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The Rendezvous and Other Stories by Daphne…

The Rendezvous and Other Stories (1980)

by Daphne du Maurier

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A series of short and not so short stories that are a very wide range. There is mystery in here, at times of a detective type, at others of a supernatural type. They all have a twist in there somewhere. Those I enjoyed the most were the first, a detective is set out to discover why a young pregnant wife suddenly commits suicide, and one where a ship in the North Sea in WW2 encounters a submarine and an escort. All the stories are worth reading, and while some are better than others, there are no real clunkers in the collection.

I listened to this, read by Edward da Souza, who has a very pleasant reading voice. Heartily recommended! ( )
  Helenliz | Sep 6, 2018 |
Since finishing this collection last night, I've changed my mind - 3, not 2 stars.

Du Maurier's short stories are - for the most part of this collection at least - just not as engaging and atmospheric as her novels.
I think it's mostly because there is such a difference in quality between the stories, maybe partly because they are ranging from early works to some later ones.

I loved the first and the last story ("No Motive" and "Split Second") and enjoyed "Panic" and "Adieu Sagesse", but the rest of the stories didn't appeal to me and some just were a bit bland.
( )
  BrokenTune | Aug 21, 2016 |
A series of short stories my favourite being the last one and one of the longer ones Split Second. ( )
  BookWormM | Jan 15, 2016 |
The blurb tells us that the "fourteen haunting stories collected here span the whole of Daphne du Maurier's writing career", when in fact Minette Walters in the Introduction to this selection of short stories informs us that all but several were written before 1931, when du Maurier published her first novel, and the rest between 1937 and 1947, when she was in her thirties, so all of them can be considered to be written fairly on in her career.

I have to admit that I didn't get on with the stories at all: all but one have at its heart weak or unlikeable characters (sometimes both), and to me they felt on the whole contrived, predictable, and often lacking in tension, atmosphere and genuine surprises, with only occasionally a well-aimed stab at small-mindedness, pettiness, hypocrisy, class snobbery and prejudice; these stabs are the more effective because they are understated, and not spelled out in capital letters as are some of the climaxes. (I guess this is where her relative inexperience is most noticeable, as if she didn't trust herself to spell out the conclusion clearly enough or the reader to draw the obvious parallels.) The stories I liked the most were "The Escort", which is more mature and atmospheric than the others and a complete thematic departure (told in the first person, with a nautical theme during war time) from the rest of the collection, along with "Split Second", which is atmospheric and intriguing and held my interest, with the protagonist's emotional turmoil portrayed very effectively, even though it was to a degree predictable and not entirely convincing.

Minette Walters praises the collection because in her opinion they already show immense maturity for someone so young; I don't agree. In the Introduction, Daphne du Maurier is quoted as saying that the early ones (i.e. short stories) especially showed something of her development as a writer; as this they may be of interest, but I think I prefer her later work. ( )
  passion4reading | Aug 21, 2015 |
Even when she wasn't writing at her best, Daphne du Maurier's stories are well-crafted and compelling. These aren't her most fascinating sets of scenarios and protagonists, but they're all well done. She had an amazing way of seeing how the world/people worked, even from the very early stories of her career, which some of these are.

I'm also impressed by her ability to mimic any genre, yet write as always in her own very recognisable style. ( )
  shanaqui | Jun 24, 2013 |
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Mary Farren went into the gun room one morning about half-past eleven, took her husband's revolver and loaded it, then shot herself. (No Motive)
One of the reasons I'm such a fan of Daphne du Maurier is that her stories are never comfortable. (Introduction)
The last chapter in my book of memoirs, Growing Pains, is entitled 'Apprenticeship'; the sub-title of the book itself, The Shaping of a Writer. (Preface)
The glory of St Swithin's was no more. The famous church in Mayfair, whose incense-laden atmosphere had caused strong hunting peers to weep with emotion, and whose soulful organ and sweet-voiced choir-boys against a background of glittering candles had brought the gayest revue actress to her knees, was now given up to a sordid crowd of slum-dwellers from Whitechapel who did not even know the meaning of genuflexion.

(Angels and Archangels, pp. 211–12)
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Book description
The fourteen haunting stories collected here span the whole of Daphne du Maurier's writing career and explore every human emotion: an apparently happily married woman commits suicide; a steamer in wartime is rescued by a mysterious sailing-ship; a dull husband breaks loose in a surprising fashion; a con girl plays her game once too often; and a famous novelist looks for romance, only to meet with bitter disappointment. Each meticulously observed tale shows du Maurier's mastery of the genre and provides pleasure for a variety of moods.

Contains the following short stories, with an Introduction by Minette Walters and a Preface by Daphne du Maurier:
No Motive, Panic, The Supreme Artist, Adieu Sagesse, Fairy Tale, The Rendezvous, La Sainte-Vierge, Leading Lady, Escort, The Lover, The Closing Door, Indiscretion, Angels and Archangels, Split Second
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A selection of
short stories written early
in author's career.

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Haunting collection of short stories.

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