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The Lottery and Other Stories (Penguin…

The Lottery and Other Stories (Penguin Modern Classics) (original 1949; edition 2009)

by Shirley Jackson

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2,442583,910 (4.03)167
A powerful collection of short stories by Shirley Jackson. "The Lottery," one of the most terrifying stories of the twentieth century, created a sensation when it was first published in the New Yorker. "Powerful and haunting," and "nights of unrest" were typical reader responses. This collection, the only one to appear during Jackson's lifetime, unites "The Lottery" with twenty-four equally unusual stories. Together they demonstrate her remarkable range--from the hilarious to the truly horrible--and power as a storyteller.… (more)
Title:The Lottery and Other Stories (Penguin Modern Classics)
Authors:Shirley Jackson
Info:Penguin Classics (2009), Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson (1949)

  1. 30
    What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver (whitewavedarling)
    whitewavedarling: Similar styles and character types, though Jackson's stories are a bit more developed in regard to character and plot. Both authors have a tendency of working toward endings that leave a reader making final decisions instead of tying everything up fully with a more traditional ending.… (more)
  2. 10
    Death in Spring by Mercè Rodoreda (bluepiano)
    bluepiano: There's a likeness between 'The Lottery' and Rodoreda's novel inasmuch as both are about disquieting traditional rituals in isolated villages.The latter is of course longer & so more complex, and it's strikingly memorable.
  3. 10
    The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty by Eudora Welty (whitewavedarling)
    whitewavedarling: Welty and Jackson work with similar character types and have similar themes and writing styles. Other than those fans who enjoy Welty primarily for her station in Southern Lit., I'd say that fans of one writer will likely enjoy the short stories of the other.… (more)

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» See also 167 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 58 (next | show all)
I listed to the audio book version, so first let me say that the narrators deserve five stars. They are all great, with wonderful voices able to bring distinct sounds to various characters.

But, as for the stories themselves, I was surprisingly disappointed. I'm a huge fan of The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle. And I first was read "The Lottery" in Junior High School and it was an unforgettable experience, certainly one of the best short stories in the English language. Of Jackson's other short stories, "The Summer People" (not in this collection) is also a classic. This collection does feature the oft-anthologized "Charles" -- which is quite good in a much less horrific manner. But as for the other stories in the collection, they become tiring, especially when taken one after the other. The lead characters are a collection of timid men and (mostly) women who are either afraid of just about everything or almost totally incapable of asserting themselves. Reading about Jackson's own struggles and phobias, this makes more sense, but it doesn't make it all that much fun or all that interesting. The stories are also dated in a way that many older short stories aren't. The settings are well done, but the attitudes and subject matter place these stories in a time that seems centuries removed from our own day. This is not to say that the subject matter of many of these stories, whether it be the stereotyped women's roles of the mid-20th century or the prevalent racism of that time, aren't still around to a larger extent than we like to admit, but rather that Jackson's treatment of them holds no surprises. There is good observation here, but no hint that anything can or will change. The nadir of the book for me was when a wife on vacation with her husband in New York City finds herself unable to even cross the street. Light change after light change is described in excruciating detail. It was all too much. But it's over now. Thank God. ( )
  datrappert | Apr 16, 2019 |
This story collection was altogether too disquieting for me and I couldn't finish it. Jackson is a master of getting under your skin. The title story I have read several times and consider to be a masterpiece. ( )
  sturlington | Jan 11, 2019 |
Me habían hablado tan bien del relato que quizás esperaba más. No terminas de implicarte con ningún personaje y personalmente me ha dejado algo fría. ( )
  Carla_Plumed | Dec 3, 2018 |
For someone who looked so safe in her publicity stills, Shirley Jackson was anything but. An inspiration to Stephen King (whose photo DEFINITELY gives you a clue to his dark side), Jackson wrote stories that are creepy because you can’t sweep them under the bed, thinking they could never happen in real life.

Her infamous short story "The Lottery" eerily captures the brute force of a small town gone wrong, years before mob mentality became front page news. But as chilling and powerful as "The Lottery" is, it’s her lesser known tales that are my absolute favorites and (I think) her true gems.

Some of the stories are downright scary; besides "The Lottery," there’s the bizarre and chilling "The Intoxicated," where a teenage girl startles a grown man with her vision of the future. Others, including “Charles” — complete with a startling twist at the end — are surprisingly adorable and funny. And some are heartbreakingly sad, as is “The Daemon Lover” where a hopeful, deluded woman waits a LONG time for the fiance who never shows at her door.

Jackson was not particularly prolific, but what she did write (including posthumously released collections like Just An Ordinary Day) was (and still is) often downright delicious. ( )
1 vote booksandcats4ever | Jul 30, 2018 |
Shirley Jackson is truly adept at writing short stories. She strings her plots along with a surprising grasp of the disturbing, and an unexpected amount of good humor. Her eye for detail both intrigues and lulls one into a false sense of security.

The Lottery and Other Stories was originally dubbed with the surtitle 'the adventures of James Harris', something it should probably still contain. The second story in the collection "The Daemon Lover" sets the bar which nearly all the other stories follow. Drawing from the Child Ballad of the same name, the bulk of the collection involves James Harris in one way or another, as each character encounters his or her own version of Hell through a varying degree of mishaps. Not all of the stories are so dark, however, and a number are actually quite humorous.

Surprisingly bold for her time, Shirley Jackson's writings remain remarkably fresh in spite of the years that have passed since their publication. In particular, I greatly enjoyed "The Intoxicated," "Charles," "The Witch", "Colloquy," and "Got A Letter From Jimmy." The title story, "The Lottery," I had read before.

I highly recommend this book as an exemplary example of what short stories, and the collections thereof, can be and achieve. ( )
2 vote Lepophagus | Jun 14, 2018 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Shirley Jacksonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Homes, A. M.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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He was just tight enough and just familiar enough with the house to be able to go out into the kitchen alone, apparently to get ice, but actually to sober up a little; he was not quite enough a friend of the family to pass out on the living-room couch.
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PLEASE NOTE: This work is a COLLECTION of stories by Shirley Jackson that includes "The Lottery" and many other stories.  It is NOT to be used for stand-alone copies of "The Lottery" (a short story) or for briefer collections or compilations.  It has been printed in several editions, and I have kept with this work books that have the ISBN number of the collection even if only titled "The Lottery."
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Haiku summary
Unsettling stories
that make one think about the
monster in us all.

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