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The Rendezvous and other Stories by Daphne…
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The Rendezvous and other Stories (1980)

by Daphne du Maurier

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
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 |
http://leavesandpages.wordpress.com/2013/06/19/review-the-rendezvous-and-other-s...
In the Preface, the author briefly explains her inspirations, and mentions that these stories show her development as a writer. I think a nice addition to this collection would have been dates of writing or of original publication; this would have added much to my own enjoyment as a long-time Daphne du Maurier reader.

*****

Some excellent, some not so much in this 1980 collection of short stories from throughout the author’s long career. All are very well written; the “less excellent” ones are described as such only in comparison to this author’s absolutely brilliant “best”.
No Motive ~ Why would a sweet-natured, happily married, expectant mother fatally shoot herself ten minutes after cheerfully ordering new garden furniture? One of the longer stories in this collection, and nicely plotted out.
Panic ~ A casual love affair goes terribly wrong. Fabulously atmospheric, but ultimately slight. The dénouement comes as no surprise.
The Supreme Artist ~ An aging actor gives a most superb performance off stage, and comes abruptly to an intimation of his own mortality.
Adieu Sagesse ~ Two men from the opposite ends of the social spectrum plot their escape from tedious lives. Loved this one; the right people “win”.
Fairy Tale ~ A slight and unlikely snippet of a story of a ne’er-do-well husband and his adoring wife. “Fairy tale”, indeed!
The Rendezvous ~ I expected much from the title story of this collection. A successful author who has spent his life in observation finally arranges an “experience” for himself, only to be disappointed at every turn. In general, well done. But I wanted something just a little bit more.
La Sainte-Vierge ~ Innocence and corruption. A snippet of a story, but very evocative of both.
Leading Lady ~ Cherchez la femme… Another theatrical setting. Daphne used her eyes and ears well when about the backstage world.
Escort ~ A maritime ghost story set in World War II. It’s been done before, but this attempt is reasonably decent. Nice detail on board the ghost ship.
The Lover ~ A damning portrait of a rather vicious “lady’s man”. Didn’t really go anywhere as a story.
The Closing Door ~ A young man faces up to a dire diagnosis. His lover unknowingly twists the knife. No shortage of symbolic situation in this one; I suspect it is one of the earlier efforts of the author.
Indiscretion ~ Be careful what you say and who you say it to. Three lives are changed by a single sentence. A mite too contrived for my full enjoyment.
Angels and Archangels ~ Religion and hypocrisy. The hypocrites win. A bitter little tale.
Split Second ~ This story is the definite high point of the book. A middle-aged woman goes out for a walk, and comes away from a brush with death to a very different world. Or does she? Brutally pathetic, and perfectly written. ( )
  leavesandpages | Jun 19, 2013 |
The Rendezvous and Other Stories is a collection of short stories written by Daphne du Maurier. Some of them are among the earliest examples of her writing and most of them, as you would expect if you've ever read any of du Maurier's work before, are slightly disturbing and unsettling. She takes some quite ordinary situations and ordinary, flawed people, and adds undertones of suspense and drama.

Many of the stories are just 10-20 pages long - perfect if you don't have a lot of time, although in most cases I would have preferred them to be longer and more developed. My favourite story from the collection was No Motive, in which a private detective investigates an apparently motiveless suicide. I felt it could easily have been expanded into a full length detective novel, though it worked well as a short story too. The other one that really stood out for me was Split Second, in which a woman goes out for a walk one afternoon and returns home to find strangers living in her house. This story had a touch of the supernatural about it, as did Escort, which describes a ship leaving port during World War II and being rescued from a submarine attack by a mysterious sailing ship.

I liked the three stories I've just mentioned, as well as The Closing Door and La Sainte-Vierge, but there were too many of the others that I just didn't enjoy very much. However, it was still interesting to read them and see how good Daphne du Maurier's writing was even in the early stages of her career. ( )
  helen295 | Dec 8, 2009 |
Includes The Rendezvous, Adieu Sagesse and Fairy Tale, three I picked because they are so different. She has a way of finding the ordinary cruelties and shortcomings of ordinary people and hinging her uncomfortable and disturbing stories on these imperfections. ( )
  Greatrakes | May 17, 2009 |
This is a fantastic collection of 14 short stories that are set in various locations, France, London, Cornwall and Switzerland. All are areas that Du Maurier had visited in actual life. The tales are created from things she overheard or saw, then turned into the haunting tales that form this collection. Du Maurier made these tales seem like actual events, maybe because they come from snippets of her life which she then elaborated on to breathe life into them. From romance to ghostly tales, there is sure to be something for everyone to enjoy in this anthology. ( )
  kehs | May 2, 2008 |
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No Motive

Mary Farren went into the gun room one morning about half-past eleven, took her husband's revolver and loaded it, then shot herself.
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VIRAGO EDITION:
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.
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Haunting collection of short stories.

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