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The Monkey's Paw and Other Tales by [Jacobs, W.W.]
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The Monkey's Paw and Other Tales Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Length: 256 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews Review

Many people have encountered the story "The Monkey's Paw," anthologized nearly 70 times in horror collections alone. Most do not know, however, that its author, W.W. Jacobs, was an immensely popular writer from the 1890s through the Second World War, selling many tens of thousands of copies of his 13 short story collections. His craftsmanship was admired by such authors as G.K. Chesterton and Evelyn Waugh.

Jacobs mostly wrote humorous short stories about humble seafaring folk, but "The Monkey's Paw" is by no means his only tale of the macabre. This collection contains 18 stories with subjects including haunted houses, vengeful ghosts, guilty murderers and people faking supernatural phenomena.

"The Monkey's Paw" is, of course, a moral tale about how there's always a price to pay if you interfere with what's natural. It's not a mere object lesson, though: the powerful mood of mourning and despair is what makes it so memorable. Jacobs also emphasizes the dangers of mocking the supernatural. In the superb tale "The Toll House," for example, four men pull the familiar stunt of staying in a supposedly haunted house overnight. They tease each other while drinking whiskey and playing cards to while away the time, and one of them tugs on the servants' bell as a joke. Later on the man who pulled the bell is all alone in the dark, pursued by ominous footsteps, rushing about in a panicky search for the stairs. And in "Jerry Bundler," an actor tries to pull a prank on a man who is fearful of ghosts by dressing up as a renowned local spirit. He pays for his impudence in a way that is not supernatural, but the reader's left wondering what forces contrived the tragic chain of events.

It's a delightful collection of stories, distinguished by Jacobs's ability to infuse horror into the simplest, most prosaic of situations, his excellent sense of pacing in the short story form, and his sardonic sense of humor. --Fiona Webster

From Booklist

W. W. Jacobs (1863^-1943) was a very entertaining and certainly prolific British writer of short stories. Eighteen of his admirably rich stories are gathered in this collection, which shows off to advantage his absolute mastery of the form. Obvious in his stories is a vein of humor, regardless of whether they are conventional mysteries or tales of the macabre or the supernatural. Jacobs' traditional setting is the Thames River, his traditional characters the people who earned their living at riverside or at sea. (His father was a wharf manager.) Economical in presentation and thus in effect, these stories will be at home in the hands of any admirer of the form, and any public library with active story collections should seriously consider its purchase. Brad Hooper

Product details

  • File Size: 1376 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0897334418
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press; Revised ed. edition (August 30, 2005)
  • Publication Date: November 1, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #197,764 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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