September 24, 2007

The House on the Strand: Review

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The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier is a time travel novel of sorts.

Richard Young is on vacation in Cornwall. His friend, Magnus, has lent him his family home of Kilmarth with one request: be part of a secret experiment. Magnus, a professor of biophysics, has created a powerful hallucinogenic drug with the side effect of allowing the user to view scenes from the past as if one was there in the flesh.

Richard finds the drug at first terrifying but exciting. Unseen, he follows a man named Roger, the steward for a hellish woman, the Lady Champernoune. Trip after trip, Richard returns to the 14th century, witnessing murders and brutality. The lure of the drug is too much for Richard even though there are startling after effects and dangers in being 'out of it' in the modern world.

I could understand the appeal of the drug to Richard. His real life is at best dull. He's left his job and his wife is nagging him to move to the States. The couple have little in common. They hate each others' friends and argue constantly. He has nothing in common with his stepsons either. I was as entranced as he was by the medieval intrigues but hoping nothing bad would happen to poor Richard.

At first, I was confused by all the names of the medieval characters. There was so much going on all at once and I was plunked down in the middle of it with Richard. But then I couldn't wait to find out what would happen next. Definitely a great story by duMaurier.

For the RIP Challenge.


Also Reviewed By: Puss Reboots


  1. Gah! I must hurry up and read Du Maurier!

  2. I have only read Rebecca when I was a teenager, but this sounds interesting. Will keep a look out for it thanks.

  3. I love your new header. I would like to be right there at that spot right now.

  4. This does sound like an intersting book. I haven't yet read a book by this author, although Rebecca is sitting on the shelf in my TBR room.

  5. Oh, cool! I've got this one on my RIP II list. I've gotta squeeze it in. Thanks for an excellent review without spoilers. :)

  6. This is a really good one. DuMaurier is one of my favorite authors ever since I read Rebecca.

    Kookiejar- Thanks. That's a walking trail not far from my home.

  7. This one has been on my shelf forever. I think I'l have to add it to my TBR list for next year!

  8. Do try to find DuMaurier's short stories. I love The Blue Lenses in particular (in the collection Breaking Point).

  9. Oooh, another book with a delightfully intriguing premise. That wish list just gets longer and longer!

  10. This sounds really interesting and would definitely fit in with all the other spooky reads I've had in October.

  11. I have read her collectuion of short stories and of course Rebecca.

    I loved those. Another one to add to my TBR pile!


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