Have you ever read anything so deliciously unsettling that you wish you could go back in time so you could read it when it was first published? So that you could experience it at the height of its newness?
Quite disturbing and uncomfortable feelings occurred while reading this week. I attribute it to Daphne du Maurier's Classics of the Macabre that I received from the library, which features quite a creepy collection of short stories that were released with illustrations by Michael Foreman in 1987 to celebrate Du Maurier's 80th birthday. I didn't read the short stories in order, but instead trounced around and first started with "The Apple Tree," which was so fiendishly enjoyable that I wrote a separate review for it.
I also kept thinking of how Tim Burton should really select a Daphne du Maurier short story for his next film, particularly one of my favorites below...
A quick overview of all stories in this collection along with a sample of the wonderful illustrations:
Don't Look Now. A husband and wife vacationing in Venice and trying to move on from the death of Christine, their young daughter, are told by a psychic that she is actually sitting with them at the table. Although the husband thinks it's all a ruse, the wife believes. When the psychic delivers a warning message from the dead daughter that to stay in Venice will not bode well for them...
Frightening and unsettling.
I think my absolute favorite, and the first one I read.
A very, very twisted ending. Maybe this instead is my favorite? While reading this, I kept thinking that Tim Burton should pick this as next film project.
Although I enjoyed it, it wouldn't rank in my favorites of the other selections, surprisingly.
A very disturbing story, and one that gave me quite a shudder.
Although frighteningly good, it wasn't my favorite, and I wish there had been one more story after this one, or if it instead ended with either Don't Look Now or The Blue Lenses.
I haven't read Daphne du Maurier before, so this collection of short stories was a brilliant introduction, and one that I read to participate in the Daphne du Maurier Challenge hosted by Chrisbookarama. I found Du Maurier to be a bit like a twisted O. Henry -- the endings were never quite you imagined them to be, only much darker and haunting. The writing was beautiful and truly set the atmosphere. Now, I'm looking forward to picking up Rebecca, yet another creepy story, and the one that etched the author's name in literary history.
Coffee and a Book Chick