~ A Book Review: Alfred Hitchcock’s The Best of Friends ~

Posted: March 31, 2022 in book review, Book reviewing, books, Fiction, readers, short story, Story, Writing
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I have finished reading my sixth novel for 2022, Alfred Hitchcock’s The Best of Friends. I came about ownership of a few Alfred Hitchcock books recently. In our neighbourhood, people put unwanted household items out on the grass verge in front of their houses for the folk passing to take away. On my walk one morning, I spied a box of books on the sidewalk. All the books were obscure but recognizing Alfred Hitchcock, I grabbed the three novels bearing his name. I wondered if he was an author as well as a filmmaker and figured it might be worth a look.

The first thing I discovered was that this was not a book written by Alfred Hitchcock. It was a collection of horror stories he had compiled. A delightfully devilish digest of death, by a student of the sinister. After my initial disappointment that Hitchcock had not written the content, nevertheless, I read the stories curious to see what he’d chosen.
The slim volume starts with an introduction written by Hitchcock, a mini horror story in itself. Then I read the novel with trepidation, hoping the stories would not scare me too much. There was no need to worry. The stories were not too spooky. They were cautionary tales about how things can go wrong in the high-octane, high-risk, daredevil world of crime.

The tagline for the book reads It’s always evil weather when Alfie and his pals get together! That pretty much says it all right there. The tone is old-fashioned and as quaint as two sticks rubbed together to make a fire. Its tagline shows its age by being light-hearted and tongue-in-cheek about the horror. Authors of that era (the late 1960s, early 1970s) did not need to shock us into infinity or hit us with gore and other questionable content. They produced storylines of high calibre, focused on dialogue and interaction. These authors rendered scenes in remarkable detail while adding slight turns of fortune, then the falling from grace, that has readers wincing for the characters and feeling doubly glad we are at home safe in our beds and not walking in their shoes.

The short stories are professional and convincing. The authors often hold out the “a-ha” moment until the last minute. However, given that modern readers expect thrills and spills on every page these days, this might be one of those books that belongs to our collective past and is only for those readers who can appreciate the difference.

Alfred Joseph Hitchcock KBE, the iconic and influential film director and producer, was born in London in 1899. Following a successful career in Britain in silent films and talking pictures, he moved to Hollywood. He became an American citizen with dual nationality in 1956 and directed more than fifty feature films in a career that spanned six decades. For a complete list of his films, see Alfred Hitchcock’s filmography.
I found his compilation, Alfred Hitchcock’s The Best of Friends, entertaining and a charming window into a bygone age. It gets extra merit points for being low-key horror and not scarring me for life. I recommend it for nostalgia value alone.
My rating: Two stars

Talk to you later.
Keep reading!
Yvette Carol
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Fiction can show you a different world. It can take you somewhere you’ve never been. ~ Neil Gaiman


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Comments
  1. Keith says:

    Thanks Yvette. His stories seemed more suspenseful than horrific, for the most part. There were a couple of movies made in the last ten years about him that offer some light on the man. From what I gathered, he became enamored with his actresses which drove his wife bonkers. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      I guess I remember being really terrified by his film, The Birds. It made an impression on me when I was young and impressionable. That’s an interesting bit of info about him, Keith. His poor wife!

      Like

  2. I would have been hesitant too. Psycho scared the bejeebers out of me. Of course, I picked a night when I was babysitting alone in someone else’s house to watch it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      Wow, Joylene, you were game to choose to watch Psycho then! I was just responding to Keith to say Hitchcock’s movie, The Birds, scared me. As a young viewer, I found it truly menacing.

      Like

  3. Nelsapy says:

    Reblogged this on Nelsapy.

    Liked by 1 person

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