House on the Strand Paperback – Jan 1 2000
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The House on the Strand is prime du Maurier. . . . She holds her characters close to reality; the past she creates is valid, and her skill in finessing the time shifts is enough to make one want to try a little of the brew himself. -- New York Times Book Review
About the Author
Dame Daphne du Maurier (1907-1989) wrote more than twenty-five acclaimed novels, short stories, and plays, including Rebecca, The Scapegoat, Jamaica Inn, Frenchman's Creek, and "The Birds."See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
But enough digression... This was a grand and glorious book, about a guy and his scientist friend Magnus. Written in first person as many of D du M's books are, right away the story draws the reader into the very mind of the main dude (whose name I cannot remember so I'll call him "I"). Basically, the main guy is Magnus' guinea pig. Magnus is one of those scientists who, like Dr Jekyll or Dr Frankenstein, delve into the unknown and in the end destroy themselves or others. Magnus does both. In a way, more than Magnus or Mr I, the drug Magnus creates is the main character. It is a dangerous menace. And addicting. Magnus and Mr I cannot be content with only one trip. The trips take them many years back in history to their town as it used to be, and "I" particularly is caught up in the lives of certain people there. Magnus is the same to a less determined degree.
The trouble is that when Magnus extracted Mr I's promise to do the experiment, "I" was not counting on his wife and sons coming around to see him at Magnus' house...
So he has to be careful when and where he takes the drug. Sometimes he winds up very far from home. Sometimes it leaves him ill. But he is caught up in history and will not be content to stop.
The ending is unrivalled. There is no other book that I've ever read with such an unexpected last paragraph.Read more ›
In none of her books is that more apparent than in The House on the Strand. Although the viewpoint character is male, the concern for women's rights still shines through.
If you have seen the TV miniseries 'The Two Worlds of Jennie Logan' or the motion picture 'Somewhere in Time' you will at first think that both of them somehow got their inspiration from this book when you first start reading it. But this is much deeper than either of those stories. While the major character does indeed flash backwards and forwards in time, his discoveries in the past help him understand his present circumstances. The emphasis then is not on his wanting to 'escape' the present, as in the two movies, but on wanting to understand how the present and the past interrelate.
Also, some of the minor characters are historically real, and this adds a lot of interest to the tale. It makes you want to go visit the area in southern England where the story is set, and do a little investigating for yourself.
Provides some real food for thought.
Nope, I'm not telling and to say much more gives the whole thing away - half the fun is the guessing and unexpected twists in the story. Although the segments in the 14C were well written they were a bit confusing to me at times, but don't spend too much time trying to sort those relationships out. IMO they were mostly background and the main focus were the parts in the present day. Du Maurier is superb and understated as always, and this one will definitely leave you guessing all the way to the very last page and beyond. 5/5 stars and highly recommended.
Most recent customer reviews
Classic DuMaurier. Love this book. One of her best. Vintage Sci-fi and suspense all at the same time.Published 16 months ago by BGreenwood
Is it her best ever? No. But not nearly so bad as some of the recent reviews. Yes the protagonist is hard to like but the man is taking drug trips to retreat into the past and... Read morePublished on Jan. 8 2009 by Paul D. Leney
After absolutely loving DuMaurier's Rebecca, I had high expectations for this book, especially since the storyline based on time travel sounded promising. Read morePublished on Oct. 18 2003 by Valerie
I was disappointed in this book, especially considering the favorable reviews posted here. The concept was intriguing, but the segments in which the narrator went back to the... Read morePublished on Jan. 6 2003
This book is so wonderful that I have read it over and over yet still find something new about it every time. Read morePublished on July 20 2002 by Rica Quinn
Time travel in the company of a boring and fussy Brit twit protagonist is not a journey I'd sign up for again. Al Gore's word "snippy" was invented for this guy. Read morePublished on Dec 19 2000 by James Carragher
Du Maurier's "Rebecca" and "The Scapegoat" are both among my all-time favorites, and after reading the reviews here, I was looking forward to "House on the... Read morePublished on Dec 1 2000
Daphne DuMaurier's House On The Strand tells of an experimental concoction which enables time travel, and of a man who finds himself in the 14th century addicted to time travel. Read morePublished on June 4 2000 by Midwest Book Review