I didn’t think I’d read this before, but perhaps I did back in the 1970, s but it was before I read Rebecca (which I love) , so I had nothing to really connect it to. I remembered that prior read when, in this reading, I got to the comparison of the drug the protagonist takes to an LSD trip.
Oh well … I didn’t remember how it ended so I kept going even though I didn’t enjoy it all that much. The idea of time travel has been done so many times since 1961 but this is still pretty innovative in that it uses a drug to get to the past. That was a first for me and I do rather enjoy time -travel books like Connie Willis’s Doomsday Book and To Say Nothing of the Dog, And then there’s Stephen King’s 11/22/63, as well as Kindred by Octavia Butler and the list goes on. They can be interesting and innovative, but there has to be something more than the time travel aspect to keep you reading. The House on the Strand is limited that way.
The House on the Strand
by Daphne Du Maurier
1961 / 336 pages
read by Ron Keith 11h 3m
Rating: 6 / literary sci-fi (I guess)
Magnus Lane has discovered a drug which will provide a way of transporting himself back to the early 14th century to the exact place on which he is standing. (It’s a matter of perception.) He offers a test sample to his friend and our 1st person protagonist, Dick Young. Dick and Magnus enjoy taking little day trips back to the past. The trouble is this escape is addicting and the men go more often, getting involved in what’s happening there. It’s also dangerous because the reality of the 20th century is going on around them at the same time, but they just can’t see it or interact with it when they are in the past. Also – if they touch anyone in the past they will be transported immediately back to the present. Al this leads to a couple of tangles of perception translated into reality – interesting the first time but after that just kind of a part of the landscape, so to speak.