Monday, 23 November 2009

I'll Never Be Young Again by Daphne du Maurier - Book 72, 2009

Title: I'll Never Be Young Again by Daphne du Maurier
Genre: coming-of-age novel
Rating: 7/10
Comments: Daphne du Maurier's second novel is written in the voice of Dick, the only son of a famous but cold father, who at the age of 21 is determined to kill himself until caught by Jake, a slightly older man who has just come out of prison for killing a former friend. The pair immediately bond and form an unlikely friendship and begin the ultimate road trip, finding passage as sailors on a boat to Scandinavia and travelling across the Swedish mountains on horseback.

While the book is very well-written, Dick is ultimately a self-absorbed and unlikable character with no real redeeming qualities. It is difficult to understand why Jake, who has the maturity and wisdom that come with the passing years, puts up with him. When Dick moves onto Paris and begins a self-absorbed love affair with a talented musical student, he demonstrates all the selfishness and faults of Jake's former friend.

While I'll Never Be Young Again is a fantastic example of the technical skill and quality of Daphne du Maurier's writing even at a very young age (she was only 23 when she penned this book), I found the storyline and main character too unlikable to fully enjoy this book.

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