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House on the Strand Paperback – Jan 1 2000

4.2 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Paperback, Jan 1 2000
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Univ of Pennsylvania Pr (Jan. 1 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812217268
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812217261
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.8 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,530,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


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."

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First Sentence
The first thing I noticed was the clarity of the air, and then the sharp green colour of the land. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Daphne du Maurier has a very rare talent, and that is to concisely describe the little details that make up such a great part of her stories. She notices the dust on the windowsill, a certain glance of light, the ant crawling through the grass, and turns it from a trivial, fleeting thought into a concrete one. It's so natural. The human mind is capable of so many thoughts, but few human minds can capture them so perfectly.
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.
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Format: Paperback
Anyone who has ever read Rebecca knows that Daphne du Maurier was always ahead of her time. Her concern with what we now call Women's Issues was a hallmark in all of her works.
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.
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Format: Paperback
While vacationing at the Cornwall home of old chum Magnus, Richard Young is convinced to act as guinea pig for his friend's latest experiment - a drug that enables the mind to travel into the past - although the body stays in the present. Richard's "trips" take him to the 14C where he is soon so wrapped up in the past that it becomes as addictive to him as a drug - or is it the drug itself that is addictive? Are the lives of those in the past so much more important that his wife and step-sons become a hindrance to his journeys? Did these people really exist or do they only exist in Richard's mind? Although Richard's mind is in the 14C while on the drug, his body is not and as he walks in the footsteps of those in the past it leads him into some very close calls when his mind returns to the present. He could be standing anywhere - the middle of a road, on private property or in the path of an oncoming.......

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.
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Format: Paperback
As a lifetime fan of time travel stories, I was enthralled by this somewhat outdated, but nonetheless absorbing, Du Maurier gem. In a departure from her usual period pieces, Du Maurier has used a then-modern setting for this tale of a man who dabbles in time travel experimentation while house-sitting for a friend. As the time travel becomes more addictive (and simultaneously destructive) the reader is alternately amused by his role as the harried husband and father, and caught up in the time travel episodes he experiences, wherein he becomes a voyeur to the lives of a long-dead clan. While the novel occasionally becomes bogged down by overly elaborate details, it is well-worth the read and left me feeling satisfied at its end.
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