(P)2006 Horse's Mouth
the first time i was permitted to stay up late and watch "grown ups telly" was when there was a Hitchcock double bill on. i don't recall the second film, but remember clearly sitting through the psychological horror of "the birds". i was about 8 or 10, and already well versed in Stephen King, and Tolkein, and i still recall the vividness of my loungeroom snd our giant television in the corner near the fireplace. i was often wary of that fireplace, but for other reasons.
hearing the book, and inspiration for the film, for the first time, i was mesmerised by the imagery, and how much of it was both lost, yet captured, by the film.
Capaldi's narration is suberb. his characterisation is wonderfully considered, and very much in touch with the narrative of each tale. the only real negative i can note is the terrible music placement and the hotrible way it is mixed.
This was the very first horror film I ever saw. I had nightmares over the guy in his pajamas with his eyes pecked out. This story in written form is fairly good. Apocalypse fans should love it. I would have liked some explanation for why the birds did what they did and he ending was a little abrupt.
DON'T LOOK NOW
For paranormal fans only. I did not find it scary and the ending was silly.
"Five star everything"
Peter Capaldi is a BRILLIANT actor and the stories are both excellent. Don't Look Now is troubling. The Birds is terrifying. Du Maurier did a great job on both.
"Images Burnt into My Brain"
I have listened to The Birds and Don't Look Now once. There will not be a second reading or listening. Before you get the idea that I am panning these works, let me hasten to assure you, that Ms. Du Maurier's talents are unequaled. Peter Capaldi did an amazing performance of the works. Nevertheless, for me, there will not be a second reading ever. My nature could not endure it. To a lesser degree, I feel the same way about Rebecca, another Du Maurier work. She is so vivid, that she burns the images on the brain. Once is enough.
I have never watched Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds only films clips and such. From what I remember from glimpses of the movie as I passed the drive in theaters, I just don't think Hitchcock could equal Du Maurier's images. What did Yogi Bera say, I liked the book best because the pictures were better? Well, the book is better but I am not equal to it at least not twice.
Oh, I see that I failed to mention "Don't Look Now". It is a shock to one's system. Don't read it unless you have a strong constitution.
"great but hard to hear"
The stories and performance were awesome, but it was recorded so low that a had to max out my car radio to even hear it.
"Excellent reads of two classic Du Maurier stories"
Two of the less typical Du Maurier stories -- short stories, not novels. Both are familiar from movies: Hitchcock's "The Birds" and "Don't Look Now" (1973) with Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland. These original stories are as eerie as the movies. Superbly read here.
The book of The Birds is better than the movie. it makes more sense set in a coastal English farming village than in the San Francisco Bay area. It's also a lot scarier with a young family than it is with some image industry executive and a "madcap heiress" type. It just isn't a California story. It is, like the best of Agatha Christie's novels, about not taking the sense of community present in an English village for granted; and about vigilantly safeguarding what is truly important to one.
Peter Capaldi does an excellent job, here. His vocal quality and range are comparable to and similar to those of Richard E. Grant. Whatever school/theory of enunciation they subscribe to renders the adherent's voice resonant, and even makes a virtue of nasality. Capaldi's acting is top-notch.
I would write about the second story on the recording, here, but anything I said would thoroughly spoil it. However: YOU MUST HEAR IT.
That is all.
"Excellent story plus..."
These two stories were wonderfully written and performed. If you have ever seen Hitchcock's The Birds then read this because it is far different. The ending was amazing for both stories. Don't Look Now was filled with so many twists that it keeps you on the edge of your seat. BONUS: Capaldi with an Italian accent. Can the man get any sexier?!
"Really great suspense"
I loved the suspense. Even if you've seen the movies these stories still deliver
The reader brings a sense of tense action to the stories, speaking softly it creates a real mood.
"Sometimes dramatic music doesn't help"
Capaldi does an okay job with some great stories, but the pauses in the story for dramatic music were kind of silly.
"Two tales of horror, each unique"
The Birds is best known as the source for the Hitchcock movie, but the book has more of the relentlessness and persistence of the evil elements of nature than the moralistic overtones of a Hollywood movie of the 50s or 60s. The "East wind" brings bad weather, misfortune or even evil, as literary references from pre-biblical times on have said it would. In the past that meant cold rain, locusts, or even war - here it means destructive birds working in concert to attack all of England. The fact that there is no reason for the horror makes it even more frightening.
The Birds seems very much more Du Maurier-esque than Don't Look Now, which is more psychologically creepy than real-world horrific. This is the story of a couple vacationing in Venice trying to rebuild themselves and their marriage after the death of their daughter. It involves psychic visions (realized and unrealized), mysterious twins, blindness and second sight, and mistaken identity. I found it a little more scattered and less focused than The Birds, but it might just be a preference of mine for natural evil over psychic visions.
The one weak point in this audiobook is the poor audio quality, as if it was an old analogue recording in mono, even though the release date is 2008.
"love it very good"
love it great story always helps me to nodd off at night when i cant sleep one of my all time favs
"Two great stories"
Don't look now is the better of the 2 stories in my opinion. They are both excellent thrillers, brill performance.
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