William Harvey

The Beast With Five Fingers

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A classic short story. By turns scary and funny, it’s the greatest “severed hand” story ever written. After Eustace Borlsover’s blind uncle dies, the nephew receives in the mail the uncles’ severed hand as part of his inheritance. It soon emerges that the hand is alive in some sense, intelligent and very mobile. Eustace and his secretary immediately assume the hand is evil, but to be honest it seems more mischievous than malevolent, Until, of course, Eustace nails the hand to a board and sticks it in a safe for several months, whereupon the hand seeks vengeance and a final showdown between men and appendage ensues. “Beast” refreshingly avoids clichés while at the same time creating a wonderfully eerie sense of fear. The story was later turned into a horror movie starring Peter Lorre.
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Edward E. French


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