How long he fought with them in the darkness he could not tell, but at last the beating of the wings about him lessened and then withdrew . . . ''
A classic of alienation and horror, ''The Birds'' was immortalised by Hitchcock in his celebrated film. The five other chilling stories in this collection echo a sense of dislocation and mock man''s sense of dominance over the natural world. The mountain paradise of ''Monte Verità'' promises immortality, but at a terrible price; a neglected wife haunts her husband in the form of an apple tree; a professional photographer steps out from behind the camera and into his subject''s life; a date with a cinema usherette leads to a walk in the cemetery; and a jealous father finds a remedy when three''s a crowd . . .