The Lottery and Other Stories

The Lottery and Other Stories - Shirley Jackson

I think I was expecting these stories to read more like The Lottery, which I read in school and quite enjoyed.


Unfortunately, they didn't, or at least not in the same way I had hoped. They shared a rather gloomy outlook on life with The Lottery, certainly, but that was kind of the defining factor. I didn't see the sparkle I had felt a touch of in The Lottery and seen quite a bit of in the only novel of hers I have read, The Haunting of Hill House. These plodded a bit, and I always felt like I knew what the ending was going to be, even if I didn't know the specifics: it would be depressing.


Most of the stories are significantly less speculative fiction than the previous things of hers I have read, which I found disappointing. The woman can write, certainly, but I was not enjoying most of what I was reading, despite that.


There is a particular kind of depressing story I associate with American writers. It is not really dark, it doesn't have villains, it's a kind of "life sucks and then you die" mentality that I felt overloaded by when actually taking an American Literature class, and this book brought me back to that, back to reading Ethan Frome and wondering why we couldn't do British Literature instead.


Most of these stories, well-written or not, were not at all my cup of tea, and I think I will stick with her horror exclusively from now on. If you enjoy the type of depressing I'm talking about or just want to see what else she wrote and are not interested in more traditional horror, this might be right up your alley.