The Lottery and Other Stories

The Lottery and Other Stories

eBook - 2005
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Collects short stories by Shirley Jackson, including "Like Mother Used to Make," "Afternoon in Linen," "A Fine Old Firm," as well as "The Lottery."
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005
ISBN: 9781429957847
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xii, 302 pages)
Alternative Title: Lottery
Call Number: eBook

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From Library Staff

Famous for her chilling tale "The Lottery," this collection compiles the breadth of Jackson’s work, showing the diversity and quality of her writing.

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LPL_ChristinaJ May 23, 2021

I can completely understand some readers struggling with branding this collection as pure horror due to it lacking the more gothic storytelling we are used to from Jackson (such as in "We Have Always Lived in the Castle" and "The Haunting of Hill House"). So this will not be everyone's favorite work of fiction from her. The evil in these short stories is very, very subtle in that it shows up as bigoted assumptions, social unpleasantries, jealousy, and dishonest intentions. In one of my favorite short stories--"Flower Garden"-- evil wears the face of passive aggressive racism. Probably the most terrifying and effective story in the collection is "The Lottery"--a brilliant dissection of humanity's brutality through something as simple as drawing a damning piece of paper out of a black box.

The majority of the protagonists in this collection are middle aged women--some single, some married, some of them mothers-- making their way through their confusing, maddening, humdrum lives where old traditions and problematic societal norms are hard to kill. In each story, Shirley Jackson takes the domestic mundaneness of small town life and puts it under a critical microscope, creating an atmosphere of lingering unsettledness. I absolutely loved it. In fact, my constantly trying to pin-point what felt off in each seemingly ordinary story was what made this collection a unique read for me.

For those who'd love to give this collection a try (or a second chance), I highly recommend reading one short story a day accompanied by some sort of analysis guide that breaks down Jackson's themes. It helped make clear what I might have missed as the reader and made the experience more comprehensible and enjoyable.

Jun 27, 2019

I've always loved short stories, but now that I'm reading these I'm wondering if my tastes have changed. A number of the stories just *end*. I'm assuming I'm supposed to continue to think what happens to the characters and make up my own ending, or assume the last lines are what continues on in an infinite loop? I'm not sure whether I like this book or not.

SnoIsleLib_KatrinaM Mar 29, 2019

This collection knocked the wind out of me. Jackson is a master at evoking the isolation and loneliness of the human condition. She writes with surgical precision, distilling each thought, feeling, and scenario to its essence. An unsettling work that will stay with you long after you've finished reading.

May 04, 2018

This has been called "horror" fiction, but I think it is a misleading description. The stories in this excellent collection rather convey a sense of impending doom, or uneasiness. What I felt reading these stories is similar to what I feel when I watch a David Lynch movie.

SPPL_Kristen Mar 21, 2018

When I grow up, I want to be like Shirley Jackson and write chilling short stories that haunt students for years.

Jul 27, 2015

I read this to see what Shirley Jackson's other stories are like. I read "The Lottery" in high school, so I only skimmed it this time. Even though I knew the ending, I felt the same shock. The other stories are not as horrible, but they leave you with a bad feeling most of the time. There is a running theme throughout the book of James Harris, also known as the daemon lover. I didn't really catch it until later on when I noticed there was an extraordinary amount of characters with the last name Harris. I like how it ties most of the stories together. Jackson amazes me because she is so clever. I recommend this book for anyone who appreciates good writing and doesn't mind stories with unhappy endings.

crankylibrarian Nov 01, 2011

This collection includes Jackson's most famous horror tale. depicting pitiless violence and superstition an outwardly idyllic small town. Her ability to evoke terror from seemingly ordinary circumstances is unparallelled.

Apr 30, 2008

Most shocking and disturbing ending I have ever read.


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