20th century,  General Fiction

The Birds by Daphne DuMaurier

First things first: I do not like birds. They scare me to death. They terrify me with their little eyes and they make me think that all they want to do is attack human beings because they want us to be their slaves. Paranoid thoughts apart, we just do not like each other. So, at first I was not really willing to read Daphne DuMaurier‘s The Birds but then, it is such a classic, with the Hitchcock movie always appearing as a reference (and in my mind any time a pigeon gets in my way unpredictably) that I gave it a try.

The Birds tells the story of a family who… is attacked by birds. The interest of the story relies on whether they survive and how. It is what I would call a process story: at the turn of every page you fear the birds doing something even more evil. Because it is a short story, it is very easy to read it and be done with it in an hour or two, so those that may be too scared but do not want to left the story unfinished, will struggle for a short time.

The style of this story is the same as that of the other Daphne DuMaurier’s: there is something eerie and terrifying to all of them. As you are reading, you feel there is something wrong. I compare it to going to work and seeing everyone staring at you and not saying a word… until you realize you are all covered in blood and do not remember why. I know this is weird, but it is a kind of psychological stress not easy to describe.

And now, a picture of the only birds I like: Angry Birds! It helps me to get rid off my stress… and it is a silly game.



  • Rikki

    And again I only know the film. I totally forgot that the Hitchcock film is after a story by Du Maurier. Strangely enough I never thought that the film was so terrifying, probably because the setting was in that cosy little town. But of course this is silly since the topic WAS quite horrible. And yes, birds are not very nice animals with their little eyes and beaks. I totally agree. .

    • Elena

      I think that because we grew up being in touch with the movie, culturally, we cannot imagine birds other way. But, there are people out there who do like them… so the movie only takes half the blame.

  • Risa

    This story sounds absolutely creepy.

    I was followed and the target of a crow once. Freaked the heck out of me! I was out for a walk at the time. I didn’t go back for a long while.

  • Rikki

    We have this swan family in the pond behind my office. I have never seen such vicious animals. When you just want to pass them the father comes out of the water, hisses and threatens the heck out of everybody. Even the office dog, a lab, hides behind our backs!

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