shaken & stirred

welcome to my martini glass


"They've gone."

The Guardian looks at the adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's short story "The Birds" by Alfred Hitchcock. Notable change that impacts everything else is that the story is set in England, while Bodega Bay, California, forms the setting for the movie.

du Maurier is underappreciated in my book, both in terms of her short fiction and her novels. "The Birds" was one of the first stories I ever read that scared me, really scared me -- which wasn't all that hard, granted, I was very susceptible at an early age to anything vaguely horrific and didn't really like sleeping when it was dark. (I read instead.) (After my parents noticed this, they even took away my Alfred Hitchcock Presents Ghost Stories for Young People record.) (Yes, a real record; the needle and muddiness of sound made it that much spookier.)

Somewhere my parents or my older brother had also picked up Alfred Hitchcock's Spellbinders in Suspense anthology, which has a fabulous cover. Had anyone else completely forgotten what a brand Hitch was? Thinking back, it turns out he was very influential in shaping my early reading tastes.

I think I'll pull that collection down off the shelf this weekend and take a look at it. Is there really a $2,000 difference in a copy that's signed and one that isn't? Or should some booksellers be ashamed?


  • At 9:33 AM , Blogger chance said...

    I vote for ashamed.

    I was shopping for an out of print book and the variation was crazy - it ranged from $7 to $70 (and the $70 copy was only in good condition, nothing special)

    I think they hope to take in the lazy and the credulous.

    (and so right about records having that extra something that made listing to a scary story so much more so. CDs just don't cut it that way)

  • At 11:00 AM , Blogger Bill S. said...

    Don't forget Hitch's 1958 album, "Music to be Murdered by". It features him on the cover, a gun held to one temple, an ax to the other.

    du Maurier was at least good enough for Hitchcock to adapt for the screen three times -- Rebecca, The Birds, and Jamaica Inn. I started reading her short story collection which contains "The Birds". The first story in the book is about a female serial killer with very specific taste in victims. I never finished "The Birds" because I got distracted by a biography of Rasputin. The book is still on my shelf. I keep intending to read Rebecca, but I never get around to it.


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