot scent of grass... I breathed deeply and I felt as though the waiting water rose up in front of me and would not let me go' 

As far as his father, an accomplished poet, is concerned, Richard will never amount to anything, and so he decides to take his fate into his own hands in a moment of crisis. But at the last moment, he is saved by a passing stranger, Jake, who appeals to Richard not to waste his life. The two men, both at turning points, and on a whim set out for adventure, jumping aboard the first ship they see, cementing a passionate friendship. Their journeys take them to Norway and across Europe, become firm friends. But it is in bohemian Paris, where Richard meets Hesta, a captivating music student, who enables him to fulfil his own artistic promise.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0330244280, Paperback)

A story about a young writer in Paris who is obsessed by his love for a young music student.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:30 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Richard decides to take his fate in his own hands, but at the last moment, is saved by Jake. Together they set out for adventure, jumping aboard the first ship they see.

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