September 23, 2007

Don't Look Now: Short Story Review

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"Don't look now!" are the first words uttered in this short story by Daphne duMaurier. A couple is on holiday (as they say in Britain) in Venice, having lunch and making up stories about the people they see. It's seems light-hearted but the husband is trying to keep his wife's mind off the death of their 5 year old daughter. John, the husband, spies a pair of elderly ladies and convinces his wife Laura to follow one of them. The lady in turn tells her that the other lady with her, her sister, is psychic and has seen her daughter who has a warning for them both.

What happens next is a series of events that leads them into trouble and had me wondering if there was a way around it or if it was destiny.

I read this fairly long, short story in about an hour for the RIP challenge. This is the self titled story in the collection Don't Look Now and Other Stories. DuMaurier is the mistress of the suspense story with a realistic blend of the supernatural. Her characters are believable and sympathetic not to mention her ability to create a creepy atmosphere. Venice's twisting alley ways were the perfect setting for this tale. I look forward to reading the others.


  1. With that premise, it could have gone in so many ways. A comedy, a thriller, etc. Sounds very intriguing.

  2. I concur with your review of the first story. Venice was the perfect location. I read the book in August and look forward to your reviews of the other stories.

  3. You know....I've never been a fan of the short story, but with the RIP challenge and Short Story Sunday, I may change my mind!! As for du Maurier, I liked Rebecca and loved My Cousin Rachel. I think I will have to look for this book!

  4. Sounds great! I'm "reading" Poe for this challenge and not doing so hot (so far). Oh well!

  5. REBECCA was a masterpiece, both book and film. And you're right, she was a master of suspense.

    Trish, Poe's short stories are pure genius. Have you tried The Telltale Heart yet?

  6. I have this book, I should really read it. I haven't read anything by Du Maurier yet (hanging head in shame)

  7. I've got this one on my shelf. I love du Maurier - she's a master. In fact, I'm reading The House on the Strand, right now, and loving it. Rebecca is an all-time favorite and I also really enjoyed Jamaica Inn and Frenchman's Creek. And My Cousin Rachel.


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