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Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier (1936)

  1. 60
    Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (katie4098)
  2. 10
    Diamonds are Forever by Ian Fleming (Sylak)
    Sylak: Another story involving a complex central character worth a good read.
  3. 10
    To Have and Have Not by Ernest Hemingway (Sylak)
    Sylak: Another story involving themes of smuggling and alcoholism.
  4. 00
    Burnt Mountain by Anne Rivers Siddons (silva_44)
    silva_44: Although the plot isn't very similar, Burnt Mountain reminds me of Jamaica Inn because of the peculiar psychotic actions of characters in each.
  5. 23
    North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell (AdonisGuilfoyle)
    AdonisGuilfoyle: Mary Yellan reminded me very much of Gaskell's heroine Margaret Hale: both are young, outspoken, and are strong enough to cope with life's hardships and sorrows. And there is a comparison of 'north' and 'south' Cornwall in Du Maurier's novel, too!… (more)
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English (69)  French (3)  German (2)  Dutch (1)  All (75)
Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
I adored this book; nearly as much as Rebecca to be honest. I'm not quite sure what it is about Daphne du Maurier's writing that captivates me so but she never fails to draw me in. Don't let the cover of this book fool you. It is not romance novel fluff by any means. The imagery is powerful and in many ways reminds me of Wuthering Heights with its gothic elements. This is a nice, quick read. My only complaint lies in that the prime suspect of the novel was easy to weed out and fairly predictable. Nonetheless, I remain highly pleased with this work. ( )
  Heather_Brock | Nov 23, 2016 |
If you have ever gotten annoyed by female protagonists in your favourite Gothic novels being unreasonably weak and lovelorn, this is the book for you. Just as Gothic novels should be, it is super moody with excellent imagery and a constantly foggy moor. There are the inevitable twists: the obvious antagonist, the less obvious antagonist except we've all grown up with the evil religious albino trope so we could all see that twist coming from a mile away, c'mon, especially after that almost-sexual-release introductory scene where he urges the horses through the uneven grounds in the rain at the deathly-exhilarating speed, and the antagonistic love interest oddly enough, another Mary and Jem coupling, did they learn nothing from Mary Barton?, but best of all is the protagonist Mary. She is just feisty enough without being too comically so. We can see the slight hardness and twistedness in her that makes it plausible for her to seek out and withstand the tempestuous escapades while also falling for the bad-boy. The poor aunt was of course only used as a plot device but with such atmospheric and adrenaline-pumping setting, who cares about the flaws?

Aside: How to spot cruelty in a person in a Gothic novel: the shape of their mouth. It's so fun to hear the nineteenth century being referred to as the pinnacle of modernity. ( )
  kitzyl | Oct 28, 2016 |
I wanted to read this book because I heard duMaurier's writing style was very similar to Mary Stewart's and I like Stewart's Gothic style. This had the same flavor and it was a decent read but I still enjoy Stewart's stories alot more. I felt like duMaurier's characters didn't do a very good job of portraying alot of what was happening. They were vague and it was almost like you had to infer for yourself the meaning and gist of everything. That may have had alot to do with the era and it not being proper for ladies to talk or write about many topics. ( )
  EmpressReece | Aug 22, 2016 |
I wanted to read this book because I heard duMaurier's writing style was very similar to Mary Stewart's and I like Stewart's Gothic style. This had the same flavor and it was a decent read but I still enjoy Stewart's stories alot more. I felt like duMaurier's characters didn't do a very good job of portraying alot of what was happening. They were vague and it was almost like you had to infer for yourself the meaning and gist of everything. That may have had alot to do with the era and it not being proper for ladies to talk or write about many topics. ( )
  EmpressReece | Aug 22, 2016 |
I finished Jamaica Inn in the early hours of this morning and spent most of today thinking about whether I should give it 3 or 4 stars and whether to add a review – there have been so many already, and so much of what can be said about JI has been said:

There’s a lot of scope for discussion whether the characters are too simple, whether the plot is predictable, whether Du Maurier had found her voice as a writer, yet (even though JI is not her debut and Rebecca was published only two years later), and whether JI merits the praise it seems to get.

It’s a story set in the early 19th century, it’s gothic, it’s formulaic, atmospheric, and it’s possibly also well represented by other adjectives ending in “–ic”....

What I would like to add, though, is that despite its short-comings it is a good read (- well it kept me awake anyway).

I was drawn into the story and the setting right from the start of the book and I had to double check the publication date as it was strange to read a story that written around the same time as In Dubious Battle, The ABC Murders, or Mephisto but had the feel of a Bronte novel. I guess this is where Du Maurier’s ability to create a time warp that will absorb a reader really shines.

Of course there are the occasional lapse in good judgement of her protagonists and the unbelievable – literally unbelievable – good luck of the would-be-detective Jem, but the quite extraordinary addition of the nihilist attitude in both extremes of the local society - the wreckers and the local clergy (two sides of the same coin)- is entertaining enough to forgive for such obvious flaws.

The part of the book I found irritating was the ending. I wish it had ended before the rescue party arrives. ( )
  BrokenTune | Aug 21, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (23 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Maurier, Daphne duprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Britton, TonyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dunant, SarahIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Jamaica Inn stands today, hospitable and kindly, a temperance house on the twenty-mile road between Bodmin and Launceston.

In the following story of adventure I have pictured it as it might have been over a hundred and twenty years ago; and although existing place names figure in the pages, the characters and events described are entirely imaginary.

Daphne du Maurier
Bodinnick-by-Fowey
October 1935
Dedication
First words
It was a cold grey day in late November.
Jamaica Inn opens with echoes of Dracula: a carriage rattling through the desolate landscape and wild weather to a place where even the locals don't go, so ferocious is its reputation. (Introduction)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
VIRAGO EDITION:
Her mother's dying request takes Mary Yellan on a sad journey across the bleak moorland of Cornwall to reach Jamaica Inn, the home of her Aunt Patience. With the coachman's warning echoing in her memory, Mary arrives at a dismal place to find Patience a changed woman, cowering from her overbearing husband, Joss Merlyn.

Affected by the Inn's brooding power, Mary is thwarted in her attention to reform her aunt, and unwillingly drawn into the dark deeds of Joss and his accomplices. And, as she struggles with events beyond her control, Mary is further thrown by her feelings for a man she dare not trust...
A huge success on first publication, Jamaica Inn is a dark and intriguing gothic tale that will remind readers of two other great classics, Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0380725398, Mass Market Paperback)

Jamaica Inn is a true classic. After the death of her mother, Mary Yellan travels to Jamaica Inn on the wild British moors to live with her Aunt Patience. The coachman warns her of the strange happenings there, but Mary is committed to remain at Jamaica Inn. Suddenly, her life is in the hands of strangers: her uncle, Joss Merlyn, whose crude ways repel her; Aunt Patience, who seems mentally unstable and perpetually frightened; and the enigmatic Francis Davey. But most importantly, Mary meets Jem Merlyn, Joss's younger brother, whose kisses make her heart race. Caught up in the danger at this inn of evil repute, Mary must survive murder, mystery, storms, and smugglers before she can build a life with Jem.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:13 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The inn is derelict, and no decent folks will come to it, speaking of it in fearful whispers. When Mary Yellan joins her aunt, married to the owner, she soon finds she has but two friends on the wild moors--the mysterious parson and an insolent, likeable horsethief.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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