The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs

This story was originally read by me in this book. My first memory of any book, as a toddler in the early 1950s, was this book on a sparsely populated bookshelf owned by my dear Mum and Dad.

A story just re-read….


“; of wars and plagues and strange peoples.”

A paw that had only three wishes but an infinite number of people who could ask of it their own bespoke three wishes.  This famous story of an old couple with their three wishes available from the eponymous fakir-tinctured paw that twitched in the hand, by so-called coincidence or not, when any wish was asked of it,  a story spoken of to me by my late  lamented father-in-law, many years ago, as his most terrifying experience from reading any fiction. From a friendly game of chess between a father and son to a mother’s ‘impressive chords’ on a piano  to  cotton she picked off trousers and a pareidolia of faces in a fire to a Maw and Meggins machine starting up, a clock ticking a squeaky mouse or rat, a machine  that clogged up life’s flesh to the sound of a door-bolt drawn “stiffly from the socket”  by raising oneself on a chair…

A w added to ww to make www?  “…his blotchy face whitened.  ‘And did you really have the three wishes granted?’ asked Mrs White.”

“‘What’s that?’ cried the old woman, starting up.”

2 thoughts on “The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs

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