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review 2017-10-14 08:14
Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier
Jamaica Inn - Daphne du Maurier

I was just underwhelmed. I appreciated a lot of it, but I didn't particularly enjoy it - I ended up skimming a when I felt my eyes crossing in the middle.

 

If it weren't for Mary's ridiculous attraction to Jem, I probably would have liked her as a character more. Her Joss sass was fun when she employed it. I just wish she would have found her inner murderess and beat Joss with a fire poker (or something pointier even) in one of his stupors. It's too bad that creepy, you-knew-he-had-to-be-the-villian, vicar held the honors for that one. Villains killing villains isn't as much fun as you might think.

 

 

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review 2017-10-10 13:42
Rebecca ★★★★★
Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier,Sally Beauman

Why did I wait so long to read Rebecca? How stupid of me to have put it off, treating it like a chore, one of those famous classics that I ought to read as an educational exercise, in order to be well rounded and to say that I have read it. Knowing that it was a gothic romance of sorts, I expected this to be like one of those Bronte books, which I have almost universally found to be tiresome, frustrating, boring, and featuring an inexplicable romance with a horrible man. But this was a nearly perfect book. It still features a 

romance between a heroine who needs to have some sense slapped into her and a horrible man who ought to be kicked in the balls, but I don’t get the sense that the author expects me to find them tragically romantic. This is a clearly dysfunctional relationship where a coldly manipulative older man takes full advantage of an isolated young woman whose naivete and lousy self-esteem makes her an easy target. 

(spoiler show)

 

But Rebecca is so much more. The deliciously chilling atmosphere and building sense of dread. The creepy, creepy, characters. The immersive sense of place. I loved it.

 

None of the main characters were likable or admirable. But I loved how the author manipulated me, the reader, tricking me into 

feeling sympathy at the foolishly naïve 2nd Mrs. De Winter, only to then carry her desperate neediness to its logical conclusion, where she is so delighted to have secured Maxim that she gives no thought or regard to his confession of murder, but only thinks how to protect him from the consequences so she can go on having him for herself. This is the kind of woman who, in another sort of story, would be an enabler or even full participant in her husband’s crimes against women, rationalizing it, blaming his victims, covering up for him.

(spoiler show)

 

Audiobook version, borrowed from my public library. Anna Massey’s performance is magnificent.

 

Previous Updates:

16% 10/7/17 

47% 10/7/17

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text 2017-10-08 03:01
Rebecca - progress 47%
Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier,Sally Beauman

Oh my god. That scene with Mrs. Danvers in Rebecca's room is just about the creepiest ever. Anna Massey's performance of it freaked me right the fuck out. 

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text 2017-10-07 20:56
Rebecca - progress 16%
Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier,Sally Beauman

Perhaps, when she had gone, he would talk to me at last, about loving me, about being happy. Up to now, there had been no time. And anyway, those things are not easily said. They must wait their moment.

 

That poor, foolish, stupid girl. It can be so easy, when one is young and naive and lacking self-esteem, to convince yourself that a dysfunctional relationship is normal. That a man you desperately love for reasons that have nothing to do with the person he really is, has justifiable reasons for treating you badly.

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text 2017-10-02 07:37
September: Coda
It's a Book - Lane Smith
Bibliomysteries: Stories of Crime in the World of Books and Bookstores - Otto Penzler
Burn for Me - Ilona Andrews
White Hot - Ilona Andrews
Jamaica Inn - Daphne du Maurier
Magic and Macaroons - Bailey Cates

I'm going to preface this monthly wrap-up with the disclaimer that there were a lot of short books and short stories in the mix this month.

 

Total number was 26 - A number I was completely unprepared for.  I think the Bingo game sort of distracted me from paying attention to numbers, even though on some level I knew I'd read enough to complete my bingo card. 

 

Not including re-reads, I had one 5-star read this month; a children's book that I recommend for all ages, It's a Book by Lane Smith.  If you see it in the library or store, read it - even if you have no reason to buy it, it'll make you laugh when you get to the end.

 

I had three 4.5 star reads, one an anthology (up front, I've only read a few of the stories - the rating reflects the stories not the overall collection), and the first two in Ilona Andrews' new urban fantasy series, masquerading as paranormal romance.

 

My least favorite read was easily Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier; literary classic or not, that ending was horse-shit.

 

In the midst of all of that were a lot of 4 star reads, and the completion of my 2017 Reading Challenge (Magic and Macaroons by Bailey Cates on 14 Sept), all of which tally up to a very successful reading month.  

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