The Birds and other stories by Daphne Du Maurier #DDMreadingweek #DaphneDuMaurierWeek

The Birds

The blurb

‘How long he fought with them in the darkness he could not tell, but at last the beating of the wings about him lessened and then withdrew . . . ‘

A classic of alienation and horror, ‘The Birds’ was immortalised by Hitchcock in his celebrated film. The five other chilling stories in this collection echo a sense of dislocation and mock man’s sense of dominance over the natural world. 

The mountain paradise of ‘Monte Verità’ promises immortality, but at a terrible price; a neglected wife haunts her husband in the form of an apple tree; a professional photographer steps out from behind the camera and into his subject’s life; a date with a cinema usherette leads to a walk in the cemetery; and a jealous father finds a remedy when three’s a crowd . . .

My copy

My thoughts

I know we’re not yet two weeks through May but this will be my first review of the month. I was delighted to see a tweet about Ali Hope’s Daphne du Maurier reading week as I’ve had The Birds on my TBR pile for a couple of years now and this seemed a great opportunity to read it.

The book is made up of six short stories: The Birds | Monte Verità | The Apple Tree | The Little Photographer | Kiss Me Again, Stranger | The Old Man and has an introduction from David Thomson (2004) entitled ‘Du Maurier, Hitchcock and Holding an Audience’ which explores the relationship between the two and how films often take just the essence from a book or story and is well worth reading.

I have never seen Hitchcock’s The Birds although I have watched Rebecca. In all he made five films based on works by du Maurier.

What I do is to read a story only once, and if I like the basic idea, I just forget all about the book and start to create cinema.

Alfred Hitchcock

So, it is not that surprising to find that the films and the stories or books may be very different from each other. Certainly with The Birds Hitchcock removed it geographically from England to the west coast of America and wasn’t so much interested in why the birds were behaving as they were rather he wanted to ‘employ as many tricks with live birds’ as possible. It was this huge technical challenge that caught him to enable him to get across that ‘basic idea’ to the audience that of absolute dread.

It’s been a while since I’ve read any DDM books and reading The Birds reminded me of how well du Maurier writes. In just a few pages she tells of Nat and his realisation that the unusual gathering of birds was something of a concern. She describes the scenes and characters in such a way that you feel and, indeed, they are beautifully wrought scenes and well rounded characters. When they get into his children’s bedroom it’s enough to make him protect his family and home. His growing worry and fear – along with his wife’s and his daughter’s – bring that absolute feeling of dread to the reader.

It is with that word – DREAD – that brings the film and the story, the author and the filmmaker in harmony.

I have never wanted to watch the film but I am delighted that I have finally read this excellent short story.


This year it will be the week of the 10th-16th May – Daphne du Maurier’s birthday being the 13th.

I, like Ali, share the same week as DDM for my birthday so I’d just like to take this opportunity to wish Ali – indeed everyone with a birthday this week – many happy returns of the day! Despite the rather inclement weather I hope it’s an enjoyable one.

Daphne Du Maurier week is hosted by Ali over on HEAVENALI. For all the information you need regarding this week just pop over to her excellent blog. Thanks Ali for highlighting this I may have only managed a short read but it was very enjoyable.


Published by: Virago Classics |

PAPERBACK ISBN-13: 9781844080878 | PRICE: £8.99 | ON SALE: 6th October 2016 | GENRE: Fiction & Related Items / Classic Fiction (pre C 1945) | “The Birds” Originally published in 1952 in a short story collection entitled “The Apple Tree”.

Buy: Virago | | Waterstones |AmazonSmileUK


If you love books and beverages, you've come to the right place.

Taking On a World of Words

Homepage for fledgling writer Sam A. Stevens

Books, Cats, Etc.

A place to share my love of books, old and new


Thinking, writing, thinking about writing...


Book reviews by someone who loves books ...

Just One More Chapter

Book Reviews & More

Years of Reading Selfishly

Life is too short to read books you don't love

Crime Cymru

The Welsh Crime Writing Collective

Sharon Dempsey

First Chapter

Beverley's Reads

Book Reviews & The Joy of Reading

the dead authors club

a classics club blog

Indie Bookshops

a directory of independent bookshops


The poetry and writing of Ailsa Cawley. Welcome!

The Last Word Book Review

Musings about books and a blog journal

Crime Writer Margot Kinberg

...a crime-fictional site

All the Vintage Ladies

A bookish blog (mostly) about women writers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries

Hugh's Views & News  

WordPress & Blogging tips, flash fiction, photography and lots more!


My Reading Life

The Classics Club

A Community of Classics Lovers

Reading Matters

Book reviews of mainly modern & contemporary fiction

Rebecca Bradley

Murder Down To A Tea

Raven Crime Reads

Criminally good reads

The book review café

Book reviews and the occasional ramblings of a book blogger

A crime readers blog

A place for crime fiction reviews and occasional ramblings of a 40 something in York

A Fangirl's Opinion

One Girl, Too Many Books

Jen Med's Book Reviews

Musings and Ramblings of a Disorganised Blogger

Digital Reads Media

Shalini's Digital Reads & Promotions

KayCKay Book Reviews

No one ever reads the same book. We all react to the written word differently. The following are my opinions regarding the books I have read.

Being Anne...

Books, travel, and other things that make life interesting

What Cathy Read Next...

For book lovers everywhere

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

Book related stuff in English and Dutch!

Nordic Lighthouse

Spotlight on Nordic / Scandinavian crime fiction... and connections

Bookish Chat

All things bookish.

Penny For Our Thoughts

Traveling Sisters Book Reviews. Join us on our adventures through the books we read

Novel Deelights

Escaping reality one book at a time

Jess Bookish Life

Reader | Writer | Blogger

Novel Writing Festival

Monthly Festival : Turn your book into a movie and get it seen by 1000s of people. Or garner FULL FEEDBACK from publishers on your novel and help your next draft. Or get a transcript video of your novel performed by professional actors.

Scribbling Clouds

The place where I put down all my thoughts and observations

Pages Below the Vaulted Sky

A book blog with a speculative focus

Jennifer ~ Tar Heel Reader

Reading under the light of a Carolina moon

%d bloggers like this: