Monday, June 9, 2008

Unintended consequences


My favorite horror story, "The Monkey's Paw" by W. W. Jacobs, could serve as a definition of The Law of Unintended Consequences. It's one of the greatest short stories of all time, not just horror. This reprint is from Startling Mystery Stories #15, from 1970.

The Law of Unintended Consequences applies to the publication of this 1902 story as well: It may be the single story W. W. Jacobs is most remembered for, when stories of the macabre made up only a portion of his large body of work.










This story could also fit Murphy's Law: "If something can possibly go wrong, it will." Or even the bumper sticker, "Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it."

3 comments:

Karswell said...

One of my all time favorite short stories too. Love the illustration....

Dave said...

I noticed you are missing pg 56-57 (and have 54-55 included twice). Any chance of getting the missing pages.

Great story BTW.

Thank you,

Harry Lee Green said...

Sorry it took nearly a week to get back to you. Talk about the law of unintended consequences! When I scanned the story I sure didn't intend to screw it up, but I went back in and fixed it. Thanks for pointing it out.