The CuriousPages Sketchbook

The story: Homeward Bound by WW Jacobs

My comments on Homeward Bound.

I thought this was brilliant up until near the end. Jacob seems to use this device a lot in his plots: a friend acting a part to trick another friend or relative into doing something. I think the reason I find this disappointing is because it doesn’t seem believable, since this sort of thing doesn’t happen in real life; it is an invention of fiction writers in order to achieve a twist in the plot. And since it is ‘fake’ I think it is a weakness in the writing. Up until this point in the story, the whole story seemed believable, and delicious. I found it hysterically funny because the characters’ behaviour was so stupid, yet so true to life.

Perhaps when the story was published, in 1909, this type of device was more of a novelty, or was a part of the story-telling tradition at that time—I don’t know. But, for me, reading the story now, I would have found the story much more impressive if the ending had been different.

Perhaps this is another factor that I did not find true-to-life; you do not often get happy endings in real life in such matters, and a different ending, that left both, or at least one, of the characters worse off would have seemed more realistic, to me.


Read the story here.


24 October 2008



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