The Monkey's Paw by W. W. Jacobs

Read and discuss classic short stories.
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d0dridge
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Re: The Monkey's Paw by W. W. Jacobs

Post by d0dridge » 17 Mar 2013, 05:41

I wonder if it is even possible to turn this into a short movie and create the same effect in viewers as it does in readers.
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Post by Bighuey » 17 Mar 2013, 09:07

They made a TV version on the Alfred Hitchcock Show back in the 60's. It was quite good.
"I planted some birdseed. A bird came up. Now I dont know what to feed it." Ramblings of a retired senile mind.

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Post by Mazza WA » 17 Mar 2013, 19:53

One of the creepiest stories I ever read. Still creepy after all these years. I haven't seen the TV version, and I'm not sure it would have the same sense of menace as the written word.

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Post by Bighuey » 17 Mar 2013, 20:17

Mazza WA wrote:One of the creepiest stories I ever read. Still creepy after all these years. I haven't seen the TV version, and I'm not sure it would have the same sense of menace as the written word.
As I remember, the Hitchcock version was pretty intense, especially at the end.
"I planted some birdseed. A bird came up. Now I dont know what to feed it." Ramblings of a retired senile mind.

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Post by emberwood » 23 May 2013, 19:54

I haven't read this story since I was in grade school... and it's still creepy! :P I love how the story builds, though. As a writer, I have to admire the atmosphere of the piece and how the author captures his plot line in terms with setting and character. I remember my teacher introducing this story with a question: "Who likes Edgar Allen Poe/" I was the only one to raise my hand (I probably was the only one who knew who he was). My teacher nodded and said, "You will like this story."

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Post by Wrycatcheer » 04 Jun 2013, 21:55

It is so interesting, because it says earlier in the story that you might mistake the wishes coming true as just a terrible coincidence. So, if they had let Herbert in, would he have just been mistaken for dead, still horribly mangled and in pain, and soon to die for real? I have heard that before modern medicine, there was a real risk of being buried alive, especially if the person was in a coma or something like that.

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Post by fitzml » 13 Jun 2013, 17:38

That story totally creeped me out when I read it in school.
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Post by omgully » 29 Sep 2013, 15:43

A great short story. I love the creepy and macabre. This story gives us an insight into the human condition. We are always wanting to change something in the past that we cannot accept. But as this story points out we don't quite know what will happen. It could ruin who we are today. Thanks for posting this. A great read.

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Post by DV8 » 30 Sep 2013, 12:04

I heard this story but once, also when I was at school. I don't remember the last time I thought of it, but on seeing the title immediately revisited the texture of the tale and the vivid image produced by the words (which I didn't remember) '...a long loud wail of disappointment and misery...' I do remember the child that was me being relieved that the man had managed to find and use the paw before his wife opened the door. Definitely a classic. Thank you.

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Post by Totoro » 02 Oct 2013, 12:06

I was so glad to come across this post today. We are trying to remember some of the "creepy" stories we read as kids that are no too frightening to share with our own children now. I will have to find a copy of this one. Thanks.
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Post by Fran » 02 Oct 2013, 12:25

Totoro wrote:I was so glad to come across this post today. We are trying to remember some of the "creepy" stories we read as kids that are no too frightening to share with our own children now. I will have to find a copy of this one. Thanks.
@Totoro
If you scroll back to the very first post on this topic you will find the story there if you want to print it off.
Another one I love is The Open Window by Saki (see link below) :)
eastoftheweb.com/short-stories/UBooks/O ... eWin.shtml
We fade away, but vivid in our eyes
A world is born again that never dies.
- My Home by Clive James

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Post by Leoch » 09 Oct 2013, 13:07

Great story. When was it written?

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Post by Bighuey » 10 Oct 2013, 09:36

It was written around 1900 or so.

Another great classic horror story from around then is August Heat by W.F. Harvey.
"I planted some birdseed. A bird came up. Now I dont know what to feed it." Ramblings of a retired senile mind.

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Post by LunaRowan » 11 Oct 2013, 10:32

A wonderfully spooky classic short story! I saw a production of short fiction some years ago and this was one of the stories featured. A great lesson about trying to play God and going against the natural order of life. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

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Post by gtcongo123 » 07 Dec 2013, 22:10

I found the story very interesting and had to think a while before commenting. This is what I came up with. The older gentleman admitted in the beginning that he really didn't need anything. And yet those around him convinced him to not be content, but to take the plunge and ask for more.

I think we are often like this ourselves, we are blessed with so much, and yet we are not content. Despite the warnings of the previous gentleman (who had experienced granted wishes- and was eager to see the cursed thing burned), he plunged forward. Then, like him, we find that the consequences of our actions are far worse than our previous situation. For example, going into debt for a house we can't afford and then struggling to make ends meet, when we could have stayed in our simple home and enjoyed steak!

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