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House on the Strand Paperback – Jun 27 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Scholarly Book Services Inc (June 27 2002)
  • 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  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,992,293 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

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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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Calvin Martin on Sept. 4 2002
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J B on Aug. 6 2002
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Misfit TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 12 2009
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Paul D. Leney on Jan. 8 2009
Format: Paperback
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 cares more for that life than his own. Now there is a tale I think! Buy and copy and make up your own mind. You will like and it and want to try out more of her novels. This is one of those rough gems that may not have been turned into a movie but is still a great read.
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Format: Paperback
After absolutely loving DuMaurier's Rebecca, I had high expectations for this book, especially since the storyline based on time travel sounded promising. I was disappointed and frustrated when the novel did not deliver what it promised. First of all, it contained barely anything resembling a plot. The main character just wandered around, secretly used the drug, and became violently ill. Lather, rinse, repeat. The detailed descriptions of his pain and retching were especially unpleasant. The time-travel scenes did at least have a storyline, but it was disjointed, confusing, and incomprehensibly written; this was compounded by the fact that the historical characters had near-identical surnames (I realize that there was a minor reason for this, but it proves a huge disadvantage for the reader). The spark of romantic connection between Isolde and the main character was also promising, but nothing came of it. I read the entire book, hoping that there was a point somewhere, but not even the smallest payoff ever surfaced. This book just rambled around in the gloom without any direction or destination, and I found it dry, unenjoyable, and a waste of my time.
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