Nightjar
  • Paul Jameson

On Reading and Du Maurier

Originally written in mid-2016, this is an old post lifted from my old site. I hope you won't mind. It revisits my return to reading after not having been able to concentrate enough to read for quite some time; that and my first taste of Daphne du Maurier. And I am now a huge fan of her writing. I hope you enjoy it.

After returning to my blog last week (back in 2017) I realise how much I miss writing it. In truth, I’ve been blinded and consumed by edits on two novels I’ve written. Not a bad thing, but one that a writer really needs to take a break from, even if it's an hour or two on a blog that's fun and frivolous, of the here and now rather than of the what might be.


And so here I am.

Again.

Ready to write stuff.

Only now I will be including books I’m reading and what I think of them; a kind of informal thing between you and me. You see I can read again. My brain's beginning to work and it’s a wonderful feeling. I’m focussing on ‘the classics’ in the library. Not in any effort to better myself and indeed, I do think I’m a bit of a lost cause, ‘the classics’ tend to comprise the shorter books in our library. Anthologies of short stories too. Sounds like a cop out, but I really don’t want to overstretch and tire a recovering brain out. A little is a lot at first, so to speak.


Anyway, this week I got my grubby little mitts on Daphne Du Maurier. I confess I'd never read her work before, but I once worked for a music company that owned the copyright to one of her more famous works. I decided to give ‘The Birds and Other Stories’ a go, and I'm glad I did. I never expected Du Maurier to be so dark and weird. Twisted. Certainly, ‘The Birds’ as a story is far better than Hitchcock's screen version. A lost cause, it leaves a hollow pit in the stomach after finishing, but so too did I enjoy the other stories just as much. Sure, some of the plots were transparent and obvious, but the way she writes is beautiful. Simple, elegant, classical, so you're hit so much more by the weird twists you know are coming. It’s almost as if they don’t go together - her writing and the weird.


How would I describe Du Maurier? Ahead of her time. More so, given the relevance of some of storylines in the world of a recent today. I was left intrigued by the Pagan wonder of Monte Verita, fell in love with the usherette in ‘Kiss me Stranger’ and laughed at the twisted spite throughout ‘The Little Photographer’. In ‘The Apple Tree’ I really did see the heavy shoulders of a sorry marriage, even if the outcome from the beginning was quite obvious. I enjoyed all of them, and so Daphne Du Maurier has a very new fan. And if you've never read her works, my recommendation would be to give her a go - she may well surprise you.


Bring on ‘Rebecca’.

 

If there's a topic you'd like me to consider in a blog, a book you think I really need to read and review, or a TV Series you think I'd enjoy (and you'd like me to include it in my blog) drop me a line and let me know.


Finally. If you do buy my books. Thank you.

And let me know what you think. Get in touch on Twitter. I'm always there; a writer, you see...


 




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