Original date of publication: 1952-1980
My edition: 2008 (NYRB Classics)
Why I decided to read: it’s on the list of NYRB Classics
How I acquired my copy: Borders, April 2011
Don’t Look Now is a collection of nine short stories that Daphne Du Maurier published between 1952 and 1980. Daphne Du Maurier’s writing runs the gamut from straight historical to suspense/thriller, so I was intrigued to see what her stories would be like.
These stories cover much of Du Maurier’s career, and they’re all stunning. She takes what are seemingly ordinary people and subjects and turns the story into something far more sinister. From the arresting opening story, in which a couple are grieving the loss of their child and take a holiday to Venice, to a story in which England’s birds attack the human population, to a story in which a woman has eye surgery and wakes to view the inner beast in humans, these stories are amazing and contain a lot of significance, even though some of them are a couple of pages long. Any one of these stories could have been made into an Alfred Hitchcock film; and I’d swear that M. Night Shyamalan used “Split Second” as inspiration for The Sixth Sense. The collection itself is great because all of these stories connect in some way to the others. My personal favorite story in this collection is the titular “Don’t Look Now”—Daphne Du Maurier at her best. This is a collection not to be missed if you’re a fan of the author like I am, or like short stories.