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Don't Look Now / Not After Midnight / A Border-Line Case / The Way of the Cross / The Breakthrough (1971)

por Daphne Du Maurier

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1,0812918,459 (3.64)15
The title novella of this collection features John and Laura who are on holiday in Venice. But it is a dangerous place for them as they are being followed by two old sisters and there is a killer on the loose.
  1. 00
    The Shadow of the Wind por Carlos Ruiz Zafón (Johanna11)
  2. 00
    Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe por Edgar Allan Poe (KayCliff)
    KayCliff: Both du Maurier's The Breakthrough" and Poe's "The facts in the case of M. Valdemar" treat of death under hypnosis.
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DON'T LOOK NOW is a book of Daphne du Maurier's short stories, the first of which has that same title. This review is of that short story, "Don't Look Now." (Warning: I don't particularly like short stories. That's why I read only the first one in this book.)

The story begins with the quotation "Don't Look Now," as John and Laura are having lunch at a restaurant and joking together about other restaurant guests. They are a married couple vacationing in Italy. John is relieved that Laura seems to be coming out of the depression she has been in since their 5-year-old daughter died.

But two of the guests they were joking about turn out to be psychics. And so begin misunderstandings and confusion.

A movie based on "Don't Look Now" was made in 1973. I found a more recent remake of that movie. Let's see what they did with this short story. ( )
  techeditor | Feb 9, 2024 |
This is the edition with Don't Look Now, Not After Midnight, A Border-line Case, The Way of the Cross and The Breakthrough.

Don't Look Now: After reading this I was thinking about it the entire rest of the day. It explores interesting gender themes around the "emotional" woman and the "rational" man. If you're reading it as a kind of suspense thing the ending will probably annoy you but imo it works well. The suspense works well and it's in general really interesting as well as showing the limitations of the perspective it's written from. Massive ending spoilers etc follow but I talk about why I found it so fascinating

The entire story is written from the perspective of the man - his wife's grief is treated as somewhat over the top and excessive, while the man is the "sensible" one who wants to make her wife happy and have her almost forget her dead child. Throughout the story he chides his wife's behaviour, primarily of course her interest in the psychic twins. Yet his "rational" criticisms of them cause greater unhappiness - even though he supposedly started out only wanting to make his wife feel happy, he can't deal with her being made happy by what he supposes to be psychic fakery. Throughout the story his wife shows she's dealing with her grief productively (the vision makes her happy, yet she has no desire to contact the sisters again - the fact her daughter is still there is enough and doesn't need dwelling on) yet the man never deals with it at all, totally refusing to acknowledge it. Multiple times he sees falsely - the twin sisters as criminals, seeing the twin sisters and his wife on a ferry, seeing a short woman as a young girl. The last in particular is obviously based on his own grief - he sees her exactly as he saw his dead daughter and tries to "protect" her out of a feeling that he's reliving his daughter's death etc. Also the irony that his own disbelief in psychic stuff causes him to believe his own psychic vision - he's blinded by his irrational hatred of the two sisters. Ugh I dunno there's SO MUCH to this story and I'm not a good writer and a lot of my ideas have gone out of my head but there's tons to analyse and say good things about sorry I can't be the one to do it. I really really liked it a lot

Not After Midnight: Be warned that this contains a couple of mentions of pedophilic thoughts although there's no detail on it. A pretty creepy story - don't expect anything to get "resolved" exactly BUT it gives a lot of suggestive details that left me thinking of explanations for what was going on. It builds a really tense and creepy atmosphere with a few particularly grotesque details. Hard to really talk about because the interest is in the slowly revealed information and fitting it together in your mind. Liked it a lot

A Border-line Case: Don't recommend reading if you find sexual assault stuff triggering, there's 1 specific thing about it that's a MASSIVE spoiler but again if you find abuse, particularly family stuff, triggering then i don't recommend reading it. Ending spoiler: Incest and a rape is involved. I can't help but read it as a very very black short story long joke. It's just generally really strange. The ending is kind of shocking but it was more like a groaned "come on" than a genuine shock. Can't really recommend it particularly because of the way some serious stuff is passed over lightheartedly but it's definitely unusual.

The Way of the Cross: About the experiences of a group of village church goers and their stand in vicar as they visit Jerusalem for a day. It's mostly about the interactions between them and their pasts and hidden weak points and fears, with some stuff about how Jerusalem can't live up to the expectations of people. Things are kind of resolved and they discover stuff about themselves and how they are. I feel there's some symbolism/history I was missing a bit. It was good although not super exciting, the characters were written very well.

The Breakthrough: This reminds me of the sort of 50s-70s British sci-fi serials, particularly stuff like Quartermass and The Stone Tape. It's not super dramatic and scary but it gives you a concept that's kind of scary to think about and it works well as a kind of lingering uneasiness.

Overall the book was good I enjoyed most of the stories and I recommend it if it sounds interesting atall ( )
  tombomp | Oct 31, 2023 |
Before our trip, I read this short story for one of my now-Zoom book groups. Du Maurier in a spooky mood, well written but not my particular interest. ( )
  ffortsa | Dec 18, 2022 |
notes for each one, so I can recall them later on

1 Don’t Look Now
Wonderful little story. The opening banter between the couple felt so sweet and familiar. The story is very predictable, and unfortunatelly this makes the ending feel drawn out and a bit tiresome. But, again with du Maurier's spooky short stories this is because these narratives have now become cliches from overuse by movies and shows and games and comics. It's to be expected.

2 Not After Midnight
Oh man, reading about Greece from foreign eyes always feels funny and weird.

3 A Border-Case
The ending of this tale is easily spoiled for anyone who has read more than 2 lines of her wiki-bio. A very du Maurier short. Fully detailed psychological profile of a young woman. Authoritative older men. Creepy atmosphere and that classic "da da DAAAAM" ending du Maurier writes so well. I could have done without the casual rape though, or at least I would have liked it if the author acknowleged it as such. Someone may excuse it because our narrator is once again unreliable, but still, if she found a way to show us how an unreliable narrator sees the truth distorted in her short story "The Apple Tree" then she could damn well do it here if she pleased or deemed it needed. She didn't and that's a major faux pas for me.

4 Way of the Cross
A group of middle & upper class hypocrites go for a bourgeois vacation on holy lands. We learn their desires, their lies, their shortcomings. It had the air of a very classic tale. I think it had proven it's point by the first third of the story, and thus it felt drawn out.

5 The Breakthrough
Well. I wanted a spookier ending. But I had fun. Love "mad" scientists. The premise was way creepier than intended (she ccould have used hypnotism and highly suggestible states to much more intense levels - and I'm glad she didn't.) Would have liked it to be more supernatural than suggestive. ( )
  Silenostar | Dec 7, 2022 |
I know it's du Maurier, but some of these stories just don't hold up very well. ( )
  booksinbed | Apr 26, 2022 |
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» Adicionar outros autores (1 possível)

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Daphne Du Maurierautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Agiolillo Zannino, GioiaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Agiolillo Zannino, GioiaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Galloni, AdelchiArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Galloni, AdelchiArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Whiteman, PeterIlustradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Published by under different names "Not After Midnight" or "Don't Look Now" or "Don't Look Now, and other stories".

This collection includes:
  • Don't Look Now
  • Not After Midnight
  • A Border-Line Case
  • The Way of the Cross
  • The Breakthrough
There seem to be a number of different configurations using this same title, but they do not always contain the same stories, or even the same number of stories. This group of editions contains only five stories, other editions bearing a similar title contain 10 stories.
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The title novella of this collection features John and Laura who are on holiday in Venice. But it is a dangerous place for them as they are being followed by two old sisters and there is a killer on the loose.

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