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Kiss Me Again, Stranger by Daphne du Maurier
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Kiss Me Again, Stranger (1953)

by Daphne du Maurier

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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This is one of the better collections of du Maurier's short stories. Eight in all, they have the creepy, tuck your feet under you so something doesn't grab you under the chair feel. Not that the stories are particularly scary. They are fraught with tension. The author is adept at portraying people as they see themselves, but letting the reader see beneath the veneer as well. We see their vanity, pride, greed or envy and the ugly spot it makes in their life simply because the character will not see it.

In my opinion, four of these stories are very strong and perfect short stories; Kiss Me Again, Stranger, The Birds, The Split Second (this one did go on too long, and it was repetitive, but a nice story) and No Motive. Each leaves you wanting more, thinking beyond the tale, and yet each is a finished story. Of the other four, The Little Photographer, Monte Verita, and The Apple Tree dragged for me. I was done with them long before they were over. The Old Man struck me as being a school assignment. Or the author got lazy. The ending provoked me even though I knew something like that was coming. All of them are strong stories though. ( )
  MrsLee | Aug 13, 2013 |
I’d never read Daphne Du Maurier until I read Kiss Me Again, Stranger, a collection of 8 short stories. “Where have I been all these years?”, I asked myself. Housed in the mystery section of the antiquarian bookstore Westsider Rare and Used Books on Broadway and 78th Street (give or take a block or two), some stories were mysteries and some were just odd, for lack of a better term. All were good.

I did learn something from the book, though. Alfred Hitchcock’s movie The Birds was based on a Du Maurier story of the same name. That and the fact that Du Maurier wrote the story and the screenplay is almost where the similarity ends. One takes place in the U.S. and the other in England. One has a romance and one doesn’t. One is about survival and the other isn’t. I must admit the original story is quite compelling. They are both scary, though!

I’d tell you my favorite story, but they are all so different and as I look at the titles to write this, they all conjure up the story lines and I like them all. Kiss Me Again, Stranger, the story, is about GIs being murdered. The Apple Tree is about a tree taking revenge. The Little Photographer is about a vacation liaison turned bad and No Motive is about a suicide. You see, the stories are all over the place, but once started, I couldn’t put the book down.

I find that Du Maurier’s stories and Vera Caspary’s writings have a similarity in their feel. Contemporaries (Laura by Caspary was written in 1943 and Rebecca by Du Maurier was written in 1938) it is not the mystery that is commanding but the story, the atmosphere created by the authors, the surroundings described by the authors. These are not ‘police procedurals’. They are creations. A few days ago I wrote about painting a picture with words. I found both Du Maurier and Caspary created canvases.

I know I’ve just rambled but since I couldn’t really describe the stories, I had to find a way to tell you why I like these authors so much. I hope I have and I hope my enthusiasm will rub off on you. ( )
1 vote EdGoldberg | May 7, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Maurier, Daphne duAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cardi, Alma ReeseIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Doubleday published the stories included in British collection "The Apple Tree and Other Stories" along with two additional stories ("The Split Second" and "No Motive") as the collection "Kiss Me Again, Stranger"
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