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."


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.