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The Parasites by Daphne Du Maurier
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The Parasites (original 1949; edition 2005)

by Daphne Du Maurier

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4371124,058 (3.66)24
Member:FleurinherWorld
Title:The Parasites
Authors:Daphne Du Maurier
Info:Virago Press Ltd (2005), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:novel, virago modern classics

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The Parasites by Daphne du Maurier (1949)

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» See also 24 mentions

English (10)  Italian (1)  All languages (11)
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
I've rather shamefully never read any of Du Maurier's books aside from Rebecca so picked this up to rectify that!

I'm glad I did as I really enjoyed it. It seems Du Maurier is very good at writing about spoilt upper classes and that is effectively what this book is about. It takes place, in the most part, over the space of one day and the story unfolds in flashback. There's also a fantastic 'Weekend in the country' scene which made me laugh out loud. Worth reading for that alone.

The characters (and the ending) were very reminiscent of Rebecca! All in all I'm looking forward to reading more by her. ( )
  ElaineRuss | Sep 23, 2013 |
An enjoyable Du Maurier novel. Although this book is far more light-hearted than Du Maurier's more famous works, there is enough of a dark undercurrent to give the novel substance. Whilst none of the siblings are particularly likeable, they are interesting characters and the plot is compelling. Well worth a read. ( )
  cazfrancis | Mar 18, 2012 |
A curious first-person-pural narrative, "We" meaning all three of the main characters, each of whom is also referred to in the third person. Sub-Noel Coward. ( )
  KayCliff | Nov 13, 2011 |
PLUS -
• Interesting characters even though none of them were especially likeable.
• Style of narration was fascinating. You never do find out which of the Delaney siblings is addressing the reader.
• A rather ambiguous ending. For me that was plus, but I imagine it might spoil it for some people.
• Some unexpectedly funny parts. I loved the scene where Maria is left to look after the baby without the nanny to help.

OVERALL -
• Really enjoyed this. My favourite Du Maurier to date. ( )
  CaroTheLibrarian | Mar 3, 2010 |
A very unexpected book. Having read a couple of du Mauriers I was expecting brooding melodrama, and instead got a tricky comedy of manners with a bitter edge. The sibling parasites are drawn to fascinate rather than to emotionally engage, and so they do - together with period detail that glitters and glamours, but again with a seedy edge of neglect and regret.
1 vote otterley | Dec 22, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
Animal parasites are invertebrate animals which have taken up their abode in or upon the living bodies of other animals. From a broad biological outlook parasitism is a negative reaction to the struggle for existence, and always implies a mode of life that is near the line of least resistance....Occasional parasites are to be distinguished from permanent parasites. Among the former are the bed-bug and the leech, which usually abandon their host when they have obtained their object. In the embryo stage they are migratory, moving from host to host, or to a free life before becoming mature... Amongst the latter are the so-called fish-lice, which, with piercing mouth organs and elaborate clinging appartus, remain the same host always, and are amongst the most degenerate parasites known. Parasites affect their hosts by feeding upon their living tissues or cells, and the intensity of the effect upon the hosts ranges from the slightest local injury to complete destruction.  -- The Encyclopaedia Britannica
Dedication
For Whom the Caps fit Menabilly Spring, 1949
First words
It was Charles who called us the parasites.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Mentioned in Doomed by Chuck Palahniuk....
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Book description
Maria, Niall and Celia have grown up in the shadow of their famous parents- their father a flamboyant singer, and their mother a talented dancer. Now pursuing their own creative dreams, all three siblings feel an undeniable bond, but it is Maria and Niall who share the secret of their parents' pasts.
Alternately comic and poignant, The Parasites is based on the artistic milieu its author knew best, and draws the reader effortlessly into that magical world.
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Maria, Niall and Cecila have grown up in the shadow of their famous parents - their father, a flamboyant singer and their mother, a talented dancer. Now pursuing their own creative dreams, all three siblings feel an undeniable bond, but it is Maria and Niall who share the secret of their parent's past.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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