Selected Stories by W.W. Jacobs – Book Review


The Masterpieces of World Fiction series brings together the best-loved short stories by the great masters of the genre – from Chekov and Maupassant, Kipling and Wilde, to O. Henry and Saki and Tolstoy and Conrad. Thoughtfully compiled by the bestselling author Terry O’ Brien, this series is a great way for readers to revisit old favourites and for introducing literary masterpieces to newer, younger readers.

Book Review:

‘The Monkey’s Paw’ is the story for which W. W. Jacobs is famous the world over. The story has been translated into a number of languages, has been filmed and adapted for the stage numerous times. The story is about the danger of wishing. I had read the story once when I was a child and was scared to the bone. It’s an eerie story and I was getting Goosebumps while reading it this time also.

This one is a slim collection of about 140 pages containing 11 short stories where only a handful (three to be precise) are horror stories. Most of the other stories are humorous and/or are about life at sea.

Rest of the stories, other than ‘The Monkey’s Paw’ are average or maybe I had very high expectations from them.

The language is simple and easy to follow. As the blurb says, Jacobs often brilliantly employed the vernacular of the East End of London in his writing. And this is quite visible throughout the book.

A satisfying and quick read though no other story in this collection touches the heights of ‘The Monkey’s Paw’.

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