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The Monkey's Paw

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  4,349 Ratings  ·  184 Reviews
Writer W. W. Jacobss haunting tale of how a mans cavalier wishes are tragically granted by an exotic but cursed talisman, wreaking havoc on what was previously a content family.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 15th 2010 by Creative Education (first published September 1902)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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4 star classic short creepy story!

The Monkey's Paw was published in England in 1902. This is a story that many of us are familiar with from school - it's a classic "be careful what you wish for" tale of foreboding.

Sergeant-major Morris, a military man returning home from service in India, visits the White family (husband, wife, grown son) to recount his travels. He brings with him a mummified monkey's paw that he states will grant the holder three wishes and then he throws the paw into the f
Atmosphere, subtlety, thought provocation, quality prose and lingering horror…these are the “Table of Contents” of the best of the classic early horror stories. Admittedly, my “modern” 21st century sensibilities and the red-meat need for high body counts, buckets-o-blood and levels of in your faceness that go to 11 occasionally has me looking at the early spook tales with PFFT on my lips.
But then I stop being so dense and remember how much the classic chillers have much to offer in the way of
Oct 19, 2016 Apatt rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
You probably already know this story. A monkey's paw that can grant wishes but always at a horrible cost. Unfortunately, I can’t write any kind of synopsis without totally spoiling the story. In any case, it is a classic and highly influential supernatural horror story. If you are familiar with Stephen King’s much more horrifying Pet Sematary you will probably find that The Monkey's Paw is its direct inspiration.

Certainly The Monkey's Paw is a great little story but not particularly scary for t
Sep 17, 2016 Fernando rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
La pata de mono es uno de los mejores cuentos fantásticos que he leído. Los poderes de la pata, la historia y el final me remiten a "El Diablo en la Botella", de Robert Louis Stevenson o a los cuentos contenidos en "Azazel", el libro de Isaac Asimov. Este cuento era uno de los preferidos de Jorge Luis Borges y Adolfo Bioy Casares y está incluído en un libro genial que se llama "Antología de la literatura fantástica", editado en 1940. Forma parte de una selección perfecta que en la que eligieron ...more
Scarlet Cameo
Jul 12, 2016 Scarlet Cameo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Una de esas historias que todos conocemos por su inclusión a la cultura pop en muchas formas pero que sigue causando una fascinación diferente cuando una se acerca a ella en su forma original.

La atmosfera logradaes fantastica, se presta a ser empatico con el hombre protagonista y con su esposa, esto logra que fácilmente el cuento sea aterrador la primera vez que lo lees (o lo escuchas a través de un buen narrador) aun cuando explicitamente no se nos describa lo que esta pasando, queda en el lect
Aug 24, 2011 Shovelmonkey1 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: horror fans but not monkeys
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: goodreaders and Le Fanu fans
Shelves: read-in-2011
As a general rule of thumb (or paw), magical charms dished out by sombre old men are usually more trouble than they're worth. And if said sombre old man says "listen up folks, this thing will only get you into trouble and running around wishing for wealth and power will only end in tears", then it's probably best to listen. Literature has a well established tradition of morose old codgers who know what they're talking about... although since they seem to be the source of the charms they should p ...more
Mar 02, 2016 Brian rated it it was amazing
Stephen King in a past life? This story impressed me. I didn't expect this kind of boldness of horror for that time. The Monkey's Paw gives three wishes, with a demented twist.
Jul 08, 2016 Meli rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Siempre amé esta historia.
A Jacobs le bastan dos palabras para crear una atmósfera entera, y solo necesita un puñado de páginas para contar una historia de horror completa y profunda, que transmite todo tipo de emociones.
Lo amo, en serio.
Arun Divakar
Dec 20, 2015 Arun Divakar rated it really liked it
For as far as I have been reading, the medium of the short story has held me in thrall. A short tests the ability and craft of an author for it is not so very easy to pack some serious dynamite into a few pages. Which also explains why the number of super effective short story writers are less. In 32 pages and one story, W.W. Jacobs proved to be in top notch form in this short horror story. Three ingredients namely : ambiance, character and mood all blend incredibly well in this story. The story ...more
Nov 01, 2014 Laura rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Laura by: Bettie, Wanda
Free download available at Project Gutenberg.

Opening lines:
Without, the night was cold and wet, but in the small parlour of Laburnam Villa the blinds were drawn and the fire burned brightly. Father and son were at chess, the former, who possessed ideas about the game involving radical changes, putting his king into such sharp and unnecessary perils that it even provoked comment from the white-haired old lady knitting placidly by the fire.
Apr 17, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-liked, 2012
i love short stories .... and liked this one so much ..
moral of the story : it is never good to change things and sometimes what u wish for can be the end of ur life or the end of people u love the most ...
but wait a second
only 3 ppl who actually used the monkey paw given by an indian old man ... the first man they told us nothing about his wishes except his third wish which is his death because he suffered enough from his first 2 wishes...
now Mr. morris wished for a car and money... he lost
Karim Abdel-Khalek‎
Sep 08, 2016 Karim Abdel-Khalek‎ rated it really liked it
أول مرة سمعت عن القصة دي كان في عدد من ما وراء الطبيعة، و إتقال إنها من أفضل قصص الرعب اللي إتكتبت. مخلب القرد اللي يحققلك 3 أمنيات لكن في نفس الوقت هتحصل لك 3 مصائب، الفكرة عادية لكن -رغم إنها قصة قصيرة- إتنفذت كويس.
Nov 05, 2014 Mizuki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, wonderful
I remember reading this story (or a slightly modernized version of it) as a child, and I'm happy to tell you after reading the original version of the story it is still as impressive and outstanding as I've remembered.

It's a peerless piece of short story, the elements of horror and suspense are used masterfully by the author, it's nearly impossible to add more words into the text nor taking words away from it within damaging the story---The Monkey's Paw is perfect as it is. No wonder it's a cla
Oct 07, 2016 José rated it really liked it
Recommended to José by: Jimena Rodríguez
(Gracias a Jimena por la recomendación).

Una entretenida historia de terror que se lee bastante rápido. A pesar de ser muy conocida y ser el típico cuento de «ten cuidado con lo que deseas», la atmósfera que se crea y la forma en la que está escrita hacen que sea una lectura muy amena.

No conocía a este autor, seguramente lea más cuentos suyos en algún momento.
This was pretty good and creepy. Short listen via audible's channels feature. I might bump it up. Still chewing on it. ;-)
Feb 29, 2016 Skip rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror
The owner of a desiccated monkey's paw is granted three wishes, which can be a blessing or a curse. I did not care for this short story.
Maria Benitez
Mi edición es más larguita, porque trae una versión gráfica.
Para lo corto que es, está muy bien redactado y te mete enseguida en la historia, sin necesidad de más preámbulos y explicaciones, aunque yo hubiera agradecido que hubiera sido más larguito, o que hubiera tenido más deseos para pedir, por ejemplo.
El final es lo que me ha fallado un poco. Quizá era el único final posible para cerrar el cuento.
Yo me lo esperaba más apocalíptico jajaja.
La puntuación, quizá tratándolo como cuento corto que
Feb 06, 2013 Latie rated it really liked it
"It had a spell put on it by an old fakir," said the sergeant major, "a very holy man. He wanted to show that fate ruled people's lives, and that those who interfered with it did so to their sorrow. He put a spell on it so that three separate men could each have three wishes from it." -Sergeant Major Morris

A chilling ghost story with the age old moral- beware of what you wish for. I have seen a few parodies of this story (example: The Simpsons) however I had never read the original tale until no
Oct 02, 2011 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this with my daughter today. This was a wonderful story when I read it about 20 years ago, and it was just as wonderful listening to it today. What I loved about it the most was watching my daughter's eyes widen as she realized what was happening.

A book like this that has the ability to affect people of all ages over such a long span of time is a classic worth reading over and over again. I hope to be able to share this story with my grandchildren one day.
Mar 20, 2012 Nick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How is it that I have never heard of this before? Although this story did seem somewhat familiar I don't have any recollection of it. Very creepy!
Jul 14, 2013 Lemar rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
This story scared the hell out of me as a kid. My Dad is a great reader and hearing this one, in a cabin in the woods, worked.
Oct 29, 2013 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good creepy short. Be careful what you wish for, karma may be more important than you think.
I read it at:

A wonderful example of suspense in a short story.

I wonder if it would have been better to read it when I was much younger, before the subtle pastiches and re-used themes had invaded the other tales written since this, before TV and Cinema worked the ideas to a thin thread?

The tale did still grab me and hold my attention all the way through. Though some of the diction seemed out dated, the pace kept one going. A subtle, lightly unstated ending
Andy Bork
Nov 05, 2013 Andy Bork rated it really liked it
The Whites run an inn, which is for people to stay in. The monkey’s paw is a magical relic that grants someone three wishes. Sergeant- Major Morris visits the White’s household with the paw. Sergeant-Major Morris explains to the Whites what it does. The Whites wish for 200 pounds, the currency not the weight unit. Their wish comes true, but its not how they wanted to get it. The way they got it wasn’t really pleasant though.
Mr. and Mrs. Whites son Herbert died in a accident at work. He got al
Bryce Akey
Oct 25, 2013 Bryce Akey rated it liked it
The Monkey’s Paw is a short story written by W.W. Jacobs. The main characters are Mr. and Mrs. White, Herbert, and Sergeant Major Morris. The story starts at the White house hold when they invite Sergeant Major Morris over for dinner. The sergeant starts telling stories about when he was in India, and how he found the monkey’s paw. The monkey’s paw was magical and gave him three wishes. After they talked some more, Sergeant Major Morris tried throwing the monkey’s paw in the fireplace, but Mr. W ...more
Apr 02, 2013 Bonnie rated it it was amazing
Like The Yellow Wallpaper, this short story shows that writers a century ago knew how to pack a punch with very few words. It took me only about 10 minutes to read and it still sent shivers down my spine.

This is the story of a happy, loving family who deal with the horrors of getting what they wish for. A "friend" comes back from India bearing a cursed monkey's paw. As he puts it: "It had a spell put on it by an old fakir...a very holy man. He wanted to show that fate ruled people's lives, and
JD Estrada
Jul 20, 2016 JD Estrada rated it really liked it
A short story I read on Serial Reader. Wicked in the possibilities of it all and a stark reminder of the age old addage: be careful what you wish for.

Quick read that can stick with you for a long time as you wonder what was, what is and what could be. Some answers are too terrible to receive, as learned the White family.
Oct 13, 2016 Freesiab rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent creepy gothic short story! Perfect build up to the perfect ending. Even though you know it's coming the story is told so well you panic with the sad protagonist of this tale!
This is one of my favorite short stories. It's an Edgar Allen Poe-like story. The monkey's paw can grant three wishes for three people. At the start of the story, a Sergeant-Major visits the White family and tells them about the paw. He is quick to get rid of it and Mr. White is quick to take it. The epigram for the story is "Be careful what you wish for, you may receive it", and it perfectly fits the tone. The Whites discover that what they wish for is not necessarily what they want. It is susp ...more
Jan 16, 2013 Hannah rated it did not like it
The Monkey's Paw by W.W Jacobs is a short story of a monkey's paw that will grant you three wishes. However, the creator of the paw made it so whomever took a wish they would know that fate ruled their lives. Many people, though, ignore the warning and go ahead and make a wish. Some of those who made wishes do not get hurt, while others do. Most of the people that made wishes already have loads of riches. Overall, the point the author was trying to make was that people should be content with wha ...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Would this happen to a person in real life if the monkey's paw were real? 8 24 Feb 09, 2014 06:18PM  
the paw 2 7 Nov 04, 2013 10:15AM  
the paw 4 10 Nov 04, 2013 10:13AM  
are you superstishes, do you beleive? 5 11 Nov 04, 2013 10:11AM  
Magic Or Supersiton 3 5 Nov 04, 2013 10:06AM  
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William Wymark Jacobs was an English author of short stories and novels. Quite popular in his lifetime primarily for his amusing maritime tales of life along the London docks (many of them humorous as well as sardonic in tone). Today he is best known for a few short works of horror fiction. One being "The Monkey's Paw"(published 1902). It has in its own right become a well-known and widely antholo ...more
More about W.W. Jacobs...

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“Neither spoke, but lat silently listening to the ticking of the clock. A stair creaked, and a squeaky mouse scurried noisily through the wall. The darkness was oppressive, and after lying for some time screwing up his courage, he took the box of matches, and striking one, went downstairs for a candle.

At the foot of the stairs the match went out, and he paused to strike another; and at the same moment a knock came so quiet and stealthy as to be scarcely audible, sounded on the front door.

The matches fell from his hand and spilled in the passage. He stood motionless, his breath suspended until the knock was repeated. Then he turned and fled swiftly back to his room, and closed the door behind him. A third knock sounded through the house.”
“The other two wishes," she replied rapidly. "We've only had one."
"Was not that enough?" he demanded fiercely.
"No," she cried, triumphantly; "we'll have one more. Go down and get it quickly, and wish our boy alive again.”
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